Whether you are working, studying or interning abroad it is important to think about how your move will influence your network. While living abroad will have many opportunities to expand your social and professional network, it could also be detrimental to the contacts you have in your home country. Consider seriously how you want to remain in contact with individuals while you are travelling.
Come up with a plan.
Not everyone likes to maintain their contacts in the same way. Some like to have a spreadsheet and mark down when they lasted talked to a person, while others like to be a little more free form with their communications. Whatever your style, come up with a plan that best works for you. One way to go about it is to keep a running list of people you want to stay connected with and contact a different one each week.
Ways to Stay in Contact.
While it is easy to keep up with most of your contacts using Facebook and video chats, you will most likely have to find alternative methods for keeping connected with your more professional contacts. Here are some modes of communication you can try:
- Email. A modern classic, a well written email is a great way to stay connected with someone. Try sharing a resource or story you think they’ll enjoy.
- Skype. A great, free way to make either a video call or an audio call internationally. Both of you will just need to have a Skype account and internet access.
- Postcards. A brief postcard from different spots on your trip can let your friends, family and even professional connections know that you are still thinking of them. Plus, it is always fun to get a little something from another country.
- LinkedIn. If you are in an industry that has a high population on LinkedIn, it could be worth your time to maintain your presence on this social network while you are abroad. Join groups, post updates, send private messages and comment on other’s content.