The Rollercoaster of Relationships

Authored by:
Kelsey M.

Kelsey M.

Coming to new country is very stressful for some people, especially when you do not know anyone or have any friends where you are staying. One of the biggest fears I had before deciding to study abroad was the idea of finding my friend group. When you are at your home university, you have many people with common backgrounds and similar interests, but when you leave to a totally different country, the similarities and common backgrounds disappear. This is an intimidating fact. But, with CIEE and the welcoming community and culture of South Korea, making friends and finding my group was beyond my expectations. Being in a study abroad program gives you chances to meet people even before you arrive at your foreign school. I got to meet all the participants in my program before coming to Korea and that made me feel comfortable being in a new environment. Having this base of connections set me on a path to seeing what kind of people I liked hanging around and what I wanted to do with my time here in Korea. As the semester continues and the friend groups become more dense, you still keep in contact with all the people you met through your program and it is such an amazing feeling. Yes, college is still college, and friendships will go through rollercoasters of ups and downs but that is how you find your “tribe.” I actually used my comfort from my program to reach of to other exchange students and found my community of friends like that. CIEE gives you a platform of strength and opportunity to make your study abroad experience uniquely you. Moving 6,000 miles away from home is a challenging task and even if you lived down the street from your university, being away from your bubble of friends and family is terrifying. But, I must say I have made connections and met people here in South Korea that I hope to be connected to throughout the rest of my life. I want to stay connected to my friends, the teachers, the CIEE advisors, the Yecco students, and the Seoulmate volunteers for as long as I can. That is how impactful this journey has been for me. If you ever consider doing this kind of leap in life, even though it seems intimidating, I say go for it!! You never know what awaits you in another country surrounded by different people from what you are used to. South Korea is such a beautiful country filled with amazing people and I recommend taking your leap of faith here. The world really awaits you.

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