The Benefits of Modern Technology–Skyping Across the Ocean

55-60% of all Pomona students study abroad, usually in their junior year.  I thought I’d start this post with this factoid I always tell my groups when I give tours.  I think this says a lot about Pomona and the globally engaged community of students that it creates.  Pomona makes it easy to study abroad— with tons of programs in a multitude of countries, even some major specific programs (I plan on going to London next spring through a neuroscience program).

Probably the only downside to studying abroad is the fact that you won’t see most of your friends for a whole semester or longer.  While that may not be a problem for you given that you are having the time of your life experiencing a new country, for your friends at Pomona it’s tough.  My sponsor left this semester to study abroad in Hong Kong.  We went from seeing him at least every week, to not at all for 5 months.  Because of the time difference it was hard to keep in contact with him.  But last night that all changed.

A bunch of my friends who were in my sponsor group decided that it had been far too long since we talked to our sponsor.  We decided to set up a time to skype him.  Last night 7 of us gathered around my cramped desk and anxiously anticipated the noise that would alert us he had signed on to skype.  When we saw his face, we all squealed.  We had missed it so much! It was so great hearing about his adventures in Hong Kong!  From the food he’s been eating, to the classes he was taking, to the program-sponsored field trips, it sounded like he was having so much fun.  This of course made up for the fact that we wanted him here at Pomona with us.  He then carried his computer around to give us a tour of the flat he shares with two study abroad students from other schools.

It’s times like this that I am so thankful for what modern technology has done for the world of communication.  Despite being on opposite sides of the globe the seven of us were connected to him within seconds.  It makes me really excited for my own study abroad trip and slightly less sad about leaving so many of my friends behind.