How To Get A Pen Pal From Another Country?

Before the advent of the Internet people used to send letters through the mail. This is the method I used for corresponding with the approximately ten pen pals back in the 1990's. Most of my pen pals were from Europe and Africa, but I remember being really sad because I truly wanted a pen pal from the South Pacific. The way that I obtained my first pen pals was by applying with an organization called International Pen Friends, which is dedicated to the art of traditional letter writing. At this time I am not going to reapply with this organization because I am happy enough with corresponding with people online, but I truly recommend International Pen Friends for those who have never written or received an international snail mail letter.

Writing letters is a wonderful way to resurrect the art of traditional correspondence.
Writing letters is a wonderful way to resurrect the art of traditional correspondence.


Every month or so I used to look forward to receiving letters from my pen friends, and the best part was sending and receiving small presents. I still have a beautiful black cat figurine that my Norwegian pen pal sent me in 1993, and that along with the Norwegian chocolates she sent we always be a fond memory. My Norwegian pen pal loved Native American history and was unable to obtain a book called the Ishi, In Two Words, which is the story about a Yahi man that was the last of his tribe. A small band of people from the Yahi tribe hid from white settlers after seeing other Native Americans killed. Unfortunately, the other people of Ishi's band died, and he was the last one to survive and tell his story.

Some people have had pen pals from exotic locales such as Pitcairn Island, which is something I would find interesting myself. I find the history and culture of Pitcairn island fascinating since the most recent inhabitants are descendants of the HMAV Bounty. Over the years people have been intrigued with Pitcairn Island's history and have written to anyone who would respond on the island. In years past Pitcairn Island had a larger population of two hundred plus people, but today the population has twindled to around sixty with heavy immigration to New Zealand because job opportunities are limited on the island.

However both in the past and present people have corresponding with Pitcairners, but the methods for doing so have changed. In the past people wrote letters because that was the preferred method of communication, but today people mostly exchanged emails. When I joined a Yahoo group about Pitcairn culture and history three years ago I was very excited because I got to talk with people all over the world who knew about the history and culture of Pitcairn Island.

From time to time we have even been able to chat with people who live on Pitcairn Island, however they do not come on the Yahoo discussion board as often as others because they are occupied with their home businesses and handicrafts. One thing I have always admired about the people of Pitcairn is their dedication to the arts and handicrafts, and how their economy is sustained by the sell of these lovely items. Joining this Yahoo group about Pitcairn history and culture has resulted in several pen pal relationships I have had with people online. I do not write to these people consistently, but from time to time we discuss different aspects of Pitcairn history and culture on the discussion board and via email. Thus, if you have passion for a specific historical topic or any other topic, Yahoo groups will help you to meet like minded people from around the world.

Another way to obtain an online pen pal is by going to the website Interpals, which is a website dedicated to helping people find free pen pals online. Back in 2006 I used this site and met a pen pal from Japan, so it is possible to meet people from around the world on this site.

Twitter, Myspace and Facebook are also other options for meeting people online. Some people are very cautious and say you should only add contacts you know from real life on Twitter, Myspace and Facebook, but I think this is cutting yourself off from the opportunity of meeting new people. One can be cautious and add new friends on social networking sites, but just check out their profile to make sure they are a real person and not a spambot.

Random contacts on Twitter, Facebook and Myspace have resulted in several pen pals, and one man I know from Australia is someone I met on Facebook years ago. He is a wonderful person, which proves the point that it is possible to meet new and decent friends online. However, caution is still the name of the game and I would not tell these people everything about yourself right off the bat. Get to know these people and follow common safety tips. Finding a pen pal online is possible and one of the interesting and educational aspects of online social networking.

Hub Comment Policy

Please refer to the links in this hub if you are looking for a new pen pal. Posting your email address or personal info in the comments section of this hub will result in your comment being deleted.

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Comments 76 comments

Trsmd profile image

Trsmd 7 years ago from India

thanks for posting this for my request.. I think now-a-days this terminology has reduced because of internet..


rockinjoe profile image

rockinjoe 7 years ago from Standing right behind you!

