Regular communication is important to maintain while your student is abroad. However, due to different time zones, academic and social demands, and technological restrictions, your usual way of communicating with your student may be heavily altered. Please make sure that before your student leaves, you have created a communication plan that everyone has agreed on.


There are a number of options that you and your student have to stay in touch. Below is just a sample of some of the free options that are available for texting, calling and video chatting:

  • Skype
  • Google Hangouts
  • Whatsapp
  • Viber
  • Line
  • Wechat
  • Text Me

You can all also purchase international phone cards to call your student if he or she has an international phone or SIM card. Social media is a great way to stay connected, but keep in mind that certain countries block access to sites such as Facebook and Instagram. Make sure your student researches ahead of time what restrictions they may encounter in their host country.

Keep in mind that frequent communication can inhibit your student from having a full cross-cultural experience in their host country. We recommend that you use your communication time to help your student reflect on their study abroad experience and share their stories with you. In this way, you will be better able to understand your student’s struggles and triumphs, and your student will add to their cross-cultural learning.