Why should we be friends with someone who lives half a world away from us? Sounds kind of sketchy, don’t you think? Well, you could stay in your comfort zone and have friends from your school talk about their day and share stories about the same country you’re living in, or you could make international friends and share war stories about your upbringings, cultural backgrounds, and country conditions. Here are some reasons why we should have international friends:
Having an international friend who hails from other parts of the world means that you’re going to have a pretty big chance of them speaking a different language than yours. This brought language exchange to the table, and you can learn new lingos as your friendship develops. I personally had befriended a Japanese national during my trip there, and we stayed in contact even though I’m back home. My experience being friends with him had given me many learning opportunities about the Japanese language, for example:
- Simple Greetings
- Curse Words
These words still held true to my heart until this day because I’ve had not forgotten the bond that I have with my Japanese friend, and it proves to be helpful in certain circumstances that require my knowledge of the Japanese language.
Another good reason to befriend someone with a different background is to become a more tolerant and open-minded person. When you are surrounded by the same people with the same background and culture, you’re going to be close-minded and shut out everything else that is different from what you perceived as normal. The good thing is, you will change once you met someone from overseas that can knock that barrier down and change your whole perception and mindset. You will be doing your part in creating a less divided world that’s full of love and understanding.
When you have a friend from a different country, that means you have direct access to that country’s information. For example, I have a Japanese friend that’s become my go-to guide whenever I visit him. He told me all of the famous spots and nice restaurants, so I don’t have to look it up myself. Instead, I am given sure-shot information that is credible and free. By doing this, you’re protecting yourself from tourist traps and other scams that are abundant nowadays; your international friend can guide you through the streets, find the best touristy photo spots, excellent cuisine, and famous attractions, without you having to pay them for their services because you are friends!
The Bottom Line
If we want to create a more inclusive world, we should expand our social circle and understanding to accept new people into our lives. Try having multiple international friends for you to travel with and learn their languages that can enrich your life and make you a better person.