Modern technology has made keeping in touch with family and friends while abroad much easier and much quicker -- perhaps sometimes too easy and too quick. Be certain to give yourself time to experience your time abroad before calling, emailing, or blogging.
With that said, here are some tips on communicating during your abroad experience.
The International Office will only use your IWU email address for email communication. You MUST keep your IWU account open and clear to accept messages. You will probably have less access to the internet abroad than you are used to; try to get into the habit of using email less frequently over the summer to help you transition.
Phone cards with access numbers overseas are one of the cheaper options for calling home. Look into offers from the standard companies (MCI, Sprint, AT&T) or global calling card providers (Zaptel, www.zaptel.com; IDT, www.global-call.net, or Ekit, www.goabroad.ekit.com).
Communicating With Your Family
Email and cell phones allow students to keep in closer touch with family and friends back home than ever before. There is a good side to this, but it is possible to overdo it so that you focus too much on home to the detriment of your experience abroad. Consider writing frequent letters and postcards, which can be reread and kept as a record of your time abroad. Letters allow you to keep in touch while giving you space to grow in your encounter with a new culture.
Plan family visits to your study abroad site during official vacation periods when you are free to spend time with them and not during the academic session. Visits by family or friends do not count as acceptable excuses for missing class sessions or exams.