How to Stay in Touch with your Study Abroad Friends

By Tamiera Vandegrift on January 16, 2018

One of the best things about studying abroad is the friends you make along the way. Being so far from home can be difficult for everyone in the program, so forming those relationships is very important. You have all shared experiences and stresses of the culture shock and absolute novelty of the situation. At the same time, it’s also so much fun to bond with great people in such a foreign and exciting environment. Unfortunately, after your time studying abroad has ended, these memories that you’ve made are at risk of fading away and these friendships you’ve established could also fade away if you lose touch after you part ways.

However, this definitely doesn’t have to be the case. The friends you have made while studying abroad have the utmost potential to be your friends for life. So, how would you go about establishing and maintaining your friendships from miles and miles away? Keep reading for tips on keeping in touch with your friends from studying abroad.

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Establish Contact

Nowadays, there are tons of ways to stay in contact with friends no matter how far away they are from your home. Thanks to technology, there are several different platforms and software programs that you can use to stay connected to the friends you have made while studying abroad. First and foremost, there is social media. Through social media platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter, it’s easy to be up to date on what your friends are up to. Before you part ways, take a moment to quickly exchange social media handles and phone numbers. By using social media, you’ll be able to consistently update yourself on what is going on in your friends’ lives. From birthdays to career updates, social media has your back to ensure that your relationship with your study abroad friends will stay strong.

If you’re a sentimental and old-fashioned person, there’s always something magical about sending and receiving letters through the mail. Writing letters to your friends makes your message seem a lot more meaningful and heartfelt. Anyone can easily type up a text or an email and send it, but a letter will give your friends something tangible to hold on to. It’s also wonderful to get that rush of excitement every time you watch the mail deliverer stop by your box.

There are many different ways to keep in touch with your study abroad friends, so experiment and find the best way that works for you!

Plan Future Adventures

Once you’re back at home, you’ll feel the bittersweet taste of nostalgia as you upload your pictures from studying abroad onto social media. As you flip through pictures of your friends’ smiling faces, you might just begin to miss that 8 a.m. class or those same delicious, international dishes. However, there is no real reason why the adventure has to end once your study abroad program is over! Chances are that the friends you’ve made while studying abroad have the same love for travel and adventure that you do. After traveling with your study abroad friends, you now have an idea of what kind of travel buddies your friends would make.

Work out a plan with your friends to pick a place to travel to. It can be as remote as a city somewhere in between all of your hometowns or something as daring as another country. Doing so would be a perfect way to catch up with each other and relive your previous experience studying abroad. Adventure is definitely out there, so go out and find it with your study abroad friends!

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Visit Each Other

For a more intimate way to catch up with the friends you’ve made while studying abroad, consider planning a visit to each other’s’ college campuses or hometowns. By doing so, you’ll be able to have a small taste of your friends’ lives and have a small adventure of your own. Take the opportunity to meet the younger sibling that your friend was telling stories about or introduce your study abroad friends to your friends from back home.

By bridging this gap, you will be able to develop your friendship and build it into something larger and stronger than “just this person I met when I was studying abroad”. When you make friends while studying abroad, you might just be discovering your friends for life, so make an effort to make them a part of yours.

Stay Persistent

Most importantly, you must stay persistent. Things do happen. Schedules change, new relationships are formed, and we all move from place to place. Things do happen, but don’t allow losing touch with your study abroad friends to happen. Make time to talk to them and catch up with events in their lives. Be there for them if things are getting tough in their lives. Even though life can get ahead of us sometimes, it is our relationships with other people that make all the challenges bearable and most of all, worth fighting.

When you’re studying abroad, you’ll come across lots of exciting and foreign experiences, but there’s nothing comparable to forming new relationships and making new friends. The friends you’ve made while studying abroad will carry the memory of such a wonderful experience so stay in touch long after you’ve made the journey back home. After all, study abroad friends can be friends for life.

Tamiera is an alumna of Florida State University, having earned a BA in Editing, Writing & Media and a BA in Digital Media Production. Tamiera is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter, inspired by the works of Lars von Trier, David Fincher, and Darren Aronofsky. Tamiera has previously written for the FSView and Florida Flambeau, College Magazine, and more. She has recently published a creative thesis containing short stories based on mental illnesses in the media. In the future, Tamiera aspires to win "Best Original Screenplay" or "Best Picture" at the Academy Awards with one of her film projects. Besides writing and storytelling, Tamiera enjoys cooking, traveling, spending time with friends, and geeking out over movie trivia.

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