When it comes to the friends I made studying abroad, they became the people who made my experience everything that it was. They helped me experience the culture of Italy, got me out of my comfort zone and helped me try new things. I went to Italy with one of my best friends and other than that, we knew no one going into the experience. Once we arrived, we soon met our roommates who at the time, would become lifelong friends. They were from Georgia and Pennsylvania and being that I’m from the Midwest, I knew we would learn many things from each other. My other wonderful friends that I met while over there were also from Alabama, Vermont, Washington State, Florida, and Maryland to name a few.
That is one of the many great things that study abroad offers you, getting to meet people who you otherwise would not. If I had not studied abroad, it’s a possibility that I would have never known that down south, people don’t know what cheese curds are (which in case you don’t know, they are either batter-fried chunks of yummy, gooey cheese or solid chunks of fresh cheese). Even though I was in a foreign country, by meeting these people, I even got exposure to my own country by becoming friends with people from all over the U.S.
Even though it is unlikely that I would have met these friends otherwise, I am so glad that I did because they taught me so much about themselves as well as myself. We all bonded so quickly and get along so well, I just wish that now we all still lived within a few feet away from each other. We all still keep in contact and hope to see each other again someday so it’s nice to still have our friendship even though we haven’t spent time together in over a year. I left my study abroad experience not just with great pictures and souvenirs; I also left with great friends and memories that will last for many years to come.
Chelsea Mrozek is a Senior Alumni Ambassador at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. She studied abroad with CEA in Rome, Italy, during the Summer 2012 term.
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