Guest Post By: Junior studying Business Administration at the Foster School of Business, Peter Zachariah. This Fall, Peter studied abroad with the Foster Exchange Program with the National University of Singapore.
Getting on the flight from Seattle to Singapore, I knew a long journey was ahead of me. I would be alone in a foreign country for a few months. Landing at 2am, I was greeted by humidity and a long immigration line. I called a Grab, the equivalent of an Uber, to take me to my dorms. On the ride there, I twiddled my thumbs nervously about meeting new people and studying at a new school. I checked in, unpacked as much as I could, and feel asleep.
The next day, a few people in the dorm-specific group chat wanted to grab dinner. I meet a few others that day, but I knew that getting dinner would help make more concrete friendships. There, I meet 10 friends who I would stick with for the remainder of my semester. They were a diverse bunch—two from Switzerland, two from Germany, three from France, one from the Netherlands, one from New Zealand, and one from South Korea. I was the only American.
In such a diverse group of friends, I learned new perspectives and viewpoints about the world. I enjoyed debating and having my view of the world, which has been influenced by my upbringing in the US, challenged by those with different perspectives. All in all, studying abroad at the National University of Singapore allowed me to diversify my circle of friends and I gained lifelong friends from many countries around the world.