We have two couples sharing their love stories with International Student Voice. They show us that it doesn’t matter where you are from or what obstacles you face, love will always find a way.
Kira Blome, U.S. and Alex Acosta, Mexico.
Our first Valentine’s Day story begins with Kira Blome and Fersen Aljeandro Aguilar Acosta, or Alex for short. Kira is from the United States and Alex is from Mexico. Kira and Alex will be married on July 7, 2012 in New Jersey. This is the story of how they met and fell in love.
In January 2010 Alex left Mexico to attend Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania for one semester to study international business. When he stepped off the plane in the U.S. the first American he met from Elizabethtown College was Kira.
For Kira, Alex was the first International student she met. Kira is from New Jersey and was attending Elizabethtown College, or E-Town what most students call it, studying biology. She volunteered to be part of a mentorship program to help International students during orientation. She met Alex doing an airport pick up. Little did both of them know within just a short amount of time they would fall in love.
“He was the first [international student] I picked up,” Kira said. “When I first met him it was adorable because I talk really fast and I could tell he wasn’t understanding, he was just smiling.”
When they returned to campus it turned out Alex lived in the same building as Kira, actually just on the floor above her. They would meet up for lunch almost every day and Alex would call Kira for help to get around campus. About six weeks after they first met, both of them knew they were more than just friends.
“We were like, we’re together, right?” Kira laughed. “So we just picked a date [we started dating], it’s February 7. It just happened. But the main thing was that we couldn’t get too close and comfortable. He was leaving in June. I might not see him again. But we agreed to see where it goes.”
Most couples would agree that communication is very important in a relationship. But for Kira and Alex their relationship really depended on it.Alex did leave in June 2010 to go home to Mexico.
“We have to talk about more things than other couples,” Kira explained. “I remember a few weeks before [Alex] left and we talked about what if he met someone else. Or if I met someone else. We agreed to never lie, just being open and honest, having to trust each other. We talk to each other every night at 10:00.”
Kira also explained having the support of family and friends is extremely important, especially in a long-distance relationship.
“My family’s first reaction [when we started dating] was ‘typical Kira’, but when he left we were still together,” Kira laughed. “Financially my parents are supportive of getting plane tickets and supporting me flying to Mexico by myself. I begged and cried to go see him that summer . It was supposed to be in December. I convinced my parents to go in the summer, I got my passport right after he left!”
For the next year Kira and Alex saw each other when one could visit the other. Kira stayed in Mexico for two months during the summer of 2011. Only this time Kira would come back from her visit not just Alex’s girlfriend, but his fiance. Alex caught the whole proposal on video!
Watch Alex propose to Kira
“Everyone already knew, he told my sister,” Kira shared. “He proposed at a park, I really had no idea! We were taking pictures and he was recording the whole thing. He had planned the whole thing and it was amazing he did that for me. I hate my pants in this video, but I didn’t know what an important day this would be!”
It has been a tough immigration road to travel for both Kira and Alex. Alex applied for a fiance visa in September 2011 and just got approved this past January. Kira said she hopes he will be back in the U.S. by March or April, at the latest by Easter.
“You have to be very patient,” Kira said. “When to see each other, patient with immigration. Patient with everything.”
After the wedding Kira and Alex plan to build their new life together. They will be finding jobs and a new place to live. They are looking for a place where both of them can grow into careers and be together always.
“We’re at the point we truly know each other,” Kira shared, making it obvious she is smiling over the phone. She said since being engaged her friends asked her how does she know she’s in love. Kira’s response:
“I always tell them that you know you are in love when you cannot live without the other person. I can say this because I have spent the past two years living mostly without Alex, and I know I couldn’t do it forever, it is so hard! But also, this is one bonus of being in such a hard relationship, you learn how much you love the other person, and how much a part of your life they are, in every way.. I remember the first time when Alex left in June after his study abroad ended, one thing I missed the most was having him sitting in the car next to me, something so simple made me so happy. I don’t think you fully get to appreciate and love someone without the experience of having to go through life knowing they are so far away. Some of the hardest things to do in a relationship like ours is to count down the days and minutes until we see each other again, we have even convinced ourselves that wow..we will see each other gain in three months, but to then realize, if three months goes by fast, one week together feels like we have been together for only a second. The one most difficult thing we have had to do, is to spend time together and finally, feel complete to then have to drive to the airport a week or two later, drop someone off and walk away from each other to get on a plane , I still don’t know how we have had the strength to do that but we can happily say, next time he comes, we will not be saying goodbye!”
If you are currently in a relationship with someone from a different country, or thinking about the possibility of dating someone from another country, Kira shared some sound advice.
“If you’re going to date someone from a different country, go for it,” Kira said. “But keep in mind you need to have a plan. When you’ll see each other is important. Having a goal, how to be together. It’s tiring and frustrating. Planning to be together at some point, even if it’s a couple years, it’s having the hope that gets you through. Trust them, be honest with them, if you don’t trust each other it’s not going to work.”
Congratulations Kira and Alex from the International Student Voice team!The team at International Student Voice is always looking for stories just like these! Students can submit their own articles or be interviewed by the ISV team. Click here to learn more!