Studying in a different country is a fantastic experience as you get to combine studying and living with travelling. In the UK, there’s loads of things to do to keep you busy, but you’ll no doubt want to check in with your family and friends back home quite often to see how they all are. However, this can be quite a difficult prospect; you may find a simple phone call to your mum has to battle against extortionate fees and confusing time zone differences.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about the time difference, but we have come up with a few solutions and suggestions to help you keep in touch with those who mean the most to you.
Cheap international calls
Sometimes all we want to do is have a good chat with our mums and dads, but if you’re calling internationally, that won’t exactly be the cheapest chat you’ve ever had. Therefore it’s worth investing in an international SIM or calling card to help keep costs down. There are companies like Lebara, LycaMobile and RebTel that specialise in international calls. It may be worth researching them all to work out which is your best option for the best deals, as phone shops may just tell you that their options are the best.
Connecting via the internet
The internet opens loads of doors for you in terms of keeping in touch with those overseas. Sites like Skype enable you to video chat to your loved ones for free which is really useful as there’s no time limit either. Most London student flats for example, like those with http://www.urbanest.com/, have really good, reliable internet access so you can Skype ‘til your heart’s content! Emailing, Facebook and Twitter are also great ways to use the internet to keep in touch. If you’re feeling a bit more creative, however, why not start a blog for your family and friends to follow? Loads of people have blogs these days and they’re surprisingly easy to start up.
The UK has a great transport system, from railways, ferry links and airports. Therefore getting home if you should ever need to (or want to!) should never be too difficult. Your university should be able to help you with transport if you are ever stuck or really desperate to get home, too, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Posting and packaging
Why not take it old school and send letters home? This can be a great way of keeping in touch as you can send postcards home from each place that you visit so your friends and family back home will have a visual representation of what you’re doing. (It’s also the best way to make them insanely jealous!). Sending your favourite British foods and bits and bobs home can be a lovely way for your family to experience a glimpse of what you’re experiencing too. You can check out Royal Mail prices when it comes to sending packages online beforehand so there are no nasty surprises at the post office as well!