American Experience | 体验美国

Advice on How to Communicate with Family

October 7, 2014 2:53 am | By Roger

For international students, living alone in a foreign country is not an easy thing. It might be easy to share with family happy experience, but when encounter difficulties, most people would choose to stand the difficulties alone. But parents after all are the people who care us the most, and given the distance we are away from them, they must think of us all the time, so it really draws our attention to think about how to share with parents our situation in time and prevent them from worrying too much about us. Here are some of the experiences with regard to how to communicate with family.

Chat software:
QQ: If parents are familiar with computer and have easy access to computer, QQ would be a good choice due to its comprehensive functions: sending pictures, messages, video chat, etc.
Wechat: Wechat would be the best chat software on the phone. Very convenient software with the functions of sending messages and video call.
Skype: If parents prefer to talk on the phone, then Skype is suitable for students to use. By downloading the software from app store and purchasing the minute package, you will be able to call foreign country with a very low rate.

Time difference:
The time difference between China and the U.S. is normally on the range of 12-16 hours (EST-PST). I usually make video call with parents at around 9,10 pm on Friday or Saturday evenings when it is 9,10 am on weekend mornings in China, which wouldn’t interfere my study nor affect their rest.

Above all, living so far away from family, the most important thing I think is to well communicate with them, making sure they understand our situation, because sometimes they can give us valuable advice according to their experience. However, they may worry even more if we tell them too many unpleasant details. For example, in my freshman year, my roommate once got drunk and came back at 3 am, and he threw up right in our room. I had to take care of him and help him clean it up. It was already 4 am when I went to bed and I had exam at 8 o’clock in the morning. Based on what I know about my parents, I wouldn’t want to tell them every detail about this, because if I did, they would believe that I lived with an incapable roommate and they might keep thinking if I should change a roommate. So instead, I tell them my roommate got drunk feeling uncomfortable and I took good care of him. Although I did not tell them the true version of this story, I prevent them from worrying about me.

In conclusion, studying abroad alone is a procedure where we develop ourselves by taking responsibility and conquer difficulties by ourselves. We can seek for opinions from parents, but try not to complain too much to them. Communication with family can let oneself and parents understand each other better, and the conversation is full of strength, which can encourage us to live better lives. I hope every student can have great communication with family and finish study successfully.