I remember having a few pen pals when I was a younger teenager. It was lots of fun. Archie Comics (I used to love them) had a pen pals section in each one. When I got a bit older, I gave it all up, but it used to be a real treat getting those letters in the mail. Great hub, SweetiePie.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Trsmd,

The terminology of pen pal is still alive and well for those who correspond offline. As noted International Pen Friends is dedicated to reviving the art of letter writing, although you can apply for membership online. I still write letters to my friends that live near by, but internationally it is easier and cheaper to correspond over the email.

rockinjoe,

I also stopped writing to my offline pen pals around the age of seventeen. One of them kept writing me for awhile, and I felt bad that I did not return his letters. Now I have a few international friends I talk to online though. I never knew they had a pen pal in the Archie Comics, learned something new.


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

One of the boys I used to take care receieved a note in a bottle on the beach here and wrote to who sent it...It came from one state away...That was very exciting..I never had a pen pal..:O( but have written many letters in my life b4 I got this computer 2 yrs ago now>>>Thanks for an informative hub sweetie...G-Ma :o) Hugs & Peace


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

G-Ma Johnson,

That is really neat your son got a real message in a bottle. I always thought it would be interesting to see how those things work, and I have heard of a few stories of people actually finding the messages years later. In my view a pen pal can be a friend in your town, or across the Pacific Ocean. Writing is a great way to stay in touch. Thanks for stopping by :).


Lgali profile image

Lgali 7 years ago

very good hub


anjalichugh profile image

anjalichugh 7 years ago from New York

We used to do this in school but it's been decades since then. Those days we were asked to stay away from such trouble-inviting gimmicks and since then... never thought of it. However, a period of last 7-8 yrs (especially) has been totally a 'computer era'. Communicating with people online has become so common that 'pen friend' concept seems to have disappeared in the existing scenario.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thanks Lgali.

Yes anjalichugh we do not have pen friends on the scale of fifteen years ago, but some people still write letters. I occasionally still like to write ones to my close friends.


RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin

My daughter is wanting to have a pen pal and to be honest even as an adult I think it might be fun. I'm leary of the internet only because you don't know who is out there and it kind of scares me. I hope that the agencies you get penpals through help review and protect especially children from predators.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

RGraf,

Even with screening nothing is 100% certain.  There are online websites such as InterPals and in my experience most of the people I meet online are decent.  The precautions to take against predators are to never give out your name or personal information.  There are plenty of things to write about that are not personal.  For example, if your interests are history or bikes you can talk about those type of subjects.  However, if your contact ever asks an inappropriate question then you can cut off communcation.  The pen pal agencies always match children with people their age, so that should not be a problem.


SirDent 7 years ago

I never did have a penpal when I was younger. I suppose it never really interested me. Maybe I will check into it soon and see what comes of it. Good hub with great info Sweetie.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 7 years ago from France

This hub has a lot of meaning for me as it is the way I met my husband. We were penpals back in the 90s until he went to meet me in my country, a couple of weeks later I was joinning him in his own country at the other side of the world and a few weeks later we were getting married. It has been almost 15 years since then and we still toguether :-). You never know what a penpal might become ;-)


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Sirdent,

In a way talking to people on hubpages is like havine efriends, which is similar to pen pals. If you join the site Interfriends you can even have a profile, which I think allows you to have a link back to your webpage. I have not checked my profile there for awhile, which I think I am going to do after commenting here :).

Princessa,

You story is really wonderful :). I used to have a pen pal from Germany named Bertram and I always wondered what happened to him. He stopped writing me soon after a letter he sent about being in the hospital. I wrote him a few more times and he never answered back, but I hoping the only reason he stopped writing was because he was busy. I really enjoy writing letters and it is something I would like to do again. Thanks for the inspirational story :).


SirDent 7 years ago

Princessa. I also think it's great you met your husband that way. Now I ownder i fmy wide would let me meet another woman through penpals.

Just kidding, maybe. . . :P


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Sirdent,

It is okay if you joke about that. Hey if you want to meet someone that is good for you :).


Princessa profile image

Princessa 7 years ago from France

Thanks to you for reminding me those times when I used to anxiously wait for my next letter. It was really sweet. I still have all those letters in a drawer!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

I kept all of my old letters too :). These are fun to look at from time to time.


Mr Nice profile image

Mr Nice 7 years ago from North America

Hi SweetiePie, Happy new Year. Long time no see.I mean on hubpages. How are you? It was fun I had Pen friends all over the world. I remember I use to wait for the mail anxiously & we exchange really lengthy letters. Unfortunately I don't have letters but I still have some magazines. Most of them was from Finland, Sweden, UK, Switzerland, Greece. There were two very famous "Signal International" from Finland & "Penpal International" from Switzerland & "Allographia" from Greece I believe. I don't remember the one from UK & others. I still have one "Signal International" & one "Penpal International". Signal International also had a special addition for Swingers too.

