If someone asked me what my favorite part of studying abroad is, it would definitely take some time for me to decide because the experience has been exciting and unpredictable so far.
However if I had to choose, I would have to go with the incredible people I have met studying here in Liverpool. I have been fortunate to connect and bond with other students from very different backgrounds and places than I.
These people have become great friends and I hope I will know them for many years to come. So, let me introduce you to a few of my closest international pals: Francelis, Ines and Lisa.
After I spontaneously joined her on a trip to Paris in February, Francelis and I bonded and are now close friends. We have regular sleepovers like we are 13 again and my most favorite memories abroad include her.
Born in Venezuela, Francelis’s strong, sarcastic personality makes me laugh constantly and always has a way of making me feel better.
Ines, my flat neighbor, is one of the sweetest and most genuine people I have ever met. She helped me really feel at ease when I was first adjusting to life abroad.
Next week, I will be visiting her and her family in Belgium and I could not be more excited to have such an immersive experience.
And then there is Lisa. With our similar sense of humor and mutual clumsiness we clicked instantly when we met. Whenever I need some to whine or complain to, Lisa is always willing to listen.
A couple weeks ago, I was having what I would call “a mid-study abroad crisis.” I had come down with a severe case of homesickness.
These girls quickly came to my rescue and each became a stand in mom helping me return to my normal, content self.
I am not sure exactly what triggered it, but I just really wanted some Wisco. This feeling surprised me because I was sure when I departed back in January I would never wish I was back at home.
During the study abroad preparation meetings, the staff discussed with us many ways to cope with homesickness when it occurs.
Homesickness? What is this nonsense?
I remember rolling my eyes and thinking to myself, “How can you possibly miss home when you are living in Europe?!”
Having been away from Wisconsin for over two months now, I completely understand what they were talking about.
Although Liverpool feels like home to me in many ways, sometimes it can be hard to not constantly seeing familiar faces or being in a town where everything is just a 10 minute walk away.
During these moments, these ladies have been my rock and I could not have asked for more supportive friends to go through this experience with. They are such beautiful people and I admire how each of them has uniquely impacted me.
I can confidently say this time we are spending together in Liverpool is just the beginning of fulfilling and life-long friendships.