Communication & Cell Phones
Beginning May 1, 2014, communications will be sent primarily to N.U.in participants via their Northeastern Husky email addresses (example: firstname.lastname@example.org). This email account is created for students as soon as they activate their myNEU portals. Parents will receive some, but not all communications, as students will need to take responsibility and be empowered to initiate their own inquiries and problem-solve, especially during their time abroad.
For safety reasons and for ease of communication, participants are required to have a working cell phone with a local number for use in their host countries for the duration of their time abroad. Phones must be acquired and working within a week of arriving on-site. Students should research, ahead of time, the mobile phone options available to them during their time abroad. During on-site orientation, students typically have a chance to learn more about phone plans and purchase a phone.
More information about location-specific carriers:
Staying in Touch
Keeping in touch with family and friends back home can be difficult at times with the hustle and bustle of classes, adjusting to a new country, and the myriad activities and adventures that can be had while abroad. Past N.U.in students have suggested that it is best to set up a schedule for calling home to check in every week. Frequency of check-ins, of course, can vary depending on students’ schedules, but having a set time can make time differences much easier and less stressful to handle.
By far the least expensive way to stay in touch with family and friends back at home is through a laptop over the Internet. There are choices of instant messaging services that allow voice chat (such as Whatsapp messenger), or voice over IP phone programs such as Skype or Vonage, which allow one to talk to someone on the computer for free or directly to someone’s phone for a small per-minute fee. For an annual fee, one can purchase a local US number, allowing family and friends at home to call and pay what they would to call an area code in the US. Calls are received through the computer and voicemails can be left with this service. Of course, an internet connection will be needed, as well as a headset (earpiece and microphone) for the laptop if in public while placing a call. The person at the other end also has to be connected and running the same program (i.e. calls are best scheduled ahead of time).