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Communicating with your family back home is very important.  There is a good chance that your cell will not work once you arrive at your destination.  We recommend you to explore the different options ahead of time for communication while abroad.  Here is how to stay in touch while you are abroad, but not build up an expensive phone bill. We also recommend to talk to students who have been to the countries you are going and see if they have suggestions on the best options. 

Cell phones
Cell phones are an effective way of communicating overseas.  Contact your phone carrier to explore the different international plans.  Some phone carriers may allow you to swap SIM cards. With the SIM card, you may use to make calls from your existing phone. 
Renting an international cell phone with a pre-paid value of calls can keep you in touch depending on the options you purchase.
InternetThe most inexpensive way to communicate is through the various online APP options.  Student may need to find an Internet café or other form of internet access to use the online free APP to stay in close contact with their family back home.  

You may also want to sign up for Skype or FaceTime, which you can do video or voice phone calls through the Internet.