Global Friendships In Every Form
In 2002, the IES conducted the world’s largest studies of students studying abroad. With great response from international students, studies showed many interesting things. The most interesting thing was beyond the opportunities for careers and personal growth the most important thing that many students all agreed upon and was their most influential reason for studying abroad. This was to make new and exciting friends both USA and international. Apparently no matter how much time passes many friendships that were formed from the study abroad experience still remain strong long after the experience ended.
It showed that more than 52 percent of students still keep in touch with their study abroad friends. Their shared experience of learning and living abroad created lifelong friendship bonds. Studies conducted in the 1950s and 1960s of students who studied abroad showed that they are still in contact with their overseas friends. 4% of students also said they went on to marrying someone that they initially met while studying abroad. Those who participated in the study also said their host country still has a powerful impression on them and have returned to study, visit friends or live in their host country.
The influence and impact of the study abroad experience can be far reaching and clearly dynamic. What is difficult to quantify is that study abroad does not only change the person but also changes the benefits of the world for those who have studied abroad. Many students who previously studied abroad are now teaching, working on the environment, working with charity groups and helping others in need. Many have said that their study abroad experience has given them a new outlook on life and has impacted their lives in a profound way on personal development, professional development, and academic development.
Your classmates are from diverse and fascinating backgrounds and by chance you too will get to know great friends from right around the world while making long lasting global friendships.