So far, you have read blog entries from the authors of the upcoming book, "Expat Teens Talk". Now, we will share some entries from guest bloggers in an effort to provide you with stories, thoughts, and words of wisdom from those who have been where you are (or have been). It is our hope that these guest entries will provide you with further confirmation about some of the issues that are associated with Expat Life, as well as words of wisdom about how to manage those issues. After you read Eliza's story below, TALK to us and let us know what you think...
The Importance of Friendship by Eliza Love
A lot has changed since I was an American teenager living in Belgium, but I can’t imagine that the challenges of such a huge adjustment don’t still exist. My family moved to Brussels when I was 10 years old. I remember when I announced it to my 5th grade class in rural New York and my teacher asked me what language they spoke in Belgium and I said ‘Belgish’… Was I in for the culture shock of a lifetime!
Moving to Belgium was the biggest adjustment of my life. I had to adjust to a different environment, different language, different home, school, friends, and so on and I had no say in it! I felt completely lost.
I’ll admit that it took me about a year to get used to all of these changes and start to really like living abroad. Looking back on it now I think one of the major things that was missing was really understanding that everyone I was going to school with had gone through the same things. I was so angry with my parents so when they would try to help, I ignored them. What I really needed was somewhere I could go and talk with people my own age who had gone through these experiences and could support me- like Expat Teens Talk.
Cliques are such a big thing in International Schools. The Americans hang out with the Americans, the Dutch hang out with the Dutch, etc. It’s completely natural for us to find friends that we can relate to and identify with, but there are so many great people that we go to school with that have such interesting personalities. Expat Teens Talk is the best way to connect with people from all over the world who have been going through the same challenges that you have and need you just as much as you need them. It’s going to be the fastest, easiest, and most fun way to make friends and when you’re a teenager, friends are the most important people in your life!
Expat Teen Alumnus