Building Meaningful Friendships Abroad
All students applying for our program are paired to the very best of ISE’s ability. We strive to set up matches that have similar interests and seem likely to click based on their applications. While this is never a guarantee, there have been many cases of students that became lifelong friends with their exchange partners or even came to consider them family. A partner is also not the only opportunity, as you can make connections with the other members of the family as well as your classmates at school. Your future best friend may be waiting on the other side of the world!
With our exchange, you have the opportunity to meet people you may never have come into contact with otherwise. There are so many great people who may have similar interests to you that you will have the absolute pleasure of meeting while abroad. They are someone to share your language and culture with, and who will share theirs with you in return, creating a mutually beneficial learning experience.
After the exchange, you may even want to stay in close contact with your friend, and then you can tell everyone at home in Canada about your friend who lives on the other side of the world. While sometimes you may miss them immensely, it is great fun to have a long distance friend that you can chat with, Skype with, and interact with online. Over the years, I’ve personally had many friends from other places in the world and it’s a very exciting achievement. Not only is it a very interesting fact to share, but it gives you a whole new network that you will be so lucky to be a part of. Connecting with someone despite the circumstances is so rare and amazing, and I would certainly recommend having them to anyone. The distance between you will only make it all the more exciting when you decide to visit them in their country (or they come to visit you) again someday!
The connections you make throughout our program are unlike those you will have with any of your other friends. Taking a trip around the world and being tied to another person who will help to guide you and then have it turn around so you have to guide them here in Canada is not something that tends to happen without the help of a program as exciting and opportune as International Student Exchange’s. Learning from your new friends will help you to further embrace others and really enjoy living in a culture so unlike your own.
By Sarah Zeran