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Contact With Families


We understand it is important for you to stay in contact with your student while he/she is abroad. There are many ways to facilitate communication overseas without breaking the bank, but we encourage you to choose the method that works best for you and your student. Many of the best and free options for international communication require access to WiFi or use of data. 

Video and Voice Calls:
Many families choose video and voice calls to stay in touch with their student while he/she is abroad. Using a cell phone abroad without an international plan or use of a local cell phone can be expensive. However, there are free options to communicating.
Text Messaging: 
Text messaging is the most common method of instant communication, but requires a cell phone and can be expensive when international. Just like video and voice calling, students can purchase international plans or chose one of the following options that are free of charge.
Email is a popular method of communication these days and is free between international users. Some email servers provide free additional services that can also be used for communication, such as GoogleVoice and GoogleHangout with a Gmail account. 

Social Networks:
Many people are already active on social networks and are great for keeping track of your student's activity. Networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, or Blogs are free and easy to use. 


AlertTraveler is a mobile application for iOS and Android devices that utilizes GPS and your travel itinerary. AlertTraveler provides you with country and city intelligence to help you make informed decisions while traveling, safety and security alerts to let you know of any events that could potentially impact your travel or safety, and an instant check-in option allowing you to report your status back to administrators and travel advisors at your institution in case of an incident. To learn more, check out the AlertTraveler tab on Terra Dotta homepage.

Resources for Learning About Studying Abroad:
Students Abroad: U.S. Department of State