Now it's either efriends through email, SMS or MSN, Yahoo & more plus live webcam chatting it's totally different than Pen friendship. Are you looking for a Penpal in the form of an efriend then you can write to me.:):):)


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Nice to hear from you Mr. Nice, you sound like a nie guy :). If you would you like another efriend you are welcome to email me also. Thanks for commenting.


HoopSkirtMan profile image

HoopSkirtMan 7 years ago

I have a super cool penpal from Australia.


Mr Nice profile image

Mr Nice 7 years ago from North America

Hi SweetiePie, Thanks for the nice comments and offer for an efriendship. I was really kidding but we can keep in touch through hubpages or sure with email but an ongoing basis is not possible. I am too busy I wish I had more time to write some more hubs.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Okay Mr. Nice. Have a nice day.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

SweetiePie- Well another great hub. I guess now I have pen pals from Philippines to Greece over here on hubpages...hehe. I just think one has to progress to a level of comfort before giving out personal mailing address in such cases. Better to err on the side of caution especially for kids.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

If safety is a concern parents can sign their kids up for pen pals through agencies such as International Pen Friends, which only matches kids with other kids. As for adults I would imagine exchaning postal addresses would be fine since these are not tied to your physical address.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Good idea. I don't have a PO box address yet. Maybe one of these days I should go for it.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

CW,

If you have Kinkos or a postal mailing service they have PO boxes you can rent. However, a PO box is only 40 dollars a year and I would probably get one if I did not live in apartment complex. I like how at our complex we have little mail boxes that lock outside, and the numbers are so complicted to our building not even the pizza man can find us. Personally I am not worried about giving my address to a pen pal out of the country because it is very unlikely they would hunt me down, but I would want to get to know the person first of course. I had pen pals in the past and had good experiences, so I like to say there are more good people than freaky people in the world.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

I agree there are more nice people than freaky people. But all it takes is one stalker who could even be some one around you. I have received in the past emails from strange people who got my email address from some of the technical forums I participate online. I don't know I feel better to be safe than sorry. But again it depends on the individuals outlook and level of comfort.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Online writing is just as good then CW. I usually try to be pen pals with women, and this makes me feel safer also.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Yes so true. Hope you are having a great time so far in the new year. Ok then I will have to email couple of friends including you. I have been procrastinating a bit these days.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

I hope you are doing well and I look forward to all your emails.


MarcNorris profile image

MarcNorris 7 years ago from Canada

I am happy to see that penpals have survived the age of email. Thanks for the resources and information in your hub - I might just have to find a penpal now!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Yes it is nice to know letter writing pen pals are still around. Thanks for visiting Marc.


funnebone profile image

funnebone 7 years ago from Philadelphia Pa

I tried to do this last year. I thought I was speaking to a 22 year old Thai girl but after I sent the money over for her to come here I ened up with a 76 year old Ukranian grandmother...I am returning my Rossetta Stone language cd.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Yeah I would not pay for anyone to come visit me because it is usually a scam. I was talking to an Egyptian guy for awhile online just as friends, but then he started asking if I could send him money for school supplies. I stopped talking to him soon after that.


funnebone profile image

funnebone 7 years ago from Philadelphia Pa

Do you typically write to schoolchildren who have mustaches?


laringo profile image

laringo 7 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

I really like this Hub because it brings back memories, strangley to say of pen pals I never had. I often thought about it, but being  a quite and reserved child, never acted on it. I really will have to check out the Yahoo Groups you can join. I didn't know about that. Thanks for a lot of good information SweetiePie.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

No he was a college student funnebone. School supplies can apply to people of any age going to school :).

I am glad I brought back some of your old memories laringo :).


funnebone profile image

funnebone 7 years ago from Philadelphia Pa

College students don't usually write in crayon on Hannah Montana stationary Sweetie.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

I never received a letter like that funnebone.  Did you?


funnebone profile image

funnebone 7 years ago from Philadelphia Pa

Liar!..I sent you one last week...I soaked it in old spice because I knnow you like the scent.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Alright funnebone, you are really making me laugh now. Some how I cannot imagine you soaking Hannah Montana stationery in Old Spice lol.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Geez. I've heard a lot recently of men masquerading as women on the internet. And now we have one of our own Hubbers, freely admitting to soaking Hannah Montana stationery in Old Spice! Sounds a bit gender confused to me! Personally, I find I have more luck with Hai Karate or Brut (note for future mailings).

