Keep Your Friendships and English Skills Alive
Learning English in the US as a study abroad student was a thrilling experience. You made friends with other foreign students and US classmates. Take advantage of the chance to speak English, and stay in contact with them. Friendships, like any relationship require care and maintenance.
Being back in your own country may mean that you’re far from your new friends, but technology can close that distance. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all great for staying connected, but nothing beats a video chat for hearing and seeing your friends. A new haircut, cool glasses, or even fleeting emotions, are all things you’re not likely to pick up on in a 140 character Tweet.
There are a lot of free apps that allows users to communicate over the Internet via video using their computer, tablet, or phone cameras and microphones, and usually the calls are free. So you and your friend both need to have accounts… which you probably do.
Improve Your Conversational English
Video chatting with your classmates is also a great way to keep your spoken English skills up to snuff. Conversations in English with friends will be more casual than much of your ESL study was. You’ll learn to link sentences fluidly, and use slang and idiom naturally.
The intimate nature of friendships mean that you and your friend will be talking about work, love, ambitions, dreams, and completely random things. Friendship creates a safe environment for you to speak English. You can relax and make mistakes, or ask what something means if you don’t understand.
Make it a point to call your English-speaking friends once a month, and use other forms of social media to help foster a continued sense of closeness.
Make a Reunion Photo
Try creating a reunion portrait of yourself and your far-flung friends from your time in the US as an ESL student. Use photographer John Chang’s clever solution for reuniting Singapore family members for formal portraits.
Just because you’ve returned home from your study abroad journey in the USA doesn’t mean that your English language learning comes to an end, or that you can’t sit down, and have a face-to-face chat with your friends in the US. Use video chat apps to speak English with your far away ex-classmates, and let your English language skills and your friendship bloom.