Friends Abroad

I came to Amsterdam alone-not knowing anyone in this country or at my school. Of course, that’s terrifying. Who will stay up until 2am watching Netflix or travel the world with me!? I’m pretty sure that thought has crossed everyone’s mind before studying abroad. Well you can add me to the list of people saying don’t worry, you’ll make friends.

And I’m so glad I did. What’s extra cool about these friends is they’re not all American (still love for the US homies) so I get to experience another culture and share my own. The other day I was able to enjoy some home-made Christmas cookies from Germany and I could share the wonder that are Poptarts to those who hadn’t tried them before.

My favorite day was Thanksgiving…which also happened to be my birthday. I hosted the holiday for seven other friends from all around the globe at my apartment. The meal was amazing (especially considering none of us have full kitchens). We were able to get all the traditional foods, which was a pleasant surprise. It was amazing being able to share some of my culture with others.

Also a huge shout out to my two best friends from the US who came to Amsterdam! One traveled from Spain and the other from the States after months in Argentina. Being able to see them was a little taste of home.

Being abroad is hard. There are so many challenges you face that you aren’t expecting. But having my US friends one phone call away or my friends here in Holland has made the hardships manageable and the good parts spectacular. I’ll miss them so much when I leave in a month, but I’m grateful to know I have friends for life. (cheesy…I know)

Madison

I am a senior at UMD study abroad at the University of Amsterdam in Amsterdam, the Netherlands for the fall semester. I am originally from southern California but have been living on the east coast for the past seven years. I double major in International Business and Ops Management and Business Analytics.

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