The idea of traveling to another country with your friends sounds like a dream come true! While there are certainly a lot of advantages when going abroad with friends, keep in mind each individuals travel-styles, personalities, likes and dislikes. Whether you get the chance to share this experience with a good friend or not, here are some of the advantages and disadvantages to going abroad with your friends.
Advantage: Knowing someone abroad!
Going abroad can be intimidating or scary. Moving to another country for the summer, semester or academic year can sometimes be lonely, and life-changing experiences are fun to share with a friend, which brings security and comfort to what might otherwise be an isolating experience.
Disadvantage: No New Friends
You might not be as independent as you would be if you didn’t know anyone. Instead of making new friends, you and your friend may end up isolating yourselves from interacting with the local community or the rest of your travel group. While traveling with a friend doesn’t automatically mean you won’t make new friends, it might impact your willingness to try.
Advantage: Fixed Travel Companion and Roommate
Creating memories with a friend abroad makes them that much more special! Plus, in the event you have to share a room, it can put you at ease knowing you’ll be sharing a space with someone you already feel comfortable with.
Disadvantage: Irritating one another
The downside of spending a lot of time with one person -- you might work each other’s last nerve! We all know this could happen when you surround yourself by the same person nonstop!
Advantage: Shared Interests and Habits
Already knowing each other means you both may have similar tastes, which makes studying, traveling, and eating that much easier to do.
Disadvantage: Limiting Your Adventurous Spirit
Your friend may not have the same adventurous spirit to try something brand new that you want to do. Or worse, you may find yourself having to do things you don't have any interest in (or a budget for), just to go along with your friend.
Advantage: Making Friends with your Friends’ Friends!
Knowing someone who is connected or has friends in your host country means you’ll meet and gain new friends, too.
Disadvantage: Only Speaking English
If you stick to your friend during your entire time abroad it may be easier to not hold yourself accountable to speaking the local language. Only speaking English without being ‘forced’ to practice could impact your ability to learn the language more quickly.
Going abroad is a transformative experience, and it’s one we all wish we could share with the people in our lives we care about the most. But sometimes, it’s missing those people and being on our own that makes the experience have the impact that it does. Just make sure you both understand what this experience represents for each other, and what you each hope to gain from it so that you can support one another 100%.
Author: Trixie Cordova