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Information » Your World » Living Abroad » Communications


If you are considering living abroad, it is important you stay in touch with family and friends you leave behind so they know you are safe.

There are many ways to keep in contact with your family and friends including by post, by email, social networks or by phone.

Using a phone abroad

  • Calling from a mobile phone abroad can be expensive, and it might be worth taking out a contract with a new phone company abroad
  • Alternatively, you may want to keep your existing mobile phone and call your operator to make sure you can use it in other countries. The charges can vary depending on your operator and which country you are in. Make sure you find out the charges first
  • Even though a simple text message can tell people that you are safe, its better to speak to loved ones from time to time to let them know how you are doing
  • Some countries will not have mobile phone coverage. It's best to find this out before you leave
  • If you do not want to use a mobile phone abroad, you can use a pay phone which can work out cheaper
  • If you are using a land line you can buy a calling card which is a cheaper way to make calls


  • Emailing is a quick and easy way of staying in touch with people
  • Provided you have internet access, using email is a great way to contact your family and friends. You can also send digital photos attached to your emails
  • Most mobile phones now have WAP which allows you to send emails using your phone. Make sure you check charges before you send messages

Instant Messaging

  • Instant messaging is becoming an increasingly popular method of 'chatting' over the internet and is quicker than email
  • It allows you to see who you know is logged on to the internet and send them instant messages
  • Instant message users create 'buddy lists' of their friends who they can send messages to. The 'buddy list' indicates who is online

Voice calls over the internet

  • Talking over the internet is like using a phone - you can make calls to people all over the world but at a much cheaper rate than a telephone call or mobile phone call
  • Some companies who offer this service will charge a monthly fee and some will charge by the minute and some are completely free of charge!
  • To set up this facility on your computer you will need to download a programme and use a headset.

For more information about Texting and Social Networking, go to these sections in People in Your Life.

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