Blogger Abroad: Benefits of Traveling With Your Roommate

The choice to study abroad, though exciting, can sometimes seem daunting. It can be a little overwhelming to think about flying thousands of miles away from home to live alone in a brand new city. For some, this is more exciting than nerve-racking, but for worriers like myself, traveling alone brings on a whole new set of stresses. For the more courageous, studying abroad alone is said to give a unique sense of independence — but being independent and alone are not mutually inclusive concepts.

Studying abroad is a wonderful and enriching experience, whether you go it alone or bring a friend. No matter what, you leave with memories and lasting friendships. But my personal experience traveling abroad with my roomie has only strengthened our friendship and given us the opportunity to share wonderful memories together. Here are four reasons to study abroad with your roommate.  

1. You're taking the next step in your friendship.
Like moving in with a significant other, studying abroad with your roommate will forever change the friendship. If you enjoy the company of your roomie at home, imagine how much closer you’ll be exploring a new country together! For at least a year, maybe even two or three, you and your roomie have been sharing the highs and lows of your college town, from celebrating birthdays and job acceptances to break-ups, family issues and difficult classes. Now you have the awesome chance to see the world with the friend who has been a constant presence in your college life. What a way to make the friendship even more awesome!

2. Your roomie is your friendship wingman.
We all know first introductions can be super awkward, especially if you find yourself at an international student mixer with a sticker name tag on, and people are actually expecting you to talk. If you travel with your roomie, you have your own personal friendship wingman, and you can confidently make new international friends with just a smidge less nervousness.

3. They already know what it’s like to live with you.
If you’re traveling with acquaintances or new friends you’re trying to impress, you might have to reign in the messy hair and Netflix binging. But if you’re going abroad with your trusted roomie, they already know how messy your room can get and what you look like when you wake up. Finally someone who accepts you — Beyoncé pajamas and all. It makes drunkenly stumbling into a Budapest hostel a little easier.

4. You’re still independent, and you have someone to rely on.
Studying abroad with a friend doesn’t mean you’ll lose your independence. Just because you’re studying together doesn’t mean you need to be with your roomie every waking moment. Take your free time to do some solo exploring around your city, get lunch, go shopping or get a cup of coffee by yourself. You’re just as independent as you ever were, but now you have your roomie to go on weekend getaways with.

If you’re wondering whether it’s a good idea to study abroad with your roomie — whether you’ll come out hating each other or closer than before — I say take the risk. There’s so much wonder and excitement that you won’t have time to be angry or irritated. I’m so glad I made the decision to study abroad with my roommate. I couldn’t imagine seeing the world without her to laugh with (or at) through all the mishaps and adventures we’re sure to get into in the last half of our last semester.  

Photo credit: Amy Coker