Since you were a child, you’ve dreamed of working as a teacher in a far off and distant land. Now, you’re about to do just that.
Unfortunately, there is a downside to your upcoming adventure— your significant has obligations back home, and is not going to be able to teach abroad with you. If you are concerned about staying in touch with your sweetie, there are plenty of ways to instant message, text, video chat and more. For example, consider the following:
Smartphones Are Super
People who are traveling abroad should definitely consider bringing along their smartphones, notes Quick and Dirty Tips. If you don’t already have one, or desperately need an upgrade, check out the latest smartphones such as the Galaxy S 5 as a terrific smartphone that works well overseas.
Look into international data plans from your current carrier, or buy a data plan for your phone once you arrive to your new home city. However, data plans abroad tend to be the more economical solution. Understandably, if you are not sure which plan to purchase, LanguageCorps staff will be able to point you in the right direction (some programs even include a cell phone).
Smartphones also have a variety of apps available. Quick and Dirty Tips also provides examples of video messaging apps like Facetime (only for Apple products), Google Hangouts, Skype and Viber, which all are easy to use and actually allow you to see your significant other and have a conversation. If you need something quicker, WhatsApp is a popular international texting app, but also video calling.
Seek Out Free Wi-Fi
To avoid the humongous phone bills that can happen with overseas data usage, find Internet hotspots with a website like Wefi. This will allow you to use free Wi-Fi whenever you can as opposed to the more expensive data from your plan.
You also should see if the school has free Wi-Fi, or you can use your smartphone as a Wi-Fi router by tethering it to your tablet or laptop. If your phone doesn’t allow this feature, you can purchase a MiFi device, which is essentially a small Wi-Fi router that works with a SIM card.
Most LanguageCorps training centers are equipped with WiFi, and internet cafes are increasingly common throughout most regions as well. However, do keep in mind that these public Internet hookups are not always secure, so use them to talk with your spouse but not necessarily to look up your bank information.
Don’t Forget Emails
A tablet or laptop can be a handy and convenient tool for staying in touch with loved ones back home, notes ICAL. Rather than have rushed phone calls with less-than-ideal connections, you can take your time to compose thoughtful letters about your adventures as well as upload photos and videos of your school and colleagues. Another advantage of emails, notes Life After Study Abroad, is that you can still communicate with your spouse without having to think about time zones; you can write a nice letter at 2 p.m. while your spouse is snoozing thousands of miles away.