In the flurry of making new friends and meeting people while abroad, we all still want to stay in touch with those back home. After all, like Dolly Parton croons, “You can’t make old friends.” There’s something about maintaining those ties with those who know us best that gives us a more grounded feeling. Fortunately, we live in an incredibly technologically advanced time and staying connected is easier than it ever was. Remember when you had to plan a long-distance phone call, not to mention watch the clock while chatting as fees were higher for long distance, from your landline phone?! Those dinosaur techy days are a thing of the past and we have a buffet of apps and services to choose from. Here’s a round-up of some of the easiest ways to stay in touch after you move abroad.
Technology to Use to Stay in Touch when you Move Abroad
By far and away, Whatsapp is one of the most popular ways to stay in touch between countries. A free app available for download at whatsapp.com, its main appeal lies in the fact that audio and video calling is completely free, easy to use, doesn’t require a particular carrier and gives the option for FaceTime functionalities. You can instantly send a message to anywhere in the world, link it to group chats with people in other countries and send pics. It has a good reputation for working everywhere and there are no roaming fees. Bonus is that they are constantly expanding countries so if you find yourself in a more exotic locale, it will likely still work. You can share your live location as well as send Document files up to 100Mb, such as PDF and Slideshows.
GroupMe is a fun way for many people to interact quickly and in a more eye-pleasing way than straight texts. Download the GroupMe App for an attractive interface that allows those who are invited to a particular group to communicate in a more sophisticated way than just group texting. Users can upload avatars of themselves, messages can be liked by many and it works on all devices. This is also a nice option for when you connect with new local friends as it’s a quick and conducive way to communicate when setting up local plans.
Tried and true, group texting, or just one-on-one texting, is still incredibly popular and has replaced phone calls as a preferred way to communicate for many. Check on rates, however, for international texting as they can be shockingly high. If that’s the case, try one of the apps above.
Facetime and Skype
Facetime and Skype are popular options for video calling. FaceTime is unique as it was developed by Apple and is intended to be used on Apple products like the iPhone, Mac-book, and iPad. As a built-in app, Facetime is fairly intuitive and free without the need to download any extra applications. It should be already installed in your Apple products. Simply access your contacts and hit the FaceTime option.
Skype, on the other hand, is a bit more versatile in that it works on more platforms and offers a basic (free) option, as well as a subscription service with more enhanced features. This universally recognized, easy-to-use app also boasts
screen sharing, call recording and live subtitles.
Visits from Friends When you are Overseas
This is perhaps the most satisfying way to stay in touch of all. If your friends back home are able, there is no substitute for having them visit you in person in your new city. Ideally they would come after you’ve gotten sea legs a bit and can confidently show them around. The most common challenge for international travel is the expense. Check out this guide to help your family or friends book affordable international travel. Plan for an off season, or perhaps offer to chip in on the airfare. Seeing your friends and family is MUCH better than talking to them on a screen!
Fluency Corp can help your employees and their families assimilate to their country, city and neighborhood through private English lessons (or other languages) in home, in office or online. We transform communication with employees and their families so the success of international relocations are greatly increased. For a free consultation, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 401-3159. Read success stories from people we have helped!