In this week's post, Kelly shares what it's like to keep in touch with friends and family in the US and the apps she uses to bridge the gap.
No matter where you go—whether it’s a state away or a completely different time zone away—there’s a good chance you’ll want to keep in touch with someone you left behind. You could be going on vacation, leaving for college, moving for a job, or chasing an adventure. When you’re studying abroad for four months in a completely different time zone, it can be a little trickier to keep in touch with those you care about from back home. It’s definitely doable, though.
I’m not much of a homebody, so going places for extended periods of time doesn’t tend to prompt homesickness. That being said, I haven't kept in touch with my family that much, maybe once a month or so. But I do keep in contact with two of my best friends every day. I often speak to my family over the phone using it as usual or using WhatsApp’s calling feature. WhatsApp is a messaging app owned by Facebook that you can download to keep in contact with people. A lot of people use it for talking to others overseas. I also used Skype at one point, but I’m not a huge fan of it. When I keep in contact with my friends, I use Facebook messenger. I think I prefer Facebook messenger to WhatsApp because of my familiarity with the app’s aesthetics and features.
Snapchat is another app that has been super helpful in not only contacting those from back home, but also communicating with those I’ve met here. Many of my friends that I have met through CAPA got UK numbers for our stay (as did I), but we all communicate through Snapchat because it’s easier to talk to multiple people at once through it. Plus, with Snapchat, you can send pictures to make the conversations more fun and show those from back home what you’re up to in real time.
With all of the messaging apps these days, it’s not hard to contact anyone. The only issue I’ve had so far in London is the time difference. If I message one of my friends at 7 am London time, I can’t expect a response until noon or so when everyone is starting to wake up in America. Other than that, it’s been easy. Technology these days, it’s quite advanced.
Staying in contact with people from back home through my study abroad experience helped me feel as though I always had someone there who knew me better than anyone else around. If I ever had a rough day or just felt the need to chat with someone who understood me, I was always able to.
Kelly's journey continues on so stay tuned.