With the advent of social networks, e-mails and instant messaging, writing snail mail to pen pals halfway across the globe is a lost art. It would be nice to get mail aside from bills or spam mail in your physical mailbox. Having a friend in another country to tell you stories about their day-to-day lives can be like travelling, while you remain in your own home. Just learn to be picky to those you write to since there are can be mischievous people out there.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Use the Internet to find your pen pal. The easiest way to find pen pals these days is via a pen pal portal. These websites offer pen pal services to those who want to look for someone new to befriend, whether it is for educational purposes or just for fun. These pen pal portals would require you to have your own profile on their site so that other pen pal searchers can also view your profile. From this point, you can either engage in e-mail writing or snail mail exchanges. Examples of pen pal portals are Pen Pal Party (penpalparty.com), Pen Pal World (penpalworld.com) and Mail Friends (mailfriends.com).
Enhance your foreign language skills with a foreign pen pal. Having someone to converse with in a different language will sharpen your conversational skills. Others have pen pals so that they can learn more about a particular country. There are specific websites that help facilitate educational pen pal relationships, such as World Wide Classroom (worldwide.edu) and Europa Pages (Europa-pages.com).
E-mail Pen Pals. Having pen pals via e-mail is a faster route to getting correspondence from your friends. This is especially true if your pen pal is halfway across the globe or if you have more than one pen pal, since snail mail costs some money when you send it out. With e-mailing, you can easily attach photos and other types of files to the message without worrying about the cost. This is useful when you are trying to learn about other cultures, too, since videos and photos of their native area can help illustrate their part of the world better.
Write your pen pal a physical letter. While snail mail takes longer to arrive and costs more than regular e-mail, there is a different kind of intimacy when you receive something via snail mail. Having a tangible letter to write, to send and to receive is very fulfilling for other writers. Seeing the handwriting of the other person is also helpful, especially if you are learning about different methods of writing or a different set of characters in a foreign language.
Keep safe when you are writing to someone, whether it is via snail mail, e-mail or in a pen pal forum. There are many people out there who wish to take advantage of outgoing and friendly people who just want to learn about different languages and customs. Be wary of people asking for money or offering you money in exchange for something else.
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