Being away from loved ones for a time can actually be a good thing – missing someone can strengthen your bond by reinforcing the positive feelings you have for them. Plus, being away from your regular social circle gives you space to expand your horizons and reinforce your independence and personal strength. Though you will be busy immersing yourself in an exciting new community while you are away at school, you’ll still want to keep in touch with people who are back at home, to share your experiences and let them know how you’re doing.
Here are a few easy ways to fit communication with loved ones back home into your studying and exploring schedule!
Get Snail Mail at your Personal Mailbox at John Cabot
Old-fashioned letters and packages are a fun way to stay in touch; show you’re thinking of them with a handwritten note or greeting card, or perhaps a postcard depicting your favorite sight in Rome. Stamps are available at tabaccai or tobacco shops, which are marked with a big white letter “T”, or you can mail it from the post office.
Your family and friends can send you mail while you are away, too. You will have your own mailbox at John Cabot, in the student lounge at the Guarini campus. Give your loved ones the mailbox number assigned to you and they will be able to send you letters or care packages. Just keep in mind that packages larger than a shoebox won’t be accepted, so they should keep an eye on the size.
Get in Some Quality Screen Time While you Study Abroad
Take advantage of your smartphone and schedule a FaceTime or Skype chat. Don’t forget to do your math! Depending on what time zone your family and friends live in, you will need to calculate the time difference. For example, you might make a plan to chat with your parents on a Saturday afternoon at 4:30pm in Rome, while they sip their morning coffee at 9:30am in Minneapolis.
Grouping people together is also useful (and fun!) – maybe you can Skype with a couple of your best friends at the same time, or talk to your dad and little brother at once. It gives you more time with everyone, which helps with the challenges of time zones and busy schedules.
Snap Pictures (and Don’t Hold Back on Selfies!)
You’ll see beautiful architecture, meet wonderful new friends from all over the world and have the opportunity to stay in a JCU apartment that you’ll surely want to show off when you study abroad. Taking and sharing pictures of these new things in your life is a great way to make family and friends feel like they’re right there with you.
You can share your experiences on social media, or keep photos private in a shared folder online. This creates a virtual photo album for your parents, siblings, friends, or significant other to look through and see what you’re up to. Put your face in some of the pictures—your family and friends are sure to miss your smile!
Your smartphone makes this convenient, since you’ll probably already be taking lots of fun pictures during your time in Rome. Using something you’re already doing to stay in touch will make it easier for you to keep up the habit, letting you fully engage in your experience abroad while still sending love back home.
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