Communication in Puerto Rico

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. A quick phone call or e-mail can make them feel much better.

It’s important to consider that being in touch as soon as you land might not be possible. So, don’t promise that you will call as soon as you land, because then when you don’t, they’ll panic. Instead, let them know you’ll get in touch with them as soon as you can after you get settled-in. Send a quick text or email when you can to ease their nerves, until you can make that call so they can hear your voice.

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 a short time in the grand scheme of things, 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 is by keeping a blog. This is an excellent way to keep folks at home updated, as it touches many people and can be read by friends and family at any time of day (like, when you’re fast asleep).

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 Skype, which allows for free calling from one Skype device to another or very inexpensive calling from Skype to a landline or mobile phone.

#Cisabroadtip add $5 to your skype account before going abroad to make calling phones back home easy right from the beginning.

Cell Phones
Cell phones are a fantastic way to keep in touch, especially in Puerto Rico. Check with your cell phone provider to make sure Puerto Rico is included in your network but most often there is no extra charges and your phone should work just as it does here in the states. In order to make a call from Puerto Rico to the US, just dial 1 before the phone number that you are calling. This does pose the extra challenge of balancing your time with your oh-so-familiar cell phone and fully living all the brand new experiences during your trip. It’s easy to miss a once in a lifetime moment while your head is down posting the beautiful sunset picture you just took of El Morro.