The Clique Posted on November 9th, 2011 by

Me and my "clique"

As I was uploading my traveling photos onto Facebook and tagging people in it, I realize that I only have four close friends who are in every single album I have and those four only. I love my friends but somehow I wish I had more people in it. It is not that we do not want to socialize with people outside of our “clique” but it is how it is here in our program. Everyone is in a clique and when they bump into each other in a restaurant or a café, they will say “Hi!” to each other but they will not be sitting at the same table. We do talk to other people when we happen to be with them at the same place and can have a good conversation but we do not invite each other to do something else with us.

Our CIEE liberal arts program has about 150 students and that is a quite a lot comparing to other programs. 150 participating in the same program with a limited number of classes does not sound that many at all. However, in Sevilla where we all live in our own apartments in different neighborhoods and not the same dorm, I probably will not often see many people I know if I do not make plans with them. Personally I think it is hard to socialize if you are not already in a clique that you quickly got into in the few days of orientation in the beginning. Because everyone is so far away, it is easy to be forgotten and uninvited to some events that everyone else goes to.

I am not the type of person who finds it easy to make friends. I cannot just sit down next to someone and say: “Hi! Nice to meet you!” I usually wait for other people to come introduce themselves to me first so I am glad that I found my group of friends who I can make plans with all the time.  A friend of mine once told me that in the beginning, she was hanging out with a group of friends and they seemed to be really close. However, the group was sort of big and later they started to plan their own things and my friend was not invited and she had to find a new group of friends.



Spanish people are quite different, and in fact, a friend of mine found it hard to explain to her “intercambio” the meaning of the word “clique” because for them, such a thing does not exist. My friend told me how she was hanging out with her “intercambio” and his group of friends when they bumped into another group of people. Not everyone knew everyone but they all talked, had a few drinks and later they all left to go to different places. Some went to have more drinks and some went to McDonald’s to get food but they all had a good night, hanging out with people they barely knew.

I was hanging out with some friends when one Spanish stranger came to us, sat down and started to talk.


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