Social Networking for Study Abroad Students

Many people know that social networking can work in your advantage when used correctly. Sites like LinkedIn can help people get a job, but when it comes to study abroad students the social networking sites that you probably all use can become your best friend. I'm going to run down the social network websites that helped me and post some helpful links.
Once you've chosen your study abroad program check on Facebook if they have a Facebook fan page or group. There you could post something and make an effort to meet people in your program prior to going abroad. You can also help each other out like a group of people from my program did were during the confusing Campus France stage. If your program is an exchange program it can prove to be very helpful to check it on a regular basis if you're looking for an apartment or an au pair job. I actually found my apartment in Paris about a month before I left to Paris on the MICEFA Facebook group! A French student that was going to study abroad in Connecticut needed someone to rent her apartment during her year abroad in the U.S., luckily I was staying up late the day and I emailed as soon as I saw her post go up telling her not to not talk to anyone because I was interested in her apartment in the 13th arrondissement. Also if its an exchange program it is likely that you can meet up with past students of the program once you arrive to Paris (or wherever you're going to study abroad). 

If you're in the CSU IP program, here are their Facebook fan pages:

Other helpful Facebook pages:

Tumblr is already a great place to meet people with the same interests as you, so it's not too hard to find people with the same interests in the city that you'll be studying. Through Tumblr I met my French friend Caroline because of our love for the French band, Phoenix. We talked for about maybe 1 or 2 years before I left to study abroad in Paris. Before I even left to Paris did she had introduced me to a couple of her friends online. Once I arrived to Paris I met her, her friends that I had already talked to like Anne-Laure, and some new friends that she introduced me to on the day of her birthday party. 

Also on Tumblr I met Bon from the popular Tumblr page Bon Parisien. If you're looking for help Bon is your man! He is incredibly helpful to his followers and his pictures are incredible. I had the pleasure of meeting Bon in Paris and hang out with him a couple of times. I think I met around 5 or 6 people that I met through Tumblr while in Paris so it was great going to a new city knowing a couple of people.

Twitter and Tumblr work in similar ways, if you tweet a lot about a certain thing you're most likely going to find people who share the same interests as you. Through Twitter I met some more of Caroline's friends and began to be followed by some French Canadians. Once you meet one person they'll start telling you to follow their friends and so on. It only takes meeting one person and from there you start meeting more people. 

I know Twitter saved my life a couple of times while I was in Paris. I specifically remember that on the second week I was in Paris I didn't know where to dispose the old mattresses in the apartment so I went to Twitter begging for someone to help me. Luckily my Parisian friend, Thien, sent me a link to the Mairie de Paris website. All I had to do was fill out the form so the city could send someone to pick it up from the street for free. If it wasn't for Twitter I would have probably paid for someone to come pick it up and dispose it. 

Also on Twitter you can follow a lot of pages from the French Embassy in LA or NY, to the American Embassy in Paris. Find pages where you'll be able to see what events are going on in the city. There are also a lot of study abroad pages that post information about different programs and scholarships. 

Here are a couple of good Twitter accounts to follow for study abroad students going to France.

I just started a new Twitter account where I'll be posting a new study abroad tip everyday! The tips will work for any study abroad student, so feel free to share the page. So far I only have a couple of tweets but I hope it can become a page that any study abroad student can later scroll through for some help. Also this would be a great place to contact me if you have any questions or want to share a tip for other study abroad students.

Follow @_GoStudyAbroad and share the Twitter page with your friends or family members who are/ will be/or are interested in studying abroad.

I hope you found this blog post helpful and I know you're not children but I will still like to remind you to be careful when interacting with people online. Use your best judgement and don't share any private information such as address or full name unless you've been talking to that person for a while and he/she has earned your trust. 

Bonne journée et à la prochaine !

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