Seriously, it's a lovely custom to connect with people offline. Thanks for the reminder, SweetiePie. Two thumbs and two pens up!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Yes pen pal letters are very fun to write Mighty Mom, and I think we have many good memories associated with these. I think Funnebone is joking about the Hannah Montana stationery thing, or at least I hope he is.


C.S.Alexis profile image

C.S.Alexis 7 years ago from NW Indiana

I use to have a pen pal when I was a kid. That was fun but it fell apart when we moved.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 7 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Hi Sweetie. A couple years ago I went looking for a penpal from another country. I thought it would really interesting, right? The woman I wound up with was from Germany, extremely boring (or bored with me!) and clearly had little interest in international correspondence. Why she'd joined the penpal site was beyond me. Anyway that soured me on the whole international penpal experience, BUT, I want to give Interpals a try to see if I can find someone interesting.

I think this is an excellent way to encourage global understanding.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

C.S. Alexis,

I seemed to have fallen out of contact with my pen pals as time went by. I have online friends now from other coutnries.

Constant Walker,

I am not sure it is because I am a woman, but I tend to get a lot of contact from foreign countries on Myspace and Facebook. Even this hub has resulted in me getting many emails asking about if I want a new online friend, even though that was not my intention with answer this hub request. I enjoy talking to the few international friends I have, and I think the advent of the Internet makes that easier. Interpals is good because you can talk to people online first and if they seem more serious about writing letters you can do that to. I am not sure why, but I still have an interest to this day with talking to people around the world.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 7 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

I can see where you'd get that. Men everywhere are the same (btw, my number is 1-800-HOTT). There's a lot of international correspondence going on right here at HP. I still think a Interpal might be interesting.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Constant Walker,

Yes you are very hot and I still cannot believe you are the age you say. Gee you look more like 35, but I know that is not the point. Anyway, I think you might like Interpals if you try it. I am going to revamp my profile there soon because if anything else at least you can have a link to your hubpages profile there.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 7 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

That's true. Maybe get more readers for my dribble! ;-)

Personally, I'm gonna wait til my life approaches something I can consider "normal" again before joining the site, but I bookmarked it.


tinyteddy profile image

tinyteddy 7 years ago from INDIA

sweetie pie

this sure is a meaningful hub

i operate for free in the mornings in a government general hospital which is the biggest in asia.

my patients are largely semiliterate and school drop outs or illiterate

(i have a succesful clientele in corporate hospitals in the evening)

i buy a stack of post cards from the government post office and note the day of review of my patients who i have operated mostly those of cancer patients.

i post the letters a week in advance with sweet oneliners and inviting them for review.

it works like magic

these are my penpals.most often the school going children wo can read will be reading aloud those letters for their parents .so i mention some good aspects of the patients for the children to read out aloud.

so penpals still work.lol


dingdong profile image

dingdong 7 years ago from South India

I don't have pen pals, but it looks like a good thing. It's a nice hub SweetiePie, just recently I realised that my handwriting is getting worse and I even struggle to write properly. It's all because of the over use of computers and internet. People should seriously think about it.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Constant Walker,

I understand what you mean about not having time for everything and all the potential great sites. I see some hubbers blogging on certain sites I have not joined yet, but how could I have time to do those and the ones I have. I used to write on squidoo, but I have not for awhile. I should write a lense again, but I became more satisfied with ehow, which is another site I have not written on consistently. I plan to write another ehow, but those are tricky because you have to demonstrate how to do something, and it was a detailed process. Hope you have a nice day.

TinyTeddy,

You are very devoted to send your patients a post card. I remember being happy and impressed when I went to a doctor for my sciatica treatment and he actually took the time to talk to me. The previous doctor had only spent three minutes talking to me, so it was nice to actually find one who would take the time to answer my questions. I never really had doctors send me a post card, but that is a great idea. More doctors should take your example :).

dingdong,

I know all of us probably write on the computer too much. I think writing traditional letters can be a nice break from that.


anna 7 years ago

how do u get a pen pal


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Anna,

Follow the links above.


