Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would make a friendship abroad that would continue back home in the United States.
When I knew I was planning on studying abroad, I was excited for all of the new experiences and beautiful sights. I was also excited to take it all on independently because going into this trip I knew no one. There was no one from my school, let alone from my state.
I was added into an AIFS Prague Facebook group by my Admissions Officer a couple of months before my departure date, so I had the opportunity to chat with the people in my program. There were people I felt closer to than others and assumed we would spend time together on the trip. I have now learned that you will not always click with some people in real life as you have online, and there is nothing wrong with that happening.
At this point we did not know our roommate assignments and it would not be until days before departing for Europe that we would find out. Side note: there is no need to stress about your roommate beforehand, especially if you choose to do a random assignment, which the majority of my program chose to do. Luckily for me, trusting my program’s staff to match me up with a roommate worked in my favor: I ended up with a new best friend!
Believe it or not, Rachel and I would end up spending almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for five weeks with one another. However, this is not always the case, so if you end up not getting along with your roommate to this extent, do not worry. We had both of our classes together and decided to spend our free time together.
I knew after my five-week program was over it would be difficult to leave Europe, but I did not anticipate how difficult it would be to leave my roommate. After spending all that time together, it was weird to think we would be so far apart, living almost 900 miles from each other back in the United States. Thankfully, we already have plans to visit each other for Thanksgiving and want to take a road trip together after we both graduate this coming December.
It just goes to show that you may be expecting much of what you will experience on this trip, but do not close yourself off to the unexpected. Studying abroad will change your life and the friendships you make along the way will last you a lifetime.
This post was contributed by Jacqueline Casner, who spent her summer studying abroad with AIFS in Prague, Czech Republic.