Mary Elizabeth Morey, our Griffith College Dublin and US Ambassador, shares a few reasons why the people you’ll meet are one of the best parts studying abroad, and the hardest thing to leave….
When you study abroad, you meet a wide variety of people. You meet people through your programs, in classes, and in your apartment. These people are an intricate detail in your life while abroad, and ultimately make the experience so worthwhile. They teach you about their cultures, ways of life, and help you find who you are. These people are the worst because they come into your life and make it so amazing, but after the semester, or year, is over you go home, and your new family is hundreds of miles away. Here are three reasons why these people make studying abroad the best part of college, and the hardest thing to leave.
You experience new things together
If you go to a school, such as Griffith College Dublin, around sixty percent of the students are international. This means that you are all there experiencing Ireland for the first time together. You make friends and you try bangers and mash for the first time, and explore where Guinness is made. You fly around Europe together almost missing your train in Lisbon, or climbing up to a waterfall in Nice. You are constantly stretched outside your comfort zone where you get to see and do things better than you could have ever imagined. The people you meet are there with you every step of the way.
You spend all your time together
From the first day you are there to the day you say your goodbyes, you spend your time with these new friends. They are the ones you have taco nights in your dorm with, the ones you study at as many coffee shops as possible with, and the ones you do absolutely nothing with.
You teach each other about your home towns and your traditions. You explain what you do on the Fourth of July while learning about Irish Christmas traditions and trying mince pies for the first time. You’ll go grocery shopping, do laundry, and go to dinner with the people you meet abroad. They are there for all your small and big study abroad experiences.
You become each other’s families
When you are all far from home these people become your family. You spend Thanksgiving together, teaching the Europeans about the holiday. You become so close and insanely inseparable that you sometimes even bicker like siblings. You grow to love the good and bad about each of the people you meet abroad, because when you think about all the great things you got to do and experiences you had, they were the ones right by your side. They are the ones you want to call when something happens, and the faces you miss most. They are the family you had to leave behind.
The family you make while you are abroad will forever hold a special place in your heart. The memories you share are unlike anything else. These are the people that understand what it is like to go abroad, and the ones who won’t get annoyed after telling the stories over and over. These people are the absolute worst because they make the biggest impression on your heart and end up hundreds of mile away. When you go from spending every second with your new family to not being able to see their face, it makes for hard times. I love each and every person I met while I spent my semester at Griffith College, and am counting down the days until we are reunited.