When you first made the decision to teach abroad, chances are your first worries were more about how you’d fit your life into your suitcase, or how you’d be able to get around in a city where you didn’t yet speak the language. But the closer it gets to the school year, the more that many new international teachers realize they have a larger concern: how will you maintain your relationships back home when you are half a world apart?
Whether you are concerned about reaching out to family on a regular basis, maintaining your romantic relationship, or keeping in touch with friends, here are some tips for staying connected.
Make Social Media a Priority
What used to be a fun way to share memes, or maybe a distraction that you had to carefully monitor, is now going to be the best way to make your friends and family feel like you never left. Share things that happen so that everyone feels like they are a part of your daily life, and the distance won’t seem so far. If you want to get even more in depth, consider starting a blog where your mom can read all about how you successfully got medicine for a cold in a foreign country, and where your best friends can see how you are exploring a new country.
Take the Initiative
It’s not that your friends and family don’t want to keep in touch – but other than your parents and maybe your closest friend, many will not be able to keep up with the time difference between you now. They might think they are going to wake you, and so will never call or text. As the person who chose to head to a new part of the world, it will often fall to you to take the initiative and reach out. You already know their daily routines, so it’s easier for you to contact them at a good time.
As a new teacher abroad, you’ll have tons to fill your schedule. In addition to teaching, you’ll be getting to know a new city, navigating the challenges and excitement of living abroad, learning a new language and customs, and more. Scheduling a time to sit down and send out emails, call relatives, or even handwrite letters for that extra personal touch, can be all the difference between actually keeping in touch and just faking it. Make a date with yourself, and those you’ll want to contact, to meet on a group Skype hangout, or in a chat room to catch up.
At the End of the Day...
At the end of the day, the most important thing is that your friends and family know that you love them, and that you feel supported by them on your journey. As long as you are all comfortable with whatever communication you have worked out, that is all that matters. In the meantime, you’ll be creating a lifelong memory of being an overseas teacher! Contact us today to learn more.