Living abroad during the holidays can be difficult. The photos, memories, instagram photos and status updates from friends and family back home flood into your life and you realize just how far away you are from your usual normal. This holiday season I am grateful for how many wonderful new friends I’ve had to the opportunity to meet during the last couple months. It is amazing to me how quickly being an international student abroad, bonds you with the individuals you are in close proximity with. Luckily, the people I’ve met have been up for adventures, new experiences, and we all share a love for food! So naturally, Thanksgiving was the perfect time to plan a get together for our new crew.
A friend living off campus opened up her home to us and even took on the turkey preparations! From there, the details all feel into place. Everyone brought a dish to pass and we had the most amazing evening just being together around our makeshift Thanksgiving smorgasbord. I looked around the room on several occasions and just tried to be in the moment. Soaking in this living room full of laughter and conversation. It was a night where a few Americans got to share a piece of our holiday with a diverse group of amazing friends.
Guatemala, Indonesia, Palestine, Kenya, Panama, Germany, New Zealand, the UK and the US were all represented. When else in my life am I going to have so many opportunities to gather in such diverse groups of people? It hit me that this year of studying abroad is about so much more than just receiving a Masters degree. The activities I get to do outside of the classroom are shaping me and impacting my world just as much (if not more) than my experience in school.
It’s already December and I’m aware at how quickly time will pass and all of these new and amazing friends will spread back out across the globe. Before that time comes, I want to embrace as much laughter and conversation as possible. Three months in and I’m already convinced that this experience is one that everyone should have. It’s challenging and difficult at times, but then you have nights where 18 people pile into one room and stuff themselves with delicious food and it is totally worth it.