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Staying Connected Abroad
Your UMD Email Account
Email is the official form of communication at UMD. Check your UMD email account regularly. This is the easiest and most efficient way to reach the UMD Study Abroad office should any issues arise while you are abroad. Likewise, email is the optimal (and only) way for UMD to contact you while you are abroad on matters such as financial aid and registration queue times. Note that you will be assessed a semester fee for your email account just as you would if on campus.
Communication with Friends & Family
In addition to a calling card, Skype, What's App, Marco Polo, Facetime and Google Hangouts (and many others) are free, web-based programs that allow you to communicate with family and friends back home. While connecting with folks back home is a positive, grounding aspect of being abroad, remember that you are abroad to learn about a new culture by being immersed in it. It is difficult to maximize this experience if you never break away from home. So don’t forget to get out there and make new friends.
Pay as you go phones are also popular. Shortly after arriving abroad, many students buy a pay as you go phone. Plans vary, so do your research prior to purchasing. These phones can help you stay in contact with friends and family back home as well as people in your study abroad location.