The following information is for your reference. We recommend that you research thoroughly the options available for your program and city of destination.
You should not expect to have access to your host family's telephone for phone calls or internet access. You should always plan to use a cell phone or public phone. Keep in mind that many countries use calling cards rather than coins in the public phones. Calling cards are available locally.
Similar to the U.S., cell phones have become very popular and readily available in most countries. Be aware that international rates on a U.S. cell phone can be very expensive and an international plan does not indicate that your rate at home holds true abroad.
In many cases, a foreign cell phone can prove to be an affordable way of communication because long-term contracts are not required in some countries. You simply purchase a cell phone, SIM card and then buy minutes as you need them.
Depending on your program, you may have mail sent directly to your home address or to the host institution. In most cases, arrangements for receiving any packages sent from the U.S. should be made with the host institution or with the local post office. Please be aware that mail can take a long time to arrive and you may not receive packages before you return to the U.S.
Email and Internet
In most countries, email and internet are widely accessible. You should expect to find and pay for your own internet access. In some cases, your host institution will provide internet access and recently more home stay families have internet access. But this is not a standard feature of home stays.
Programs such as Skype or AIM offer audio chat options that allow users to talk or video chat with each other using a microphone and camera. These programs are generally free to download, so look into these options before you go. DePaul student e-mail accounts can be accessed from anywhere at studentweb.depaul.edu
A personal blog may not only help you to stay in touch with family and friends, it is also a great way to document your experiences. Be advised, however, that anything placed on the web is public information and discretion should be used when commenting on people, places and events.