Lasting Friendships Made Abroad


Winter 2017

In college I had the opportunity to study abroad for a month in Italy. It was a can’t-miss, must-do-everything-to-get-there kind of trip. However, traveling with a group of people whom I didn’t know came with many uncertainties. What if we didn’t share similar interests, or our personalities didn’t mesh? Despite this ambiguity, I set forth on this Italian adventure and I’m thankful I did. First of all, Italy was amazing: From the art, history and architecture to the oh-so-good cuisine – I could have stayed! But what I couldn’t have imagined were all the friendships created and how naturally they came. Looking back, I think it was partly due to the fact that we really were all strangers. No one had expectations, and everyone was a little vulnerable. What started as casual, sometimes awkward conversations ended with us sharing our hopes for the future along with a commitment to each other to stay in-touch. More than a decade later I’m left with all the incredible memories and cherished friendships. It truly was a trip of a lifetime! 

Kristyn Elliott