During the weeks and months that your child is abroad, you’re going to want to know how everything is going with their program, how they like the people, and how they are doing in general. There are a lot of different ways for you to stay in touch with your child while they are in a new country.

A large majority of students studying abroad get a sim card and have a new international number that may not include minutes to the US. This doesn’t mean you’ll never hear from them, but you can simply download helpful apps and take advantage of ones you may already have in order to stay in touch.

It is important to remember that there is a time difference between you and your child. This means you may not be able to talk as frequently as you may have been able to when they were in the states. Find a routine that works for both of you, whether that be a phone call home once a week, or more frequently on specific nights and times.

Check out our favorite apps that we find are the most helpful!

WhatsApp

This is our favorite method for communication abroad. Not only is this app free, but it is easy to use. You can text, call, and video chat through this one app which makes it very convenient for everyone. Additionally, this app is very popular amongst Europeans and will make communicating amongst new friends made in different countries easier for your child as well.

iMessage/FaceTime

Even if they have a sim card without US minutes, iMessage’s (iPhone to iPhone texts) use data and can be sent and received without any additional charges. If your child has the data to send those texts, you can easily communicate back and forth. The same thing goes for facetiming (iPhone to iPhone video chat). Facetiming uses data not minutes. While this method doesn’t require any downloading of apps, it is restrictive in terms of only being able to text or facetime.

Facebook Messenger

Almost everyone has a Facebook. People from the states and people abroad use this app almost daily. You can easily text and call each other directly from the Facebook messenger app.

These are just some of the many ways you can communicate across countries with your child. Regardless of the method you and your child choose to use, it is important to stay in touch with them during their time abroad. Making time to talk for a little bit every once and a while will make a huge difference, especially if this is the first time you have been separated for an extended period of time. 

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