Frida Emma

Frida & Emma Svensson: Meeting New People and Growing Up

My second reason for studying abroad was to meet and interact with new people. For me, it was kind of an escape. Not an escape from my lovely family and friends. Studying abroad was more of a “getaway” from Swedish personalities that I was tired of, such as jealousy and prejudice. I wanted to meet people from other countries with different views, experiences and knowledge. I knew a college would not only offer the opportunity to meet American students, but also international students from all over the world, which felt exciting.

After having spent my first week at UCA, I realized the mix of people college offers. I met people from all over the world who shared the same situation as me: living far from home. I also met a lot of friendly Americans, which made me feel very welcomed. One thing I noticed was people from the same cultures were held together. For example, all the Chinese were together so they could speak only Chinese with each other. I, on the other hand, found people from other countries in Europe who had similar cultures. What I learned immediately was that international people are shyer and less assertive, while American people were more outgoing.

After spending a year in college, I have met and interacted with many people. We have shared information and knowledge about our countries. I have learned have experienced many great times. In other words, study abroad affords you the opportunity to make friends from around the world.

Before taking the step to study abroad, I was shy and inexperienced of the world. I was also anxious about leaving my family and friends. But, after spending only a couple of weeks abroad, that changed very quickly. This brings me to my next reason to study abroad, which is your personal growth and development will be affected positively. I can say from personal experiences that studying abroad definitely challenges you on a personal level. I have a strong relationship with my family and thought my homesickness would be hard. Now I can tell you it is not always easy, but it is easier than what I had expected because of the advanced technology we have today. Also, the longing and missing makes the reunion special each time.

I can see a big development in my personal growth. Coming to the States, I was a shy and inexperienced girl. But, after living in a completely different environment and experiencing many different situations by myself, I have become an independent and self-confident woman. After only a year abroad, I feel much more wise and experienced. Also, because of past mistakes, I have learned to react and respond to different situations in effective ways. In conclusion, studying abroad will help you to learn about yourself and strengthen your confidence and independence.

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