Communication While Abroad
Communicating with Your fellow during the Program
The Program encourages all fellows to check in with their family once they have arrived in country. Parents/guardians should expect to receive a message via the Remind App within 48 hours of the group’s landing in country. Orientation is a very busy time and fellows may not be able to call right away. Leaders also let parents know when the group arrives in country at the start of the program and when all fellows have departed the country at the end of the program.
How often and the manner in which your child contacts you during his or her program will depend on the location of the program (i.e., field trip days, etc.). Make sure you have developed a communication plan and expectations with your child about frequency of calls home: our recommendation is that you should realistically expect to speak about upon arrival and depart, given that the trip will only extend for one week.
While the majority of programs have access to postal service, we discourage the sending of mail or care packages, in particular due to the short duration of the trip. In our experience, mail service, especially packages, can be delayed for a variety of reasons outside of our control. If you must send something to your child, ensure that you include tracking services, as Program team leaders will not be able to help locate lost/late packages.
Please remember that trained adult group leaders are available to fellows and are best positioned to help with all issues that arise during the program. We therefore request that fellows speak directly with leaders about issues prior to contacting parents.
Methods of Communication
Our recommendation is that fellows use prepaid calling cards when communicating home. It is much easier to find pay phones internationally than it is in the US, and our leaders will help students acquire these cards when they arrive in country. However, due to the short duration of the trip, parents will be provided with the team leader’s in-country telephone number. All fellows will have the ability to contact their parents to confirm their arrival in country.
While we recommend bringing a cell phone to help facilitate domestic travel, we strongly discourage fellows from using cell phones during the program. It is our experience that cell phone use by fellows may result incur large cost and significantly impact the experience of the fellow, including cultural adjustment and group dynamics.
Program leaders will not provide troubleshooting support for international cell phone service. If fellows intend to bring cell phones and use them internationally, they should contact their cellular service provider to discuss whether the technology will work abroad, and what additional technology may be required (e.g., SIM cards).