This semester I joined OU Cousins to fulfill my international group requirement. OU Cousins was truly a great way for me to get involved and played an instrumental role in my happiness and success at OU my first semester. Through OU Cousins I was matched with Eva, a Greek student who attended a university in Germany, and had decided to study abroad for the semester at OU. I loved spending time with Eva and getting to know her throughout the 4 month she was here. We attended plays, had numerous dinners, went shopping, and shared our favorite movies. I loved seeing the excitement she had about things I tend to overlook being an American. She was amazed at the immense popularity of football, that a Victoria’s Secret was in every mall, and discovered her love of frappuccinos through Starbucks. It was truly special for me to be able to show her the “American way of life,” and it was equally special for her to teach me about Germany and Greece. Through OU Cousins I was able to gain a better understanding of the Greek culture, Greece itself, and Germany. The cultural differences that were major in my opinion were how amiable Eva was even to strangers. Eva explained to me that in Greece its custom and very common to greet all people you encounter. I loved this ideal and hope to be more willing to be friendly and greet strangers that I encounter in the future. Another major cultural difference that is common across the board for most Europeans is how open they are. Eva and her friends were so open about everything they thought and had no filter it seemed. While Americans view a “filter” as necessary in order to maintain relationships and avoid stepping on toes, I enjoyed being around people who were not afraid to speak their mind, because I believe it helps build better, stronger, more honest relationships. OU Cousins is indeed a great organization to be apart of. In Eva I gained a great friend that I know I will keep in touch with over the years.