by Cassie Cristea (Gamma Theta 2013/Penn State Behrend), Staff Writer
Imagine having the chance to travel to another country across the world—a life-changing opportunity that is equally amazing as it is intimidating. Being miles away from home means being miles outside your comfort zone. But what if you discovered a connection to home was actually just minutes away?
Ciara McKee (Omicron 2019/Concord), pictured left above, studied abroad in South Korea this past summer through Concord University. While sharing her new adventures on Facebook, an alumna from her chapter left a surprising comment: Ciara was actually visiting the home country of Jeong Min Lee, an alumna who attended Concord in 2013 as an international student. Ciara and Min connected online and were surprised to find that they were pretty close to each other, making it easy for them to meet up.
“I was so nervous, but also really excited,” Ciara explained. “I didn’t know what to expect. I’m young and in another country. What if this goes horribly?” Luckily, that wasn’t the case. Min took Ciara out to her favorite places to eat and introduced Ciara to her favorite Korean foods. The two shared conversations about Concord and their chapter. The beauty of sisterhood is how limitless it truly is. It’s a familiar face, a comforting conversation, and a tiny piece of home.
“It provided me with such a sense of comfort. I didn’t feel as alone.”
“I can’t even describe it. It provided me with such a sense of comfort. I didn’t feel as alone,” Ciara said, a feeling Min remembered from her time at Concord. “When I was in Concord, at first I had a hard time. I missed my family a lot, but Alpha Sigma Tau accepted me as their family,” Min said. “After I came back, I felt my connection with my sisters was limited since I was in Korea and they are in America. Since Ciara was in Korea, it was amazing for me because I never imagined that I’d have a sister in Korea.”
The meeting was just as comforting to Min as it was to Ciara. “When I was waiting for her, I thought of a lot of things and all the memories I made at Concord. We had never met before, but…it felt like we had known each other for a long time,” Min explained.
“We had never met before, but…it felt like we had known each other for a long time.”
The two continue to keep in touch today. They talk about their sorority Sisters and campus events happening at Concord. Min attributed their newfound friendship to the “power of sisterhood and power of Alpha Sigma Tau.” Despite Ciara and Min never meeting before this summer, their connection through the sisterhood of Alpha Sigma Tau allowed them to create a beautiful new friendship and provide comfort to one another.