Leaving home can difficult, especially if you are leaving friends behind as well. It can make you feel sad, or like you are missing out at times, but at the end of the day, once you arrive in a new city, there will always be new people you can meet. This is one of the great things about going to live elsewhere for a while. Making new friends has been so interesting and rewarding, especially here at school. There are people from all over the world, and they are all in the same situation as you; foreign students in a city really far away from home. This is what makes friendships really special here, your friends will become somewhat like your family. For most of us here we have been able to meet not only friends within our same university but also locals and other students from surrounding universities. This is something that I encourage everyone to do because most of my most memorable adventures have been with the new friends I have met along the way. One of these trips was to Chongming Island with a local Shanghainese friend. While here, we traveled and stayed at a local’s house, where I learned much about Chinese traditional culture and was able to see something completely different from Shanghai. I also was able to practice my Chinese with her and we have creating a long-lasting friendship. Another amazing experience was with a group of German friends from Tonji University, where we planned a five day trip to the south of China and visited three different cities. This was also very interesting for me because not only they we were able to really get to know each other as people but also learn things from our countries and cultures. We also had a very good time exploring and creating new memories as we traveled along the way. Overall, I think one of the best things about my study abroad experience has been getting to know other people and learn something from them, and what else can be better than creating memories around the world with your new international friends! In Huanguoshu Falls with my German friends Chongming Island with my Shanghainese friend. My German friend and I in traditional Chinese costumes in Anshun, China. My friend and I at our school’s culture fest. Katherine Guevara is the Fall 2013 CEA MOJO in Shanghai, China. She is currently a senior at the University of Houston.
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