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How to stay in touch with your international friends

by Maryann on May 19, 2020
How to stay in touch with your international friends
Going abroad for a while is an opportunity to make friends from all around the world, but once your stay is over, you have to go back home and you might lose sight of the amazing friends you’ve met. But don't worry, it’s possible to stay in touch with them and there are many ways to do this! I’ve already lived abroad for a year during my Erasmus exchange in Germany and I had the chance to meet amazing friends from all over the world with whom I’m still in touch today, even one year later! In this blog post, I share with you some tips to stay in touch with your international friends that you met during your Au Pair stay

Use social media 

Thanks to modern technologies, it's very easy to stay in touch with your friends, even if they're on the other side of the world! The rise of social media, such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Snapchat, makes it easier to communicate and to share your life with people. You can simply send them a private message to check up on them but you can also react on what they post on their social media. This is, in my opinion, the easiest way if you don't really know how to start a conversation. To give an example, a few days ago a friend I met during my exchange in Germany shared on her Facebook account a memory we had together during a trip to Paris and it was the perfect opportunity to reach and engage the conversation. Our other friends who were with us that day participated in the conversation, and we remembered the trip together. So you can use social media to keep in touch with the friends you met during your Au Pair stay but don't forget to follow each other before you leave! 

Make a video call 

I'm sure you've already used applications that allow you to make video calls with whoever you want. You probably used one to discuss with your future host family before starting your Au Pair stay. Why not use them to chat with your foreign friends as if you were together in the same place? The most popular applications are for example Skype or Zoom if you want to use them on your laptop. But if you prefer to use your smartphone, then try with Facetime or WhatsApp. There are a lot of apps out there, so there's bound to be one that's right for you and your friends. 
 
Have you ever heard of the Houseparty app? It allows you to play games while having a face-to-face with your friends. It became very popular during the quarantine due to the Coronavirus crisis. It's made to party even if everyone is at home! So it’s perfect if you want to have fun with your friends no matter what continent they are in. It can be difficult to find the perfect schedule if you are in a different time zone, but you can do it! 

Send postcards 

Postcards are a good way to share your future travels with your friends or even to show where you live! Who knows, maybe it will make them want to visit that place too. Postcards are also a good way to collect memories of your travels, so in addition to buying some for your friends, you can buy some for yourself. There’re even applications that allow you to send postcards from your phone. If you don't have time to buy one or if you don't have a stamp, that's perfect for you! 
 
After my exchange year, I went on a trip to Italy and I really wanted to send a postcard to my friends. I had previously followed my friend’s mother on Instagram so it helped me get their postal address without letting my friend know so that it would be a surprise! For another friend, I had no choice but to ask her directly. Therefore, it wasn't a surprise, but it made her happy to see that I thought about her. So if despite your detective skills, you can't get their postal address, you can ask them directly. You can keep the suspense and not tell them what you need it for. But surprise or not, it’s always nice to receive a postcard! 

Write letters

Do you want to use the old fashioned way? Then you should write letters to your friends! It’s an opportunity to tell them with more detail what is going on in your life and to write personal things too. You don't have the pressure to answer quickly - as it can be the case on social media - and you can take all the time you need to write this letter. Having a pen pal relationship with someone is great and you'll be excited to get an answer in your mailbox! If you miss practicing the foreign language you are learning, you can also do it in a letter. But as for postcards: don't forget to ask them for their postal address before you leave. 

Plan a future trip together 

During your Au Pair stay, you have certainly traveled a lot with your friends. But the end of your stay in the host country doesn’t mean that you can no longer travel together. You can organize future trips together, and why not to one another's country? Having friends all over the world gives you the chance to have a place to stay in other countries, so take advantage of it! And you can also host them in your country to make them discover your culture even more than you have already shared during your stay together. If your international friends come to your hometown, it’ll be the occasion to introduce them to your local friends and your family. Another idea is to come together again in the country where you met if you are nostalgic. There are always things left to see!
 
After a stay as an Au Pair, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your friends again. I’m sure they have the same nostalgia as you have for the time you spent together. Moreover, they may be the only people who can understand everything you experienced during your time abroad and how you’re feeling afterwards. It's important not to lose sight of these people. Use these tips to do this and feel free to share in the comments about how you stay in touch with your international friends. 
 
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