By: Lisa Dieckman, Work and Travel Marketing and Outreach Intern

One of my favorite parts of traveling is making new friends from all around the world. Last year, I traveled abroad for four months and met an amazing group of friends along the way. One year later, we still talk every day.

Here are five tips that helped me maintain long-distance friendships.

Create a group chat on Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp

Start a group chat with your friends on an app that everyone can use when they are back in their home countries. Try Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp! With a group chat, you can talk to your friends every day about your memories from the United States, life back home, and everything else!

Video chat regularly

Sometimes you just need to see your friends’ faces! Calling a friend over a video messaging app like Skype or FaceTime is almost like being with them in person and will help you stay in touch until you are together again!

Plan a reunion

Some of the best friendships are made when you travel together so maintain your relationships by planning a new trip together! Pick a new destination to travel to with your friends, whether it’s one of their home countries, yours, or somewhere new! No matter when you meet again, the excitement of planning a new trip together will keep your friendship strong.

Send hand-written letters

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love receiving hand-written letters and packages in the mail. Become “pen pals” with the friends you’ve made in the U.S. and send each other letters every couple of months. Maybe you can even surprise them with a box of treats from your home country!

Give each other gifts you’ll remember

When it came time for me to travel back to the United States, my friend bought  matching necklaces that represented the country where we all met. Now, whenever I wear my necklace, I think of my host community and the amazing friends I met. Buy matching souvenirs from your host community and give them to your friends as a way to remember each other and where you met!

Looking for an adventure to make friends for a lifetime? Check out CCI Greenheart to be a part of the Summer Work Travel program!