We’ve heard some of you ask how-to organize study abroad reunions. So after crowd-sourcing if anyone had done so on our Alumni LinkedIn group – which you should totally join – we’ve discovered some good tips to get you started!
Leverage social media.
“The first thing I did was post on Facebook …” to gather interest and thoughts around having a reunion, said Robert Garret, Prague Alumni. Facebook could even be used to setup an event page and more for you social savvy folk.
Advice: Don’t ask for commitments too early; Recommend waiting until a month out.
Consider the region most others reside.
Daniel Madrid, Ireland Alumni, touched on how logistics can be tricky; but you’re likely to find an old buddy or two that will host you if coming from out of town.
Advice: Try to find a destination that best for all not only yourself. And couch surfing could remind you of the good ol’ days.
To invite or not invite significant others?
We had results of both and can say that each offer their unique experiences.
Before you invite SOs, consider where everyone is at in their life stages. It could be awkward (turtle) to have one couple among a bunch of singles. The plus side: you and yours could really hit it off with other couples – the more the merrier, right?
On the other hand, if you stay exclusive to the original group, in a way you can create some of the magic that happened while you were studying abroad. Some have even gone as far as to have a reunion in the place they all studied abroad!
Advice: You can gauge a lot from social profiles before initiating contact. Relationship Status: It’s complicated.
Secret Santa anyone?
If organizing a reunion isn’t going to work out, try out what one alumnae has done with her study abroad friends.
“We do a secret Santa long-distance gift exchange every year,” says Kathryn Authier, Costa Rica Alumnae. She mentioned that this was a great way to stay “connected” no matter how far geographically one may be.
Advice: Do what’s manageable for all, sometimes it’s just not good timing or any other number of reasonable excuses – and that’s okay.
Use the interwebs
A recent suggestion came in from Sean Clark, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and he said to tryout a “virtual reunion,” i.e. G+ hangouts, Skype, Facetime, etc. It’s a way to see those lovely friendly faces and catch up on all the latest happenings with friends you made studying abroad.
Some suggest playing a video game together with voice chat, others say to watch shows on TV (or online) at the same time while chatting; but basically, if you have an internet connection there’s opportunity to stay in touch. #whatsthewifipw?
What would you add? Any tips? Comment below and share with us!