London is a fantastic city to study, with its fantastic culture, world-class universities, and enough nightlife to keep anyone entertained; no wonder it’s a popular destination for foreign students. As easy as it is to get lost in the hustle and bustle of London life, eventually the time will come that you will want to get in touch with your loved ones spread across the globe. Traditionally, international communication came at a staggering cost, but with the rise in apps and devices that keep us connected, there are a lot of viable options. Given how many choices there are, this article will provide an overview of some of the ways for you to keep in touch with your loved ones.
Old but gold, Skype is a timeless classic that allows you to call your loved ones from any device as long as you are connected to the internet. Now owned by Microsoft, you can integrate it with your account and sync it across all of your devices. Skype was historically marketed as a video calling app – with users sat around laptops being involved in special occasions.
Skype is still on the go today and is just one of the many video-calling solutions out there. Never miss a moment back home, no matter what you’re up to. It must be noted that although it runs off a stable connection, it can run up a lot of costs against mobile data plans. On average, a video call uses 1GB per four hours, with the average mobile plan offering around 3GB per month.
Pick up a UK SIM
Once upon a time, calling abroad would cost you a pretty penny, but luckily time has caught up. One of the best ways to keep in touch with our loved ones overseas and local friends is to invest in one of the many cheap SIM only deals.
The best Cheap SIM only plans in the UK come from Lebara, which runs through the Vodaphone network. For as little as £5 a month, you can enjoy the luxury of a 30-day rolling plan that you can cancel anytime; an out of plan cap of zero so you’re not stung at the end of the month; data that can be used for tethering; free minutes to both UK numbers and 41 international countries.
There are others, but this is the best plan for your student budget so that you can spend more money on living your London life to its fullest.
It’s 2021, social media is everywhere and there’s so much choice that you can’t possibly struggle to find one that works for you. If you aim to stay connected with your family and share your experiences with them, look no further than Instagram. This beast of an app is owned by Facebook and lets you post pictures and videos to your page – your family can follow you and know exactly what you’re up to. If you’re living a truly wild student life that you’d rather your family not see, then consider a separate page for your friends to follow; no one wants their mother to see the long drunken walks home at 3 a.m.
Moving away from traditional communication, you can keep in touch with your family by opening a shared cloud storage account. Sometimes you won’t have the time to spend hours on the phone talking, but by simply uploading your pictures and videos, you’ll all be able to catch up with the latest in each other’s lives. You can access your media from any device and stream it to any smart TV. With cloud storage, you will never have to miss a moment and you can cherish memories for everyone. When it comes to cloud storage there are a lot of choices, so make sure you choose the right one for you.
Now that you’ve uploaded your notable moments to the cloud, why not write about them through a blog to give your family back home some context. You don’t have to write anything too heavy or professional but depending on what you want to do in life, it won’t hurt to have some experience in blogging – our world is forever moving more digital after all.
You can keep your blog as simple or as complex as you want. For simple blogging, you can use Google’s Blogger, which isn’t the most sophisticated service but allows you to edit a simple page and create posts.
If you’d like to take your blog a little further, then look into making a small investment in WordPress, which is one of the best blog creation tools on the web. Not only will you gain invaluable skills, but your family will feel as though they’re on the journey with you.
So, this isn’t exactly a ground-breaking tool for communication, but making sure your devices are charged up is extremely important – without sufficient battery, you can’t possibly stay connected. Lucky, there are solutions for making sure that you stay charged on the go. Invest in a powerful power bank and slip it into your bag or pocket. The greatest drawback to a power bank is that you have to remember to charge it up before you set off on your travels. Failing that, the second-best thing is to take a socket charger with you for when the world reopens – most coffee shops have sockets, and in London, you will be more than spoilt for choice.
Before you jet off to study away from home, you should consider scheduling some agreed times that you will contact each other, but you will have to take into account your different time zones. The last thing you want when you’re trying to get your teeth sunk into a lecture is your phone going off every few minutes because your parents are trying to get in touch with you.
In a world completed dominated by technology, consider going to the effort of sending a postcard home. Your family will appreciate the trouble you have gone to and will enjoy having something that you’ve given a personal touch to. When choosing a postcard, you can head to the gift shop inside any of the many free museums London has to offer.
Studying in London as a foreign student will be a fantastic opportunity, and you will make memories with you that will last a lifetime. Having thousands of miles between you and your loved ones can be a daunting prospect, but fortunately, you now know exactly how to keep in touch. Make sure you make the most of a cheap SIM only plan that gives plenty of free minutes; it’s cheaper to use minutes than data. Remember to pick up a power bank and keep it charged so that you can keep your devices juiced and connect back home on long days out. If you find technology fails you, don’t forget that before everything went digital, we had the postal service, and it still exists, so send your loved ones the odd postcard of places you’ve been.