White jini 7 years ago

hi this is who is looking for a penpal to chat withi'm living in south korea where is located between China and Japanand i'm 17-old student it means in my country have to start the real study on my best but i want to leave some free to relax this is the way what i chooseso i hope to have some great times with my penpalthough my name is white jini here i'm young boyno......is the 17 years old is old enough to be called just boy ?anyway this is my english level what you are seeing nowi'm sorry because my english level is not so high to penpal with youso easily but i want to talk with you because it is not only interesting but also good for myenglish studing

um...... anyway exactly i don't use the e-mail which i written in my profileso if you are interested in chatting with meplease send me your e-mail

(p.s. qkrtpwls314@naver.com is the e-mail what i usually useso please send the mail to that


MotherHubber profile image

MotherHubber 7 years ago from Southern California

This sounds like so much fun - I remember doing this when I was a kid. Thanks to your Hub, I am going to look into it again. :-) Nicely written!

~mh


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Hi MotherHubber,

I had a pen pal a couple of years ago, so I too might try again. I talk online to people all over the world though, so in a way that is like being a pen pal.


debris profile image

debris 7 years ago from Florida

I just think this is really neat! Great hub!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Glad you liked it debris.


megan 7 years ago

who wants to be my penpal


megan 7 years ago

who wants to be my penpal


Brittney 6 years ago

I feel kinda stupid asking this haha, but can anyone tell me how you get a penpal? Like, i want to write to a penpal to another country but i have no clue where to start...? Can anyone help me please. Thankyou :)


Brittney 6 years ago

Oh wow. Nevermind. I just saw the links :)


MORGAN 6 years ago

hi i really want a pen pal who i can share secrets with1


Carol 6 years ago

I was really hoping to correspond with people, especially from countries other than Canada. I am interested in their culture and what they have to say. I seems rather difficult though, since any initiation of correspondence is automatically assummed as being a lure or some insidious plan. I personally am not interested in anything freaky.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

If you follow the links to pen pal sites in the hub, you can meet people who are interested in corresponding with you. Actually, you might even be contacted by people on those sites first, which might be good if you feel apprehensive about initiating contact with others.


sandbooknet profile image

sandbooknet 5 years ago from Sofia, Bulgaria

PenPal websites save a lot of time and effort in finding penpals. Nowadays, finding a penpal (and by penpal I understand a real person who is interested in things like you are, is sharing your passion for letter writing) is relatively easy and starts with sharing a couple of emails. I always suggest it so that you will know that the person is for real before you invest time in handwriting him/her a letter. That was the concept and the innitial idea of my website www.sandbook.net. Now 2 years later, we have a lot of penpals and penpalling projects and we like to think that we are keeping the Art of Snail Mail Letters Alive! :D) Join us if you like! :0


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

That sounds like a great concept for a website sandbooknet.com


sandbooknet profile image

sandbooknet 5 years ago from Sofia, Bulgaria

The website is www.sandbook.net :)

No com :D)


Krazie_Kumquat profile image

Krazie_Kumquat 5 years ago

Hey SweetiePie,

You sure write a lot of blogs! From reading some of your work, you seem to be a deep and intuitive thinker. You have your own opinions and are not afraid to share them with others.

Anyways, i really like the idea of pen pals, but i never got the chance to have one. I believe that everyone should have at least one pen pal somewhere around the world!

If i wrote to you the traditional way (paper and pen), would you write back? Or have you gone electronic? haha! Where would i send my messages to? Just thought i would ask.

Regards,

Henry


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Hi Henry,

Send me an email via Hubpages and I will talk to you more about that. If you go my hubpages profile, you will see a link for sending me an email.


EBRIMA 4 years ago

Really hard to find a penpal. I am interested in having one


licia Adama 4 years ago

i also want pan pal. How do i get some


Bahati Kwekwe Gambo 3 years ago

My name is Bahati Kwekwe Gambo, I was born in Kenya and live in Kenya. I am 32 years of age. I learnt some courses but I need to pursue my education abit higher. My dad died last year August and my mum is alive so I live with my mum and my sisters and brothers. We are three girls and Four boys in our family. My interests are Swimming, Socializing, Traveling, Making new friends and mostly typing. I need a penpal to take the nature of the world in our friendship.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 3 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

I listed several pen pal sites above, and this would be the best place to find one.


grace 2 years ago

hi would anyone like to chat to me

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