Meeting my "other" brother abroad

Authored by:
Sofia S.

Studying abroad, you meet a lot of people. Over the past 5 years that I have been between Spain and the US, I have developed some of the strongest relationships, which is crazy to me because each friendship was made in such a short time span. Maybe it's because we have to suffer over the loads of mayo our host families put on our food, or because we have no one else to speak English to, but I think the main reason you get so close with people you meet through stuff abroad is because you have these intense unique moments and experiences together, that only you guys will understand. 

I have decided I wanted to start blogging about some of the friendships I have made through my study abroad experiences. 

My brother Benjamin and I are best friends, we always have been. Every summer camp, school play, study abroad experience, and social events we did together. Knowing I was going back to Sevilla without him was weird to say the least, and I felt something was going to be missing. Little did I know, that missing piece would be filled by no other than, Cole Matino.

Benjamin and I's first time apart was college. He goes to GW and I go to Colby. When I got a text from him that someone from GW was going to Sevilla on the same program, I was excited, but did not think too much of it. He introduced me via text message to a boy named Cole. From the second he introduced Cole and I, we did not stop texting. For nearly 6 months before our journey to Spain, we texted. About everything. We texted about our excitement, fears, Spanish skills, "drama", made inside jokes, and he became my "online best friend". 

Cole and I made plans to meet in Madrid with my friend Bridgit a day before our program started. I was so nervous and excited to meet him, and when he turned the corner, we ran to each other in disbelief that we were finally about to embark on our Seville experience together. I was so excited to share with him what I knew, and introduce him to all my friends. I remember us walking through Madrid laughing at the fact we were together, and then talking for hours on our train ride to Sevilla catching each other up on a lifetime of stories. 

In Sevilla, I will never forget all of our Italian dinner dates, late night walks, him talking me out of my crazy overthinking, and laughing at ourselves to each other. We have so many memories and have visited each other in the US (which was weird), and we continue to make plans to have our long awaited reunions. 

Cole became my very best friend. We did everything together abroad, talked every day, and STILL DO. There is not a day that goes by that Cole and I do not talk. We still talk about everything, and that experience in Spain grounded our relationship and is the foundation of a future of laughter together. I truly met another brother.

This is what study abroad can do for you with relationships, make and solidify some of the strongest friendships you will ever have.


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