Communication in Thailand

Be sure to communicate with your family soon after you arrive to let them know you are safe and sound! A quick phone call or e-mail can make them feel much better.

While you are abroad it is important to find ways to stay in touch with family and friends. They will all be anxious to hear about your experiences, and you will want to know what is happening at home. Some students have said that it is helpful to set up a communication plan with family and friends so everyone will know when you are available to make a call or receive a call. With time differences, inconsistent internet access, and the many excursions and activities you will be participating in, sometimes it can be difficult for you and your family to connect. Keep in mind that you are only abroad for one term, so you will want to make the most of it and be present for every experience that you have.

One way some students have stayed in touch and shared their experiences with many friends and family is through keeping a blog. This is an excellent way to communicate as it touches many people and can be flexible with time.

Communication Apps  

Smart phone apps also work very well and allow students to text and call back home with ease. Viber, Whatsapp, and Facetime are all recommended. The most common communication tool however, is LineLine is used very commonly across Asia, and many Korean students will have this app, along with your site director!  It’s a chat and call app with the ability to create shared photo albums.

Cell Phones
Experienced travelers all agree: it is best to buy a phone and SIM card in-country once you arrive. Bringing your American phone can incur hefty international fees.

You will be able to purchase a basic phone and SIM card in-country. You can then send an international text message to your family so they know your new local number.

Your phone minutes and texts will be prepaid by you. You “top-up” (prepay) your phone with $5-20 at a time at many locations. Your on-site staff can explain this in more detail in-country.

If you have an American phone with a SIM card, it may be possible to only buy the SIM card in-country and not need to buy a basic phone. Please contact your cell phone provider for specific instructions on how to use your phone overseas and if it should be “unlocked” before leaving the US.

Plan on not knowing your local cell phone number until you are in-country.

The country code for Thailand is 66. To call to Thailand:

First dial 011, the U.S. exit code. Next dial 66, the country code for Thailand. Then the area code (2–5 digits). And finally the phone number (8 digits).

To call the United States from Thailand, dial:

66 – Thailand exit code to dial first when calling international
1 – US country code must be dialed next
00 + 1 + Area Code + Local Number – Overall dialing code format

Keep in mind that you are only abroad for a limited amount of time, so you will want to make the most of it and be present for every experience that you have!