By Vukica E., Loyola University Chicago, TBC Fall 2017 Student
Not many people are born having a best friend and soulmate, but I was. Everything I do in my life, I always think about how I always have someone to count on and someone to do anything I want with. Whether I am in school, traveling, having a meal, or just sitting at home reading or watching tv, I always have the option of being alone or having company, a choice not many people have many times. Being in a foreign country is already scary and unpredictable, to begin with, but being alone without knowing anyone, makes it that much harder. Fortunately, my experience is never as scary and hard as many others’ because I have my sister, Verica.
Before we came to study abroad at TBC, we both decided to be more independent in the activities and experiences we chose to be a part of in China – which is exactly what we did. We each had a Chinese roommate instead of rooming with each other. My sister got involved in an Art and Sports club on campus, while I did an internship. We hung out with the same people as much as we hung out with different people. She saw many different parts of Beijing that I didn’t see and vice versa. At the same time, we experienced many things together, like Shanghai Disney, visits to temples, the 789 District, the Silk Road, and many of Beijing’s attractions. Since we are so used to doing almost everything together, not seeing each other some days because we have individual activities and responsibilities, was hard but also a little liberating. It is hard to realize that as we get older we will be together less because we have individual lives, but getting to do as much as we can together is the most important thing to both of us.
Coming together to China only confirmed what I already realized a long time ago – I want to experience as much as I can with my sister. We could easily go our separate ways and lead completely different lives,but it comforts me to know that we both choose to be together through everything.Being here together has made my study abroad experience so special because this is a crucial period in my life that I will remember forever, so having my sister be a part of it, has made it more special.