Skype is helping BYU-Hawaii students stay connected across time and space with friends, family, and business partners around the world.
David Stephan, a communication senior from California, said Skype saved his relationship with his girlfriend, Rebecca, and later on led to their marriage. “In the [past] Fall Semester, I went all the way to Spain to study Spanish. I was not able to use the phone that she was previously emailing or texting to. It is not an international phone and so communication between the two of us became a little more scarce,” said Stephan.
Fortunately, Stephan said he found a place close to his residence that provided WiFi. “I could open up Skype and see her even though we were on exact opposite sides of the planet. As I was in Madrid and she was in Laie for school, we realized that geographically, we were about as far away from each other as two people on earth could be.”
Stephan said, “If it weren’t for our Skype time together, we could have lost touch or gotten frustrated with our lack of meaningful communication.” He continued, “For us, Skype eliminated the space and synchronized the time that separated us and eventually led to her surprising me in Madrid and later our engagement and marriage.”
Ben Howells, a communication senior from England, said Skype allows him to communicate with his coworkers worldwide freely and conveniently.
“I don’t think without a tool like Skype, we could [run] a business from Hawaii,” he said. Howells is also the founder and CEO of the Akin Clothing, a non-profit organization that sponsors children in third world countries by providing school uniforms.
“Akin clothing is an international business,” said Howells. “We do a lot of selling online, outsource work, and distribution. We do a lot of Skyping with our employees and team leaders in the United Kingdom, Utah, and Texas with different suppliers, especially donors. Skype is free and I can Skype to Africa, America, and Europe with instant access.”
Though she lives far from her family, Jamie Chu, a TOEFL sophomore from Hong Kong, said she feels mentally close to them because of Skype. “When I was home in Hong Kong, I seldom talk to my dad. In Chinese culture, a father doesn’t talk much to the children. But instead, he shows his love by action, like giving food,” said Chu.
“Now I am in Hawaii, a place far away from home. I guess my dad feels more comfortable to talk to me. Sometimes I tell him I love him, and he will tell me he loves me back. It is very weird in Chinese culture, but it feels good,” Chu said.
She continued, “I give credit to Skype. I guess because I don’t see my parents that often now, so I treasure the time we have together on Skype. And I bet they feel the same way.”