Maintaining a long-distance relationship can be one of the most difficult parts of studying abroad. Making anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays such a Valentine’s Day special when all you have is Skype and WhatsApp can be especially challenging. However, just because you’re in different countries doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate these special days. To help out all of the lovebirds, we’ve put together a list of tips to help you have the best anniversary, birthday, or holiday celebration possible.
Utilize Skype to its Fullest Potential
Nowadays, the easiest way to communicate with someone in a different country is through Skype. However, a special day calls for a special Skype chat. Spice up your Skype game by having a “date”: each of you cooks dinner while talking, then crack open a bottle of wine and eat “together”. If you’re celebrating a birthday, have your significant other hop on Skype during the birthday party so it feels like he/she is right there with you. For an anniversary or Valentine’s Day, write each other love letters or poems, but don’t read them until you’re on Skype together.
Take Advantage of Technology
With today’s many forms of technology, don’t stop at just video chatting. Make a slideshow of pictures or videos of your best moments together. If you can’t Skype on your actual special day, email your boyfriend or girlfriend a video message so that he/she can still feel close to you. If you are super creative and good with the computer, make a private blog or website that’s just for the two of you — write messages to each other, post pictures and videos, and send each other things to make you both laugh.
Do Something Romantic in Your Host Country
Studying abroad means you’re living a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so do something for your boyfriend or girlfriend that coincides with the special place you’re in. If you’re in Prague, write your names on the Lennon Wall (or if you’re artistic, paint something for him/her on the Wall). If you’re in Paris, Cologne, Salzburg, Dublin, or a similar city, stick a lock with your names written on it on one of the famous Lock Bridges. If you’re in Rome, make a wish at the Trevi Fountain about your boyfriend or girlfriend. Whatever romantic route you take, make sure someone is there to take a picture or video of it!
Mail Him/Her Something Special
If it is easy to mail things to and from your host country, send something to your boyfriend or girlfriend that is special to your country and your significant other. If your boyfriend loves soccer and you’re studying abroad in Spain, mail him a Real Madrid jersey. If your girlfriend loves chocolate and you’re studying in Switzerland, send her some Milka. Also consider sending your significant other something creative and personal, such as a long distance hug made out of construction paper. Take advantage of companies such as Edible Arrangements or 1-800-Flowers, which make sending a special something to your boyfriend or girlfriend very easy. If you really want to make your better half swoon, mail him or her a journal with the first few pages already filled out with memories of your time together. Tell him/her to fill the rest of the pages with memories to come.
Enlist the Help of Friends/Family
When planning a way to show your boyfriend or girlfriend how much you care, don’t forget to use the help of your friends and family to make him or her feel even more special. Get a few friends involved and make a scavenger hunt for your significant other to go on to find his/her actual gift. Throw a small surprise party for him/her and make sure someone has Skype open during the surprise so you can be there too. Buy tickets to a concert or make reservations at a restaurant and send your boyfriend or girlfriend out for a night with the guys or gals.
Surprise Your Significant Other
If you are in a position where you can visit your boyfriend or girlfriend, plan it around a time that is special for the two of you, such as an anniversary. Surprise him or her when he or she will least expect it, or have a friend make “plans” with your boyfriend/girlfriend and then show up in your friend’s place.
There are many ways to make your significant other feel loved, and being in different countries doesn’t give you a reason to be lame. Put on your thinking cap, get creative, and do something special for your boyfriend or girlfriend. You only study abroad once (usually), so make your anniversary, birthday, or holiday celebration once-in-a-lifetime as well!