If you like the old-fashioned feel of a letter or a postcard to send home to your family, then go on ahead and do that. With modern technology at your disposal, however, there are many avenues that are much quicker and a lot cheaper (as in FREE!).
Staying in touch with your family may not seem like such a big deal, but when you’re across the world in a strange culture your family seems a lot important. An excellent way of combatting home sickness, other than staying busy, is to stay in touch with your family. Here are a few ways how:
Skype: A free Skype account is easy and allows you and your family to see as well as hear each other. It’s best to call other computers instead of phones, but as long as you have a connection, you’re good to go.
Facebook: My personal favorite, Facebook allows you to not only communicate with your family through a video chat option similar to what you have with Skype (and for the same price of zilch), but you can also easily post your pictures so that your family and friends can see all of your experiences and friends.
Email: While not the best way of keeping in touch with your family, a small email every day is much quicker than a video chat and can fill in the days when you don’t have time for the longer conversations.
There’s definitely other options available, but these are the three that have worked best for my colleagues and I. Something to keep in mind wherever you are and whatever you use is the time difference—those few hours that separate you can make a world of difference!
Joshua Travers is a senior double majoring in Spanish Education and Integrated Social Studies AYA currently studying in Toledo, Spain.