Why Having Friends With Different Cultural Backgrounds Make the Best Squad

Saturday, April 01, 2017


Photo Credit: to B's lil brother!

Moving to another country might mean you have to say goodbye to the babes and lads back home for a while, but it also means you’ll be meeting a lot of chicas and chicos abroad. It is in fact one of the things we, young and free spirited internationals, look forward to most about our study abroad adventures. When I moved  to Ireland, the 13 year-old me found it difficult to make friends. The one thing that did work for me was finding a diverse group of friends from  different cultural backgrounds. I don’t think our different backgrounds made us stick as a squad. It's mainly because these meufs and mecs (French slang for girls and guys) are amazing and I have learned a lot from them. Without further delay, here are reasons why having different cultural backgrounds make the best squad!

You Learn their Slang

I’ve been residing in France for 5 months now and since moving, I’ve stepped out of the typical and tedious in class lessons of French and have learned some French slang and dialects. No more preppy formal talks and more “welcome to my hood” talk. I’ve also learned a few Spanish and German phrases and slang  from other international students that I’ve met. Being surrounded by people who speak the language everyday is a faster way of learning it than just going to classes. It comes in handy because you can impress your peeps back home with your new vocab coming different languages. It’s also useful to use some of their phrases when it comes to flirting too!

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Crash their Gaff

What do you do when the journey abroad ends and you're broke from spending all your awesome memories with the squad... but your thirst for wanderlust prevails? Buy another ticket and visit THEIR country! Your expenses will be cheaper since your 5 hotel will be their gaff (Irish slang for house) and they offer you complimentary tour guides hosted by none other than, well, themselves. It also saves you time from doing research because your native buddy knows it all. Just be sure you ring them first about your plan. Let them know that a reunion with their fave international bestie is about to happen.

Home Cooked Exotic Cuisine

Who doesn’t like food right? I love my rice and I love my potatoes but every now and then my taste buds start to crave something different. One of the best perks about  my international squad is that I get free exotic food. One day, I was stressed about exams. To de-stress, I went to my friend’s house and she whipped me out some comfort food, Pakistani style. My day became much better after stuffing my face with new, exciting food. Why spend a lot at restaurants when your roomie can just whip you up with some of her abuela’s (Spanish for grandma) special enchilada recipe? Good food and company and you’re day is already perfect.

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Unlock your Third-eye Chakra

Travelling and encountering different cultures can be a way to see if certain generalisms are in fact real. Do the Irish really drink beer as if it was water for fishes? Would it be the same for the Russians with their vodka? Are the French really passionate lovers? Are Asian parents really that strict? Well there’s more to life than being generalised. The people you meet during your voyages are more than what they are “known for” in this world. Since learning their beliefs and cultures, I have discovered a newfound respect for their history and traditions. It mentally helps you stay open minded and grounded. You become more sensitive on how you treat and think of other races. Most importantly, you learn to not judge someone on how the world perceives them.

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The knowledge and perception that you cultivate from different cultures help you see the bigger pictures and become more closer to them. I have no idea why the singer, Pitbull calls himself “Mr. Worldwide” but I have no doubt that if you’re the type who just gets along with everyone regardless of their race, ethnicity, culture or beliefs then go grab that title. The world is your oyster and you and your squad should go harness it!

This was originally first posted in Rakbo.com. Go check it out for more international student posts!

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