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Staying In Touch While Teaching Abroad

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When you teach abroad, you don’t want to burn your bridges back home. Most people don’t spend the rest of their lives teaching in other countries. Eventually, they decide to come back home.

At that point they want to still have good relations with their friends, family members and past employers. That way, they can get back into things and find new work with as few challenges as possible.

So, while exploring your new culture and getting connected to your students is important, you also need to make sure that you keep in touch with people back home and don’t let your relationships slide.

Here’s some general advice on how to make that happen.

•    Set up regular times to talk to people who are important to you. You’ll be in different time zones so, you’ll have to plan this in advance when it’s convenient for both of you. Set the frequency based on how close you are. For example, you could agree to talk to your mom once a week, and your best friend once a month or every two weeks.

•    Get Skype on your phone and laptop. Skype is not the most reliable way to connect, but it does have many, many users so your friends and family will have it and be able to use it.

•    Get FaceTime if you have an iPhone. This is a much more stable application than Skype, and doesn’t cost any money to use as long as you are connecting through Wi-Fi. The video and audio quality is much higher than Skype.

•    Ask about getting a land line package with your Internet. If you are getting Internet installed in your apartment, many providers will throw in a land line you can use for free to make calls to America. In America, it costs money to call abroad – but if you can call people for free, you’ll look generous and have the most stable voice connection of all.

•    Set up WhatsApp. This is a free text messaging service that lets you also send pictures and audio messages. Being able to hear your voice when it’s convenient for them will help you stay close and be really appreciated.

•    Install a Wi-Fi Hotspot finder on your phone. This will automatically alert you when you can get service so you don’t end up hunting around for a connection when you want to talk to someone.

•    Create a special Facebook group for the people you want to keep in touch with and invite them to it. This will be much more likely to come up in their feed than regular posts from you.

•    Keep updating your LinkedIn profile with the stuff you are doing so the people and potential employers in your network know what’s going on with you.

•    Let people know that you do plan to come home at some point, and keep them up to date about it, so they don’t feel like you are gone forever.

That should get you started! We’ll update this post with more tips as we hear from our members!


cc InternationalEducators.com 2016

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  • 1 year later...

Text, text, TEXT!

ProTIp: buy an iPhone.

Why? iMessage can be used on any Apple device under the same AppleID. Thus, you can log and text from you MacBook, from your local iPhone, and pick up right where you left off when you land in your home country and turnoff that iPhone. 

So, why text?

Most modern phones have cameras, and if it's a phone, it should text. People back home like to see random stuff on the street -- things that wouldn't make it into a weekly email/monthly letter -- the things that happen NOW.

Be connected on a daily basis-- your grandmother would probably like to see the kitten inn the alley or the street vendor. Your dad might like that weird contraption stacks a mile high with styrofoam. Friends might appreciate shots of street fashion and the way clothing's put together.

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