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The 10 friends that you make abroad

“Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.” –Woodrow T. Wilson

New friendships are one of the best outcomes of international travel. When you’re abroad and outside of your comfort zone, you end up in situations where you open up to people that you never knew existed. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to know a few people who really leave their mark on you and teach you something about life – and about yourself. Check out our list of the types of friends that you’ll make abroad and keep an eye out for your new BFF during your next international experience:


1. The one who makes friends everywhere they go

Always with a smile on their face and a perky attitude, this friend finds just about everybody that they meet delightful, and forms fast friendships with doormen, waiters, museum guards – you name it! This individual inspires you to be a friendlier, more patient person through their genuine appreciation of humanity and human connections.


2. The one who has to see it all

This person doesn’t like to waste any time so they’ve planned everything that they’re going to see and do weeks ahead of time. They are so passionate about making the most of their experience abroad and taking in as much of the culture as possible. Waking up early, going to bed late – this person doesn’t stop until they’ve experienced it all.


3. The hippie wanderer

This friend goes wherever the wind takes them. They consider travel not just a physical journey, but a spiritual one. They know how to take in cultural differences as a chance to grow more understanding of the world and energy around them. Their enlightenment will also enlighten you, if you’re open to it.


types of friends


4. The photographer

This friend loves to capture the moment so that they can keep it forever once they’ve returned home. Traveling abroad for them is an opportunity to develop their eye while capturing stills of some of the world’s must-see sights. They enjoy the idea of telling their story visually and will certainly snap a good photo of you in the process.


5. The curious cat

Always full of questions, this friend never stops wondering about their surroundings and why things are the way they are. Their nerdy tendencies are what make their adventures multi-faceted and educational. This person also tends to be pretty analytical, using their experience abroad to understand the world and their own culture from a different perspective.


6. The one who knows that they’ll be back

There’s always the one friend who has a deep connection to the place where they live abroad and knows that one day they will be back. Whether motivated by a love for the place itself, or simply the abstract feeling of being abroad, a lot more time in a foreign country is on their radar.


types of friends


7. The foodie

An epicurean at heart, this person loves to let their taste buds lead the way. This friend will connect to a new place through its cuisine, which plays an essential role in every culture.


8. The outdoorsy one

This friend is always on the lookout for their next big hike. If they happen to invite you on a camping trip, don’t even think about saying no. This is a great opportunity to get away from the city after a long week at your internship abroad.


9. The one with horrible luck

They lose their luggage. Their key gets stuck in the apartment door. Their computer dies. They’re a perfectly nice person but they just have the worst luck in the world. Even though they’ve been through hell and back, the wonderful thing about this friend is their ability to laugh at it all at the end of the day.


10. The one who has been everywhere

You think that you’re pretty cool because you’re interning abroad… maybe you’ve traveled outside of the country a few different times and speak a foreign language. Then you meet this friend. They’ve backpacked through Asia and South America, lived throughout Europe and easily speak 5 languages – fluently. It would be annoying if they weren’t so amazing. They’re easily the most relaxed and wonderful person you’ve met and a true inspiration to keep learning and traveling.




Photo 1. based on Friends, by Pepe Pont, CC-by-ND 2.0

Photo 2. based on Friendship for life, by Simply CVR, CC-by-ND 2.0

Photo 3. based on Party at our place in Nara. Japanese, English, and tons of laughter all mixed together~! #friends #nara, by James Gochenouer, CC-by-2.0

Photos and blog by Elizabeth Trovall

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The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!