Poster that reads "international pen pal intitiative".

U of T’s New Pen Pal Initiative

This year it’s easy to feel disconnected from friends and, at the same time, it's been exhausting to keep in contact via Zoom. Something that I really miss about in-person classes is the little conversations I used to have with whoever I sat next to--most of the time it was a friendship that lasted just for the semester, but a joyful experience nonetheless. 

So, I was excited to hear that there is a new student initiative for pen pals at U of T! This is a project that connects students residing in Canada with other U of T students who currently aren’t living in the country this year. The goal is to interact with people who we wouldn’t normally talk with (through letters) and harbour some new social relationships that we’ve all been missing out on because of the pandemic. 

Poster that reads "international pen pal intitiative".

Here’s some things to know about the International Pen Pal Initiative:

  1. They are currently looking for people to sign-up! This is a new, student-run initiative (though the Student Initiative Fund), so I’m here to encourage everyone to sign-up and get matched with a pen pal. You can sign up here
  2. After signing up everyone receives a letter writing kit which includes: writing prompts, paper, and envelopes. (If you live in Canada you also get postage stamps.)
  3. Pen pals are paired using a randomizing software. 
  4. The initiative officially runs from March until the end of winter. 
  5. For more information on the Pen Pal Initiative check out their website here: FAQ page
Envelope with wax seal and teaspoon.

I love writing letters and sending pieces of art to friends; it’s been an especially important pastime this year, and I cherish every letter I receive. I enjoy letter writing because it lets me feel creative and productive at the same time.

If you’re looking to get in contact with other U of T students, or you just want to live out your best letter writing life, I encourage you to consider signing up for a pen pal! 

Open envelope with a letter and some drawings inside.

I’ve written a few posts about letter writing before, you can check them out here and here if you’re looking for inspiration on what to include in letters! 

Happy letter writing and pen palling everyone!

Hand-written letter addressed to Olive's Oma, with drawing of Little Bear at the bottom.

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