A study abroad experience is a very exciting experience regardless of your destination. Just the thought of traveling to a new world brings images of making unforgettable memories and making new connections. There is also a chance to hone your foreign skill and getting immersed in a new culture. Perhaps you are having apprehensions about losing touch with your family and friends back home.
There is a possibility of using your mobile phone. This has a risk of ending up with a high bill from roaming charges at the end of your journey. Well, there is a possibility to stay in touch with friends and family. There are various ways to stay in touch as you are about to discover below. You just have to choose an option that works for you.
Although using your mobile phone is very expensive, you can use an international SIM card. This comes with prepaid call minutes, internet data bundle, and free messages. Luckily, a good internal roaming SIM can be used in any part of the world. In addition, it allows calls from other numbers and you can leave home after sharing your new number. This will make it easy for family and friends to reach you any time they want.
Using public Wi-Fi
Apart from free Wi-Fi at the airport, there is a chance of finding public Wi-Fi in various areas in your host country including school campus and cafes. This comes in handy to make communication possible during summer abroad programs for high school students . With this, you can use free calling apps on your smartphone to communicate effectively with loved ones.
Prepaid phone card
When in locations without free Wi-Fi, it’s a good idea to invest in a prepaid phone card. You pay for this upfront to get minutes for use when you need to communicate with your family and friends. When the minutes are used up, you can always order another for making direct calls to your loved ones. There is also an option to upgrade your current phone plan to allow international calling. However, this might come with a higher monthly bill on coming back home.
During a study abroad program, you can also stay in touch through email. This eliminates the need to hassle with calculating the time zone difference. In addition, you don’t have to arrange appropriate call time with your loved ones. You can send an email that the recipient can read at a convenient time and you can read the response any time as long as you have an internet connection.
Using social media limits sending individual emails, phone calls, and messages to each of your contacts. With social media, you just post something and everyone in your friend list will see it. Social media allows reaching out to friends and family through updating your status that everyone can see at the same time to save time. You can also share videos or pictures of your adventures. Apart from likes and comments on your posts, some people will just send you a message in your inbox.
Wi-Fi on the go
Most of the best ways to stay in touch during study abroad depend on the effective use of the internet. Luckily, you don’t always have to depend on public Wi-Fi. You can have your own Wi-Fi connection on the go. This requires investing in a portable Wi-Fi device that you can use to access the internet on all your gadgets including tablet, smartphone, and laptop. With this, you will always have an internet connection regardless of location.
Good old snail mail
Although it is something most people rarely talk about today, it can be an effective way to stay in touch with loved ones. This is because the postal service is still operating and there is a possibility that it still does in your host country too. To ensure your message that travels too slow, you can opt for their expedited mail service.
Regardless of the apprehensions about this service including speed, it is very reliable and the only solution to stay in touch without internet. It also helps you to go green on your travel. When in a location without internet access and no possibility of finding a prepaid card, sending letters the ol’ fashioned way becomes very convenient.
During a summer abroad program, staying connected with loved ones isn’t so hard if you can make good use of resources available to you. However, your approach depends on your travel budget and the urgency of the message to be delivered. With the worry about staying in touch out of the way, there is nothing to stop you from having an experience of a lifetime abroad. This is a very rewarding experience for any high school student to discover the world from a different perspective.