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The People Who Will Influence Your Study Abroad Adventure

January 09, 2014
by CEA CAPA Content Creator
A huge factor in your study abroad experience is the people you meet. From the day to day strangers who help you with directions or give you a cheer as you run by, to the new friends you make from all over the world, they all contribute to the good, the bad, and the comic moments of your abroad adventure. 

On August 27, I remember anxiously awaiting outside my apartment on Manesova on a hot day with my abundance of luggage. I could not believe the moment I have been preparing for had finally arrived. I was in Prague ready to move into my apartment for the next four months and begin my semester at Anglo-American University. A taxi rolled up and one of the first people I met was a neighbor from Colorado (who has excellent whistling skills). We walked up with an advisor to our apartments, casually chatting about the typical topics of names and schools where we were from. I was reminded of my first year in college nervously awaiting to meet my future roommate as I began unpacking alone, but this time there would be five roommates! As time passed, one by one of the roommates trickled in until there was six of us. 

If I was asked then about the impact these ladies would have on me in the next four months, I would not have stated their influence to this extent. These five women have proven to be quite influential as they have been the most different in character, laid back, and unique friends I have made. We all are from different backgrounds, and we each have our different quirks. Whether it is knowing an astonishing amount of facts about Wisconsin, eating Oreos, collecting mugs, dressing in a good clash of patterns or an impressive impromptu baker, we each have increased our knowledge about ourselves and each other. I have found a great support system and a “home away from home." When I am feeling down in the dumps, there is a shoulder to cry on, or when I am feeling excessively excited about receiving an "A" on a difficult exam, there is someone that will celebrate with me or laugh at my spinning floor routines.

In the school setting, classmates and professors have contributed to making the university more welcoming. Professors are willing to give me daily tidbits on places to go out for a bite or advice on travel locations. It was easy to find classmates who would help me with problematic questions or who would join me for a drink after class. In these surroundings I have learned the importance of making new friends, who teach you more about the world and influence how high you should set your goals.

“We never know which lives we influence, or when, or why.” Stephen King’s quote sums up all the people, some who I have not mentioned in this brief blog, who have positively impacted my short time in Prague. Without all of my influential classmates, professors, friends, and roommates, Prague would not have been the same.. Thanks to all of you.

Lisa Jordahl is the Fall 2013 CEA MOJO in Prague, Czech Republic. She is currently a senior at St. Norbert College.
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