Before I left, everyone was saying how studying abroad is a life-changing experience and I will meet my best friends, and after just four full days, I can wholeheartedly agree. When I first arrived with two of my friends also from Alabama, we were excited but a little nervous about how things would pan out, especially with our living situation. We chose to live with random suitemates, where we could be placed in an apartment that held from five to eighteen girls. It was a decision that felt risky at the time but has proven to be the best choice we could have made.

Our suitemates turned out to be three girls from Appalachian State University and two other girls from University of Michigan. We have three bedrooms and an amazing shared living space. The first night we arrived we all decided to get dinner together and immediately hit it off. Since then we have stuck together as a group, making more friends along the way. We have explored the town, shared meals, and are even planning a trip out of town this weekend. It has only been four days and I feel like I can already call them my best friends!

Going random with our suite-mates pushes us out of our comfort zones and allowed us to meet people who we might have never crossed paths with. It’s so easy to stick with familiar faces and we could have been housed just my two friends and me, but stepping out of our comfort zone has only enriched our experience here.

For anyone considering studying abroad, I recommend you take the leap and choose the random suite-mates or roommates! I can’t wait to grow even closer with my suite-mates and classmates in the next three weeks!

KODAK Digital Still Camera