Students in front of the Campus

“We were not just buddies, we were real friends”

“We were not just buddies, we were real friends”

We met in 2021 when Jency first arrived in Remagen as an exchange student. For me it was the third time being an international buddy, however, our time together became special to both of us very fast.

By coincidence, we got rooms in the dormitory exactly underneath each other. That made it easy for us to visit each other spontaneously. In the beginning, we only shared some household equipment like an iron, but soon it became our habit to eat together for lunch or dinner a couple of times a week. Jency cooked a variety of Indian meals throughout the semester and had to make them extra mild since I couldn’t handle the spice. But we also ordered the first pizza in Jency’s life together and learned how to make sushi (which was the first sushi for Jency too).

One day, just a couple of days after the actual Holi festival in India, we ordered powdered colors from Amazon and made our own festival in the fields just behind the campus. Also, Jency brought me an Indian dress as a gift on the day we met. My first chance to wear it was on the Tamil New Year (an Indian festival from Jency’s region) when Jency prepared a feast we shared on the floor of Jency’s dormitory room with the other Indian exchange students.

At the end of the semester, I introduced Jency to my parents while they were visiting. After that, some students said that we were not just buddies, we were real friends having the kind of relationship that will last despite the distance. Well, it did.

In February 2023 we planned to finally meet in India, but unfortunately, the trip had to be canceled. Recently, we finally had the chance to see each other after 2,5 years apart while I was traveling one month through Vietnam.

“When Tereza told me she was going on a trip to Vietnam and that I could join, I thought of it and finally decided to go. Though I couldn't stay in the country for a full month as she did, I was glad I could join at least for a week. A lot of questions, fears, and anxiety were there in me - like if I could make the trip successful, for I haven't traveled overseas alone yet. Along with the joy of meeting my buddy, I overcame my every fear and finally saw Tereza at Da Nang’s airport wearing a pink shirt and holding a card with my name. After a long hug that matched the distance of 3 years, I immediately had a gush of memories of 2021, which included her perfume as well,” shared Jency.

With lots of events to catch up on, we started our trip from Da Nang to Hoi An and then south to Ho Chi Minh City. We talked about past experiences, how we felt at that moment, and about the future. We really enjoyed our time. By the end of our trip, we realized we had found a friend for a lifetime, with whom we could share everything without being judged, with whom we could tell honest opinions and be ourselves. We have the kind of friendship that makes us feel understood, help each other grow, overcome boundaries, and love ourselves better.

As the trip is over, we plan to see each other next year again to make joint trips an annual tradition.