This Sunday, mother’s day will be celebrated in some countries, and elsewhere it has already passed. It is the time when kids and dads are pulling out all stops, baking waffles, pancakes, or muffins (to be served in bed), topping them with blueberries , and picking or buying fresh flowers.  But how to appropriately honour the “glue” that holds families and households together when you are miles away? It seems like for international students, it is not a big problem.

Felix Zamorano, an exchange student from Spain, chooses more authentic gifts than ‘world’s best mom’ mugs. “Unfortunately I can’t make her breakfast as I’m studying abroad but I usually make a present for her. This year I decided to make a calendar with some family pictures and sent it to her”. Having lived on his own for four years, Felix points out that he likes not being annoyed by his parents, but still keeps in touch with them through Skype and phone.

Keeping up

Indeed, Skype is the primary way that international students can feel right back at home and also utilize instead of sending cards. Teodora Dimcheva from Bulgaria keeps up with her mom, dad, and dog through daily Skype sessions. “Being away for such a long time we could lose track of our relationship and what’s happening in our daily lives. Sometimes my parents just need to hear that I’m doing well and that everything is ok”.

Moms over dads

Like elsewhere, in Bulgaria there is a huge hype in the shops about mother’s day gifts, with ‘motherly’ knick-knacks stacked on supermarket shelves and flower shops stacking up on spring flowers. However, for Bulgarians the family holidays of Christmas and Easter are more important.  Ernesta Douglas from Lithuania says that also in her home country it’s important to congratulate mother’s on the 1st Sunday of May. Meanwhile dads can be honoured on father’s day simply with a big hug and a kiss. “It is important to keep in touch with the family while you are away. I’m always worried how my parents are doing”. MD