Have you heard of International Day of Friendship? The International Day of Friendship was proclaimed in 2011 by the UN General Assembly with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities. The resolution places emphasis on involving young people, as future leaders, in community activities that include different cultures and promote international understanding and respect for diversity.
We found 3 benefits of international friendships you may or may not have thought of on Scout.org:
1. Gain a global vision – Growing your friend circle beyond borders is an adventure that will broaden your perspective on the world – including the place you’re from!
Meeting people from different countries means meeting different cultures, traditions, habits, foods, languages, values, ideas, and more. What is “common” or “normal” for you might be completely different for friends in another place.
2. Improve communication skills – It’s often said that smiles are a universal language 🙂
Language differences might seem like an obstacle at first, but finding ways to understand each other is actually part of the fun! It’s an opportunity to learn to say “hola!” (‘hello’ in Spanish) in different languages and to help someone else learn your language. Meanwhile, you’ll develop valuable communication and interpersonal skills, like patience, kindness, body language, and active listening.
3. Feel at home around the world – With your newfound perspective and awesome communication skills, one day you might even have the opportunity to visit friends in far places, or to host a friend in your hometown! Wouldn’t that be fun?
Once you’ve formed a friendship and learned so much about your international friends, visiting their homeland may quickly feel like a second home to you. You’ll find that sharing experiences in your home countries will make your bond stronger.
If you don’t have any international friends and are not quite sure how to meet any, here are some wonderful ideas from myunisearch.com – 12 Simple Ways To Make Friends In A Foreign Country. You can meet new people and develop friendships through things like social media or online connections, learning a new language, taking a class or so many other opportunities! What a wonderful experience to gain knowledge and meet amazing people locally and/or through travel around the world. Be sure to never stop learning!