Interacting with people from a distance is something that people in my generation are extremely efficient at. Using COIL to build relationships is a unique, yet logical, way to create relationships with people from all over the world, especially in a society that is driven by technology. Although my COIL experience was most likely different than my classmates’, I still found the potential for new friendships to be an amazing educational tool.
Having been a part of the group that ventured to Cali, Colombia, where the students we were communicating with through COIL resided, I was able to meet my partners in person. We did not find a time to skype beforehand, but we had been messaging a bit back and forth. Meeting them in person was a wonderful experience, and we were able to discuss many things and compare our cultures accordingly. I am thankful for the insights I received from both of them, and I still message them today. My COIL experience differs from the rest because I never was able to skype with my partners, due to connection and scheduling issues.
Although I didn’t get to experience truly forming a friendship from a distance, it has been amazing to hear of the connections made by my classmates who did not get the opportunity to travel to Colombia. While meeting my partners was ideal, I wish I was able to build a stronger foundation beforehand through skype. I have really enjoyed learning about a new culture from a firsthand perspective, and I am extremely thankful for the friendships I built while in Colombia. I now understand what an important tool COIL can be for education and networking purposes in the social media and technology driven society we live in today.