How Should I Contact Others On My Year Abroad?


During their year abroad, many students choose to create a blog that describes everything from their studies to their social life as the year progresses. It’s likely that you’ll want to contact your friends and family at home when you’re abroad but why don’t you try some rarer methods? Many students would just default to a text message or Messenger to get in contact with people from home, but let’s not forget about all of the other methods you could use and their advantages: 

1) Postcards
The great thing about postcards is that they are short and sweet, just like a text, but they are physical messages that your family can put on the fridge or a noticeboard as opposed to being lost in their chat history. You can send postcards frequently showing all of the places that you are experiencing and with these, the receiver can create a jealous collage of everything that you are getting up to. Also, when you get back from your year abroad, you could always subtly take the postcards off the fridge and keep them for yourself so in ten years’ time you can read back over what you were feeling and updating your family about. The great thing about sending a postcard is that when your family get it in the post, it’s a treat. I don’t know about you, but the novelty of getting post in my name still hasn’t worn off!

2) Long pen-pal style letters
Yes, postcards are great but what if you have been so busy that you end up running out of space and your handwriting does that thing where it ends up squished up in the bottom corner, crowded and illegible? These letters would undeniably take up more of your time to write in comparison to a postcard, but if you sent them less frequently and included more information then the time taken would be relevantly equal. Also, let’s be honest, what if you haven’t been up to much recently? If you do a long letter per month then you allow yourself the opportunity to actually get up to things to include in it! In a letter, you also allow yourself to speak conversationally as opposed to a postcard which is great for a brief update but not the best for an in-depth one!

Credit: Unsplash / @Aaronburden

3) FaceTime
If putting pen to paper isn’t one of your strong suits, then a video call to a friend or home is a great option if you’re wanting an instant conversation and can’t wait for a response postcard/letter! Make sure you have a good WiFi connection because there is nothing more heartbreaking than seeing a pixelated version of your mum’s face on Skype as crackled audio is mismatched to her mouth. The good thing about FaceTime is that you would never run out of space like a postcard, nothing is stopping you from phoning for eight hours…

Of course, there are countless other ways to contact home when you’re on your year abroad but many people simply default to text or Messenger when less explored routes could make the whole experience more unique and exciting – not just when you write to home but when they reply and you get a letter in the post!

More articles in Studying Abroad Week
  1. Year in Toulouse: What Grinded My Gears and What Loosened Them
  2. Studying Abroad: Interview With Ruth Law, Southampton University Study Abroad And Exchange Manager
  3. Staples for Your Wardrobe Whilst You’re Studying Abroad
  4. The Nitty-Gritty of Studying Abroad
  5. Must-Haves to Pack For Your Year Abroad
  6. The Year Abroad Blog: How Accurate Really Is It?
  7. How Should I Contact Others On My Year Abroad?
  8. Studying Abroad Week: The Key Lessons I Learned While on My Year Abroad

Lifestyle Editor 2017/18. English student. I love exploring new trends in fashion and makeup but still refuse to attempt winged eyeliner.

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