This I Believe

Emily - Cincinnati, Ohio
Entered on November 2, 2006

Friends all over the world

When I was eleven years old I moved overseas. I first moved to Beijing, China and then to Bangkok, Thailand. Before moving to Beijing, all of my friends were American. I wasn’t very familiar with the world outside of the United States, or much less outside of Ohio. All I had ever known was American culture and I only spoke English. I would attend an international school. Attending an international school meant that I would be going to school with people from all over the world. I didn’t know anyone at my new school and I was in an unfamiliar environment. I didn’t know what it would be like to attend an international school or what to expect; I didn’t know if I would fit in with all the other kids.

When I got to the International School of Beijing the first person I met was a girl from Finland named Aniinna. Aninna showed me around the school and we immediately became friends. I had about seven good friends that I hung out with a lot. However only two of them were American. When I moved to Bangkok I mostly hung out with six girls, one of which was all American. Even though most of the girls weren’t the same nationality as me, fitting in was easy. On weekends we went shopping, watched movies, had sleepovers, and just hung out.

I am now living in the United States again but I have friends from the United States, Sweden, China, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, and more. The more you travel to different countries, the more you realize that no matter the nationality, religion, or ethnicity everyone needs the same things and worry about the same things. People of the same age group want the same things. Even though they live on opposite sides of the world, teenagers still shop for Abercrombie and Fitch, Hollister, and American Eagle. They listen to the same kinds of music and use the same expressions. No matter where you live or what school you go to there will be certain cliques and there will be a “popular” crowd.

You can be friends with some one even if you don’t speak the same language as them. No matter where you live everyone understands a smile. I believe that it doesn’t matter where someone is from or where their ancestors used to live, you can be friends with anyone you want.