5 ways to stay connected with international friends
By Jake Smith
If you visit a school in a new country to learn English, you are bound to make some great international friends who are also on the same path of the English learning journey. You’ll create some fantastic memories with them, discovering a new country together and practicing English day in and day out with each other. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll probably argue over the third conditional at times, and you’ll definitely try some strange British food that you really don’t understand – “why is the Brit’s national delicacy simply greasy fried fish and potato?” you’ll ask. But eventually, the time will come when you have to say goodbye and part ways as your exciting English learning journey takes you off to different countries on different corners of the planet. Sad, I know, but all great things must come to an end.
However, I’m here to tell you that all hope is not lost! Thanks to technology, social media and a little bit of creativity, there are now hundreds of ways you can stay in touch with friends, wherever you are in the world! Here are five ideas on how to stay connected with international friends:
Let’s start with the most obvious. Facebook, Instagram, etcetera make it so easy to keep up with friends across the globe. If you haven’t heard from someone in a while, all you need to do is drop them a message or even a funny gif. It will feel like you never even parted ways. It can really brighten up someone’s day if you drop them a message and take an interest in their life (g’won be a good friend and let them know that you’re there for them).
Of course! In 2020, the video calling service ‘Zoom’ was added to the Oxford dictionary (I mean, nothing can surprise us after the year we’ve had).
Video calls are a great way to catch up with friends face-to-face (that’s if you have good internet signal) and it can really make our interactions feel more personal. Why don’t you try getting creative and playing some online games together? You could even create a ‘pub’ quiz themed on your amazing time together when you first set out on the adventure of English language learning.
Perhaps, you’ve already spent hours sat a computer all day and the last thing you want to do is load up another video call. So, I propose to you a new, completely original idea – handwritten letters. ‘What?!?’ I head you shout. ‘But that is so slow!’. Yes, exactly, sometimes a handwritten letter feels much more personal and is a lovely way to feel reconnected with those distant friends (It’s also great English practice!).
Exercise apps like Strava or Nike Run Club can be a great way to keep in touch with those sporty and lively friends. It might also encourage you to get a little competitive. C’mon you can run 5km faster than Emmanuelle, I know it.
Virtual movie night
We love movies at Escape Campus and you’ve probably realised that we’re always talking about them in some way or another! But they are such a great way to learn and discover new language in an informal way. However, why not set up a virtual movie night. You can start a group chat and press play on that Netflix movie at the same point. Then you can chat about what *that word* means or how terrible an actor *that guy* is all whilst practicing your English.
We know that it’s hard to stay connected with friends when you just can’t see each other. Hopefully some of these suggestions will keep you going until sometime in the near future when you can travel and give your friends a massive, long-awaited hug.
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