One of my favorite things about travelling is that you meet people from across the world. Everyday I eat and chat with people from all over the world, I sit in class with people who are twice my age with kids of their own, learning French to start their Swiss life. Russians, Japanese, Taiwanese–we are all foreigners here and we can’t help but be bound together by our obvious foreigness.
This study abroad experience has been so eye-opening so far and it has only just begun. University classes are difficult, and some people rule out socializing altogether, but I believe that socializing is a crucial part of my education abroad. Yes school is difficult, especially in a different language, but how would I ever learn about other cultures if I did not talk to anyone? Education is so much more than “hitting the books.”
Thanks to my friends, I know some Japanese and Chinese words (the important ones of course), I get to try food I have never heard of before, and laugh hysterically at how different we are to each other.
Last night, I made arroz con pollo for my friends and Nozomi and Eri made Japanese food, while the others brought chocolate and wine–we feasted! At the end of the night, I learned how to make rice balls with the leftover rice–my ball was more of a blob.
This may be a bit sentimental, but as the days grow shorter and the weather more miserable, I am glad to find such good friends–this study abroad experience would not be worth it without them. We learn so much by learning about other people, more than any French grammar book can teach me.