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About CommunicationPolicy Information:
As study abroad programs can literally take place anywhere in the world, communicating with students abroad can be challenging. However, with the advent of the Internet, faculty, staff and students are able to communicate by e-mail as well as phone and fax. Administrators must be clear about explaining a studentís access to communication, as well as the cost of communicating from abroad. To ease communication, many administrators choose to go abroad with a cellular phone, or they get one abroad.
In the event of a crisis, effective crisis management necessitates effective communication. It is helpful if students are able to have someone to communicate with 24-hours/day while abroad, just in case of a real or perceived emergency. A 24-hour contact can be the program director, someone at the home campus, or support services provided by many insurance companies for international travel assistance.
Institutions should develop policies to assist students in communicating with parents, guardians, spouses, or significant others prior to the program abroad both on a regular, personal basis and in case of emergencies.
In addition, the Center for Global Education developed a series of online interactive communication sheets as part of its Study Abroad Student Handbook. Study abroad students can use the communication sheets to help them navigate a non-English speaking culture. These Communication Sheets include: Words to Know, Phrases to Know, and Service Icons a student can print, cut out and carry with them. There is also a helpful Methods of Communication While Abroad section of the Handbook.Web Links:
- Carnegie Mellon Study Abroad: Communication Information
- NAFSA: Association of International Educators Publications on Study Abroad
- The Center for Global Education Online Study Abroad Student Handbook: Methods of Communication While Abroad
- The University of Iowa Study Abroad: Communication Information
- UCEAP Communications
- University of California Education Abroad Program Student Guide: Communications in Costa Rica
- University of Nevada Las Vegas Study Abroad Handbook: Communicating with those at home