Part of the reason I loved studying abroad so much was because of the amazing friendships I made.
Whether it was the person sitting next to me in class, my roommate or the kid standing next to me at the pub, all the friendships I formed affected me in one way or another. To all of these people, I want to say thank you.
To My Roommate:
You know who you are. Thank you for dealing with me at my worst and my best, both physically and emotionally. You’ve seen parts of me lots of people haven’t just by being my roommate and you handled it with ease. I never felt judged or weird for being myself. Thank you for accepting my quirks, my annoying cough, and the stuffed animal I had to sleep with. You never once questioned my motives or told me to stop what I was doing. You accepted who I was and only made me better. I couldn’t have asked for a better roommate. I’m so glad I randomly got selected to be in the same room as you because London wouldn’t have been the same without you. From day one, you took me in with open arms. I really felt like I had known you forever. So thank you for everything, you’re an angel in disguise.
To My Classmates:
Whether it was a group of 16 or my class of 4, the bonds I created in these classes were greater than any other class I’ve had in school. I actually enjoyed going to class and learning because of the friendships I had formed and I can’t thank my classmates enough. Learning about the history of London was so much more fun when you could joke around with the person next to you afterwards, even if it was your professor. Honestly, it felt more like family than classmates. We worked together, whether it was navigating the Tube to our next destination or walking around a new part of London. But we also played together, hanging out to get lunch after class or coordinating our plans for later in the night. So thank you to my classmates, for making the classes bearable (even though they could have been fun on their own) and for becoming more than just my classmates, but actual friends.
To the Random People I Met in Hallways and Pubs:
Although some of our interactions may have been short, your impact on me is much longer than that. We may have never talked before, but we treated each other kindly. Whether it was a simple hi in the hallway after meals or a short conversation at our favorite late night location, I felt comfortable being with you and sharing parts of myself. I was happy getting to know you and learning about what brought you to London. So thank you to these people. You not only let me be myself without judgment, but you also made me more comfortable being open with strangers. Being shy is a flaw of mine, but being able to talk openly with so many new people in the same situation has made it easier for me to talk to just about anyone. Thank you for your kindness, your open mind, and your listening ear.
So to the friends I made abroad, you’re all a blessing. You were there for my first overseas experience and made it everything I could have ever asked for and more. Without every single one of you, London wouldn’t have been the same. I’m so happy that all of you came into my life during my 6 weeks abroad; I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
This post was contributed by Emily Fletcher, who spent her summer studying abroad with AIFS in London, England.