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Communication Abroad

We encourage you and your student to research the most affordable and reliable ways stay in contact with each other and create a plan as to when and how often they will communicate with you.

As your student prepares to depart, ensure that you have a copy of their itinerary. Airline websites often offer tools to track the flights. Upon arrival, students may not be able to call or email home immediately as they may be greeted by the program representatives, on their way to their accommodations, or may not have access to internet or a phone.  

Nearly every participant in a study abroad program undergoes some form of culture shock, with vastly different manifestations. Whether your student is a letter-writer or uses email or the phone, you will undoubtedly notice traces of it in their communications. While communicating home is important, it is equally important for students to speak with their site supervisor when experiencing culture shock. Often times parents and guardians feel helpless assisting their student; be sure to advise your student on utilizing their local resources.

Most students are able to stay in close contact throughout the program, however, certain locations may make this more challenging. In many parts of the world, students are able to use their existing cell phones while participating on education abroad programs. Prior to departure, your student should research the extent of cell coverage available and any additional charges that may apply. Options include using the cell phone in “roaming” mode, unlocking and swapping out the SIM card in the cell phone, using Wi-Fi, and/or purchasing or renting a satellite phone. Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook, Viber, and other applications and tools may also be viable options for staying in touch with your student abroad.

If at any time you feel that your student is in a genuinely bad situation, please contact Purchase College’s Office for Global Education (OGE) immediately at (914) 251-6032. After business hours or on weekends, please call the Purchase College University Police at (914) 251-6900; they will get you in touch with a member of our OGE office or the administration.