When you leave on Erasmus, the excitement of your new life, meeting new people, going out, travelling…means that you can easily forget a bit about home and the friends and family you have left behind. You have a new group of friends, sharing amazing experiences with them, and you can feel disconnected and estranged from what your friends are experiencing themselves in your home country. Nonetheless it is important not to lose touch with them because they will be the ones welcoming you home and with whom you will share your adventures. So here are some ideas that I have found very useful during my time away!
Skype or Facetime
For me, this is the best way to keep in touch with friends from home. It is very easy to use and very intuitive, plus you get to see their face and their reactions. Moreover, for Skype, you can do it with 4 people at a time so that’s a great way to talk with all your friends, especially if some of them are away as well! One useful way to do it is to try and plan it. You could set a specific day and time each month (or whatever works for you) when you and your friend(s) will call each other. That way, you will avoid the eternal “let’s call each other one day” that never happens.
Social media like Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat are also a great and easy way to get news from your friends. You can share moments of your time away and they are able to react to it. With these platforms, it is easy to share photos, videos or audios with them and the interaction is very intuitive. What I like to do is send pictures or videos to my friends of specific places that I liked, or some great food I ate…tiny moments of my new life that I want to share with my friends back home so that they can also be a part of my experience somehow. I try to do it quite often and they do it in return, that way we keep each others in our new life!
This can look a bit weird, knowing that we have all these new technological tools but this is a more personal way to say to your friends that you are thinking of them. It shows that you have taken some time to sit down and write to them. Also, you will also have the pleasure to receive a letter from them in return! I feel that in a letter you can share much more information, explain in more details what you are living, compared to a text message for example. I know it can feel like too much effort but it is really worth it so here are some tips to help you! First, try and fix yourself a pace: a letter every month for example. The more time passes, the more you are going to like sending these letters. They will be a great way to reflect on your time and will also become great memories from your Erasmus experience. They don't have to be 10 pages long, just let yourself go with what you are thinking in the moment! Second, what I also like to do is to print two or three photos that I put in the envelop with the letter so that my friends can see what I am talking about.
So here you go! Send your friends all your great memories!