Our philosophy: "No news is good news." We know that the students have arrived and are safe when we DON’T hear from our sponsors. It’s a very good thing to know that they are much too busy to call. That means things are going well.
With that in mind ...
Communicating with your student:
- Email - A very good way to keep in touch with students. There are Internet cafes everywhere. Students will have Internet access in Vienna and at Ibaraki Christian in Japan. Some hotels and hostels will have Internet access as well. Some even have Wi-Fi (may charge a fee).
- Telephone - Somewhat harder but possible. Students can buy local phone cards to place a long-distance call home.
- Parents - You can buy phone cards that have very good rates to other countries. Students can always email you to let you know when it is a good time to call them.
- Euro - Individual rooms have phones. Your student can give you their direct number. They will be able to receive calls in their room, but not dial out.
- PacRim - Most of the host families in Japan will allow students to make and receive phone calls.
- Cell Phones - Even though they're great in an emergency, they can be VERY expensive overseas.
- Most carriers have some kind of international plan, but rates and taxes can still be expensive.
- Students will incur charges for any phone call they receive or if voice mail picks up. One student a couple of years ago ran up a $1,000 cell phone bill over three months.
- Texting can be expensive as well but could be used as a means to communicate in emergencies.
- PLEASE NOTE - OC students who take a phone with them overseas will be responsible for all phone charges. Please check carefully for international data packages if you are wanting to use them for email, etc. It is best to turn off phone features while abroad; they could be turned on in emergencies.
- Computer Phone Calls - One of the cheapest ways to call. Check out www.skype.com. You can get credit and make phone calls from a computer to any phone for only a few cents per minute.
- Snail mail - Having a letter or package from home is always comforting. Check out mailing addresses on your contact sheet.
- There are other options for calling over a smartphone like Google Voice or Viber. It is always good to check out to see what new options are available for international calling and texts.
- Facebook Page - One of the best ways to keep track of the groups is to 'LIKE" the OC Study Abroad Facebook page. Ongoing travel updates with messages and pictures from the group will be posted as soon as they're available. You can even leave messages for the group there as well.