The personal learning network for educators
Say you’ve always wanted to teach English abroad, you studied hard and that new TESOL/TEFL Certificate is in your hot little hands and now, finally, you are about to set off on a grand adventure. Living and working overseas. In this day and age of global communication, you may think staying in touch is easy, and it is, with the right tools. There are apps, free services, and social media platforms which help you stay in touch you’re your loved ones while working abroad.
So, how do you know the best one for you to stay in touch with your family if you are working abroad for the first time?
Well, the good news is that there is a multitude of options at your fingertips ensuring you never lose that connection to those nearest and dearest. And the best part is that it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Here’s how.
It seems there is an app for almost everything these days and there are tones to choose from within the communication sector like Viber, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. Offering free calls, texts and photo sharing is just the beginning. You can send videos’ and photo albums of your trips, work or everyday life so that your family can experience and see your new country with you.
If you don’t like these then there are new ones being launched constantly like Vero which is quickly climbing the ranks to become number one according to CNN Tech.
Live video chats through Facetime, Skype, Google Duo, Tango and more help you to achieve that more personal touch and watch your little niece or nephew grow before your eyes, all you need is Wi-Fi.
All the usual suspects like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. are free and available 24/7 from wherever you are in the world to help you make the transition from living overseas easier. No matter which time zone you are now residing in, it’s easy to scroll through Facebook and see what’s going on back home and keep in touch through comments, likes and posting about your new life abroad. Your family and friends love to see what’s happening in your new life as soon as they wake up and catch up with your adventures daily with their morning cup of coffee.
Keeping your existing countries phone number and using global roaming is expensive so there are multiple ways to stay connected which suit every family member. With the outstanding quality of Wi-Fi these days, keeping in contact is the easiest it has ever been, for free. Calls are clear, even in remote places and all you need is Wi-Fi. It seems that even in the remotest villages or towns of just about every country the local cafés or restaurants all have Wi-Fi for you to make a quick call back home even when you are in a town you cannot pronounce.
Experienced travelers, business people that travel a lot for work and those living and working abroad find it easy to talk to family back home through any of the apps you choose.
Relax and Write
One of the joys of living overseas is a new lifestyle. Oftentimes a more relaxed one, but sometimes it can be stressful as you settle into your new life and job. Writing a letter back home puts aside time for you and is actually quite therapeutic as you share your new life and adventures overseas with those nearest and dearest.
Enjoy a stress-free Sunday morning breakfast at your favorite new hang out and write a letter to a loved one. There is nothing better than finding a hidden gem amongst a stack of bills and surprising your loved ones with a thoughtful letter. Yes, it’s old school but it’s also guaranteed to make them smile.
If writing isn’t your thing, or you don’t have any stationary, then email is just as good. Sending a note or letter home via your laptop or mobile device is equally appreciated and you also have the option to add photo’s as well.
International roaming on your country of origins phone can be extremely expensive when living overseas so one solution is to grab a local SIM when you arrive in your new country. They are readily available at airports all over the world over so it takes some of the hustle out of finding a phone store.
This is excellent for making sure you are contactable, can call in case of an emergency and also speaking to your new work colleagues, friends and family. Though your apps and Wi-Fi everything is free and all you need to do for local calls is top up some credit as needed for those times when you are in those out of the way places with no Wi-Fi, or just roaming around town.
Overall, it’s never been easier to stay in touch than it is right now so don’t let it stop you from landing that dream job overseas.