Finding the love of your life while studying abroad sounds wonderful, but it seems like something that only happens in the movies. Sure, you might meet someone during your trip, but translating relationships abroad into something long-term can be extremely difficult, especially when there is an ocean separating you!
University of Central Florida student Kristen met her real life prince charming in February of 2009, when he was studying abroad at UCF from France. They had such a strong connection that neither one of them wanted to end their relationship when he had to return to France, so it didn’t. Over two years later, they are still going strong, so I asked Kristen to share her tips about relationships abroad, and how to turn a study abroad fling into the real thing!
Q: How did you and your boyfriend meet?
Kristen: We met through friends, and ended up talking a few times online. A few nights later we all went out, and the rest is history!
Q: How did you guys make the decision to stay together when he went back to France?
Kristen: After we came back from spring break in 2009, it was pretty official that we were “together.” I didn’t want to ask him to be official, because I knew he was going back, and would be surrounded by family, friends, and other girls, and I didn’t know if he’d want to be with me. We decided to see what happened, but two days before he left he said “I love you” to me for the first time, and he called me as soon as he landed in Paris. Pretty much right after he got back, we made it “Facebook official.”
Q: How did you keep in touch while he was overseas?
Kristen: Skype really, really helped a lot, without that I don’t know if I could have done it. We also sent each other packages occasionally, and basically talked on the phone all day…I ended up with a few $1200 phone bills. (eek!) Skype was the best though. Honestly, the distance made us so strong and close because all we had was trust and conversation.
Q: What is the best part about having a boyfriend from a different country?
Kristen: Things are always interesting! We get to travel and experience other cultures, and we really appreciate our time together. I’ve met amazing people from all over the world, and developed strong relationships with them which has taught me so much. Also, our relationship is so strong because of what we went through.
Kristen’s boyfriend came back to America after a year, and attends UCF with her. In the future, they see themselves traveling all over Europe and America, and possibly even living in Europe for a few years. Do you have any advice for successful relationships abroad?