How to Stay Connected With Friends While Studying Abroad

Many college students choose to study abroad during their undergraduate career. As a study abroad veteran myself, I know just how hard it can be to keep in touch with friends back home. The FOMO was real as I got on the plane to Copenhagen, leaving my friends and family behind and in a completely different time zone for an entire semester. Over time, I figured out some easy ways to stay in touch with the ones I love.

Stay in your group chat. This one has both pros and cons--while I loved seeing what my friends were doing and keeping updated on everything going on, sometimes it was hard to hear about all of the fun and exciting experiences they were enjoying together while I worked so hard to make new friends in a new environment. As hard as it was, I quickly learned to love hearing about their lives back home. As much as I felt jealous of their experiences, they felt the same about mine! The pros ended up outweighing the cons of staying in the group chat and I felt like I was still a part of my friend group from 5,000 miles away.

Find time to FaceTime or Skype friends from home. Time zones make things pretty difficult (like, really difficult actually), but once I figured out when my friends were available during the day it was easy for me to take an hour or two out of my evening to see their wonderful faces. While texting can be helpful for many things, there is simply something about speaking to a friend face-to-face that can make you feel a lot less lonely. I made concerted efforts throughout the semester to FaceTime my friends, which made all the difference in keeping our relationships stable while I was away.

Start a blog. This one takes a little more effort, but it was completely worth it to me! Instead of a normal blog, I started a photo blog and logged my days in pictures from my day-to-day experiences. When it got hard to schedule FaceTimes or reply to text messages when friends were actually awake, I simply posted some photos to keep both friends and family up to date on my #thriving but sometimes difficult study abroad experience. When we did find time to chat, it was easy to jump into a conversation about what was going on in everybody’s lives.

Studying abroad was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, but even I have to admit that sometimes it got lonely without my #squad. As real as the FOMO can be for those away for the semester, it is important to remember that it is just as hard for those left at home. Keeping in touch with friends and keeping everyone updated on both sides of the ocean is the best way to maintain those relationships that are so dear to our hearts.