There are several obstacles to keeping in touch with family and friends while you’re studying abroad, but there are ways to make communicating easier on everyone. Before you leave on a jet plane, calculate the time difference between your loved ones and where you will be. This will be an important factor to when and how you can talk to your family and friends.
1. Phone Calls
Calling while you’re traveling in a foreign country can be expensive, so this isn’t an option for everyone. If you’re fortunate to be able to afford international calling, then all you need to worry about is calling at the right time. I’m sure your parents will love you, but they won’t love receiving a phone call at 1 a.m.
2. Text Messages
Texts can also be costly when you’re studying abroad, so talk with your cell provider to check on international charges and to discuss your options. If you want to send texts, try downloading free text apps, like WhatsApp, that allow you to send messages when connected to wifi to those who also have the app.
3. Video Calling
If you have an iPhone, you’ll be able to make video calls to other iDevices when you’re connected to the internet. Again, timing is everything. If video calling isn’t an option, then you can use websites like Skype to video chat with loved ones on the computer when you have access to wifi.
When you’re traveling to several countries and going through different time zones, it’s easiest to keep in touch with your family and friends via email. You can type up your messages, include photos of your adventures, and simply hit send. It might seem old school to you, but it’s an excellent way to inform your busy friends and family members about what you’re up to during your foreign exploration.
5. Snail Mail
Traditional mail is slow, and it definitely isn’t reliable for consistent communication, especially when you’re traveling through different countries, but it makes up for that in fun. Everyone enjoys receiving personal mail, and writing thoughtful letters can be just as exciting. Send your parents and good friends postcards from the various places you visit. They’ll be unique mementos of your travels that they can post on their fridges. Just don’t forget to call or email when you can as well.
6. Social Media
An easy, excellent way to communicate with those you left back home is to send messages on social media. It doesn’t matter if you use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or a blog to describe your experiences and stay up to date with everything going on back home. Social media is an almost instant form of communication when you’re connected to wifi, and your loved ones will be glad to chat with you when they can.
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