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[Safety and Security page 7/10]

While abroad, finding a way to communicate with home is not only convenient, it is essential. Your ability to communicate is a safety tool, a necessity for your own personal comfort, and a means to coordinate the many activities that will ensure you get the most out of your experience abroad.

  • Cell phone communications - most cell phones from North America will not work overseas. Currently the predominant networks in Canada are CDMA networks, which is network-specific to North America. Cell phone companies that operate on the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) will generally work overseas, but it is best to check with your local provider to see how much communication will cost. It may even be feasible to purchase a pay-as-you-go cell phone in your host country.
  • Calling cards and pay phones may be a friendly and affordable alternative to bringing your phone from home. Speak with people in your host country (workmates, classmates, program facilitators, Harlow staff) for the best advice on communication devices in your host country.
  • Internet-based communications serves such as skype and MSN may have voice capabilities that will enable you to connect with friends and family back home. Make sure you work out the kinks before you leave with a couple of trial runs.
  • General tips for cell phones - take the time to enter in the contact information for:
    • Host institution / workplace contact information (and address)
    • classmates
    • program facilitator
    • transit information
    • local police, hospitals
    • local Canadian consulate
    • Ottawa emergency number
    • Memorial Campus emergency number
  • Always make sure other people have your number

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