Guest Post by: Ben Nussbaum, a Foster School student who participated in a Foster Exchange at The University of Economics, Prague in the Czech Republic
Study abroad is not about where you go. I spent 4 months in Prague, but it could’ve been Berlin or Thailand. It’s up to me to choose. I found myself asking ‘How do I know if I made the right choice?’ As I sit here in the airport waiting for my plane back to Seattle, I can now see that that choice isn’t as important as I thought.
Because location is secondary to people. What I’m trying to communicate is nicely summarized by a quote I found on Instagram. It goes as follows:
“One time I found this old home movie my grandma made of their visit to the Grand Canyon back in the 50s. She’s filming the scenery and a couple times you can barely see my dad and uncles run by. We’re watching this 50 years later, near the end of her life. She goes ‘Why didn’t I point the camera at them? I don’t care about the Grand Canyon.’”
When I think back over the fastest 4 months of my life, the first thing that comes into my head isn’t where I was or where I flew. It’s who I was there with. Even in the Sahara Desert, the company is what made that trip the incredible experience it was. It’s the people around you who forge your memories and shape your experiences.
Meet anyone and everyone you can. Everyone is in the same boat. Nobody knows anybody, no matter how much they try to put on a face otherwise. Crack people’s shells and I guarantee they’ll be open to you, because they’re feeling the exact same way that you are. Be the one to take that chance and you’ll make friends for life, no matter where you go.