When I entered college I thought my world got bigger. I met a lot of people and did new things. But it was nothing compared to when I made friends in other countries. Spending time with them, I really felt the changes that happened to me especially with the way I think and the way I am as a person.
I became open-minded
I discovered and witnessed the world with diverse opinions of what is taboo or not, different views on religion and politics, distinctive outlooks in life, etc. My definition of what is normal, common, and ordinary became flexible. I began to see the world through their eyes and I began to understand things. I started seeing life in many angles.
I became deep
I consider myself superficial before I met a very good friend from Thailand. We would talk about the whole concept of life and death almost every time we have an opportunity to. We do not debate; we just simply share and respect our own opinions. We would talk about things that people don’t usually talk about. I began to look at things beyond the surface and dug deeper.
I fully understood the word Respect
As I’ve said before, having friends from different countries means you have a lot of differences. The key to a good friendship is respect. Of course they have an absolutely different culture, norms, and ethics and that is okay as long as you have respect. Embrace your dissimilarities and learn from it, you’ll never know, it could turn into a life long friendship. It’s always nice to know that you have a friend a thousand miles away.
I became smarter
I learned a lot from them, and I hope that they learned from me as well. There would always be an exchange of knowledge every time. I feel like I become wiser every time I spend time with them. It makes me feel good and thankful to be alive and meet amazing people. There will never be a dull moment with a foreign friend because there is always something new to try.
My communication skills improved in a whole new level
Of course it is a fact that your foreign friends speaks a different language. The only way to communicate is to use the universal language, English. You’ll be surprised how fluently you can speak in English when you don’t really have a choice. Yes, you can always learn their language but that could take years! It will consume so much time and effort so I chose to stick with English. Now I am confident than ever in speaking and writing in English. Thanks to my foreign friends.
I learned to appreciate little things
A Skype call once a month might not be too much but it means a lot to me. A simple message on Facebook asking how I am makes not just my day but also my entire week. Out of the blue “I miss you” messages warms my heart and puts a bright smile on my face.
So for those young souls out there, I highly suggest that you make friends with people from other countries. Do not just travel to explore and sight see, make friends and learn from them.