By Joud Zaumot
Special to the LAU Tribune
I still remember the day I came to live here very well.
I remember how my family said goodbye to me and how my mom held me so tight and tears came out of her eyes even though she tried to keep them for herself.
I also still remember how the ideas and thoughts kept on running through my head, back and forth.
“It is like those camps that I used to go to in the summer, it is only for a few days, that’s all,” I tried to tell myself then.
At the same time, I was excited to accomplish my dreams and face the world just like all the people who had just graduated. I was excited, enthusiastic and full of eagerness to change the world.
When I came here, I did not know anything about Lebanon. I was scared. Just like a little girl going to school for the first time.
It is true that I had visited Lebanon before. Yet this time it was not like before. This time, I was going to spend months away from my home country, hundreds of days away from my family, thousands of minutes away from my friends and loved ones.
Today, I am standing here, one and a half years later. “How did time pass so fast?” I wonder. “How did I make all those unlimited and unforgettable life-changing choices?”
Studying abroad is not as easy as it sounds. It is hard because you are pressured to learn everything and know everything. You have no choice; you have to learn.
It starts with the most trivial things, such as using the washing machine for the first time. By mistake, I put a pink scarf with the rest of my clothes and when the cycle was done, I opened the washing machine and found that all my clothes had pink spots on them!
Despite the difficulties, it is still worth it. Studying abroad forced me to learn many things and made my personality stronger.
I can now hope for a brighter future because I have the experience most of my friends do not have – that of being an independent person. A person who sees life differently, a person who is considerate and understanding, a person who takes into account the effort of all parents in general and of her parents in specific.
Studying abroad is an extraordinary experience, with its pros and cons. Maybe, you will be faced with a lot of obstacles, such as cultural or language differences, or maybe simple things like having a bad roommate. But, this experience has built my character and changed me.
It has made me open my eyes to different things and made me willing to grab all the chances that I can get. It has been a life changing experience.