The importance of organization and communication when moving abroad

The importance of organization and communication when moving abroad

Organization is something that’s necessary for all aspects of life. This is something we’ve grown up learning, and have adapted as needed. The need for organization is taken to a whole different extreme when we move out on our own, and this is even more evident when we move abroad.

Being organized is something I have always had to work on. I knew with a move abroad I’d have to work on being and staying organized even more than any other time of my life. I expected to work to keep everything organized while teaching, as well as in my apartment, but I wasn’t really expecting to have to struggle with organizing my time. While being in Korea, I’ve learned that organization plays a large role in more than just teaching.

At home, communication is something I rarely had to struggle with, but I knew that moving abroad would definitely complicate this a bit. I didn’t realize just how much organization it would take to communicate with those back home, though. Within Korea, communication is incredibly easy, but that comes with the territory of setting up a life here. The people you become friends with are guaranteed to have some sort of mobile device, so if I need to get in touch with them I can easily call or text. I can also use apps like Kakao or Facebook, though, since smartphones are the most common of the mobile devices.

Communication with those at home is different, though. It’s much harder. It takes more work than I’m used to. The time difference is relatively easy to deal with, but it definitely complicates things. The fact that I can’t simply call people while laying in bed or walking through the store also poses an issue for me. Being away for school I could call my family while walking home from class or driving to the gym, leave a message if they didn’t answer, and have them call me back in an hour. Here, though, it requires an entire production.  To talk with my family I have to first email (or Facebook) them, discuss when we are free, and plan a time to talk via Skype. If we end up being unable to talk at this designated time it may be another entire week or so until we speak. This is something I’m still not used to. Taking time to organize my time is something I have not yet mastered, but it is necessary for easy communication with family and friends thirteen hours away.

Communication with those fifteen time zones away isn’t the most difficult thing, but it is definitely not the most convenient, either. There’s always options such as email, Facebook, etc., but face-to-face (at least, as much as you can achieve while abroad) is a much more appealing means of communication to me. To easily communicate this way, and to maintain relationships with friends and family back home you have to be willing to work a bit harder to organize your time and you definitely, definitely need to plan. It’s still something I am getting used to, but communicating with those back home is necessary for my comfort and well-being here in Korea, so it is something I am willing to continually work on.

By Hannah M.

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