Whether you’re jetting off to Europe, sailing off across the ocean or setting out for an adventure down under, a semester studying abroad is surely one you won’t forget. Yet, what you can forget is to keep in touch with your friends and family back home. While it’s important to fully immerse yourself in your study abroad experience and take advantage of every opportunity overseas, it is important to check in with those back at home to ensure that your relationships remain strong despite miles of separation. With today’s age of technology, it can be easy (and fun!) to share your adventures abroad and keep in contact with friends and family.
1. Snap a photo & share it!
While visiting sites and cities abroad, a slideshow of your favorite memories will begin to form with a click of the camera button. But why limit these photos for just your own personal viewing pleasure? Share these photos with friends and family back at home! A great way to give others a glimpse into your new life abroad is to post your photos on platforms such as VSCO or Flickr or simply continues to add pictures to a Facebook album. That age-old saying still applies here, as your photos from all of your wonderful experiences abroad can truly say a thousand words to your friends and family back home!
2. Embrace the Journalist inside you
Studying abroad is an amazing experience, but a tiring one as well. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to balance academics and travel plans while also allowing your mind and body to adjust to an entirely new environment. As a result, sometimes the act of keeping in touch can unconsciously fall at the bottom of your to-do list. Yet, the idea of maintaining a strong line of communication with the people back home does not have to become that of a daunting task. Instead, it can be fun and good for the soul! By creating a weekly email chain, blog or similar writing and sharing platform, you can write and reflect about the things, people, places and food you are experiencing abroad while keeping friends and family up to date on your newest adventure. Plus, after your times overseas comes to a close, your writings can serve as an amazingly important memento from your time abroad and can be a wonderful way to look back on your journey.
3. Get back to the basics
During a study abroad experience, it is likely that you will be exposed to various different surrounding areas, cities and towns in somewhat close proximity to the host country in which you are living in. An easy way to show your friends and family that you were thinking of them along the way is to pick up a souvenir or two to give as gifts when you return home. Better yet, a cheap and fun way to keep in touch is to go the old-fashioned route and send a postcard from the different places you visit to someone back at home!
4. Time difference? Yes. Time stopping? No.
A semester studying abroad in a different country can be a life-changing, remarkable and unforgettable experience. While it is easy to feel that everyone back home would want to know about all of your crazy and incredible moments abroad, it is important to remember that time doesn’t stop for the rest of the world when you set off for your semester abroad. To keep in touch with friends and family means sharing your experiences, but also remembering to ask them about what is going on in their own lives as well. Just as your stories and thoughts about the places you’ve been to, the people you’ve met and the decadent, delicious food you’ve eaten are valuable and should be shared with others, the experiences that your friends and family are having at home are also important topics to be asked about and discussed.