Monthly Archives: November 2012

Stay Connected with Home and Avoid Homesickness

When you’re a student in a foreign country, it is only natural to start missing home. Finding yourself hundreds of miles away, surrounded by new people and new things to do is hugely exciting, but can also be daunting at the same time. Here we have our top tips to help you stay connected with family and friends at home and avoid the homesickness.

Join Your University’s International Student Association

Most universities have their own International Student Association (or ISA), which is there to help overseas students with any problems they have. Often they are one of the biggest societies at the university and are a brilliant way to make settling in to a new country that bit easier.

As well as offering advice and help should you need it, most ISA’s also organise loads of events over the academic year. They are therefore a brilliant way to make friends with other students in your situation and to share any problems you may have.

Phone Home Regularly

You may think that calling friends and family at home from a foreign country would get pretty expensive pretty quickly. However, there are plenty of options that make it affordable to stay in touch. There are dozens of different phone companies that offer very cheap rates on international calls. Similarly, there are online options that offer you free video calls over the internet to anywhere in the world. Whilst staying in contact by email is fine, nothing quite beats the sound of your Mum’s voice.

Share Your Experiences Online

An important way to make sure you still feel connected with home is to let your family and friends know what you are up to. The internet makes this so much easier than it used to be and you really several options at the click of a mouse.

One obvious way to do this (that I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you) is to regularly upload photos on Facebook or other social networks. However, another brilliant way to keep everyone up to date is to keep a blog about your experiences. With a blog you can keep a written diary and regularly update it with photos you’ve taken. Not only will it be great way for you to keep a record of your time abroad, but will also keep loved ones at home up to date.

Join University Societies

At university you’ll find there are literally hundreds of societies you can join. Societies are basically groups of people who have the same interest. They are a good way to make new friends, keep up your interests and experience new ones, but they are also perfect for feeling connected with your home country.

The first society you should look for is the one for people of your nationality. Most nationalities will have their own society and talking to people from your home country can really help with any homesickness. Similarly, if you join societies in sports or hobbies that you enjoyed back home, you’ll get into the swing of your new life much faster.

Guest Post Author BIO:

Andy Burrows is the Online Editor at ForeignStudents.com- the leading site for internationals studying in the UK and jobs for students.

Disclaimer:  This site does not compensate its guest bloggers for their posts. The opinions expressed in the guest posts are those of the authors and do not reflect the opinions of iBasis.  In addition, iBasis does not review the posts for factual accuracy and therefore does not vouch for the accuracy of any facts contained in this guest post.

Thanksgiving Special – Get 15% Bonus For Your Recharge!

This customer appreciation bonus offer email was just sent!

Thanksgiving Special- Get 15% Bonus For Your Recharge!
The Thanksgiving holiday is a wonderful tradition – a time to bring the family together to share a meal and give thanks for all the good in our lives. We at Pingo want to thank you for your continued business. And we want to help you reach out to your distant loved ones this Thanksgiving.
So we’re offering a 15% bonus on recharge of your Pingo account between 21st November and 26th November.

Please check your email account that you use to receive Pingo notifications to claim your extra 15% recharge bonus

This is a special one-time offer and it is for a limited time only, so take advantage on your recharge between November 21st & November 26th.

Thank you and happy Thanksgiving.

The Pingo Team

iBasis | 20 Second Avenue | Burlington | MA | 01803


** Please Note: This offer is not transferable and it will not work with any other account. Please allow up to 72 business hours for bonus to appear in your account. The offer is valid from November 21st to

November 26th 2012. 15% bonus will be applied to only 1 recharge. (For example $20 recharge will result in $23 with this offer) This bonus is available only 1 time. Offer expires November 26th 2012.

 

Pingo Service Update: Local Access Service is Restored!

Dear Valued Pingo Customers,

As mentioned previously, we experienced connectivity issues using Local Access Numbers due to service disruptions caused by Hurricane Sandy. Our dedicated employees worked diligently to restore Local Access Number service. Our Toll Free service is still available at no additional cost, however regular charges for this service will resume on Friday, November 9, 2012.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience. To fully investigate this matter, we worked diligently with providers that support over 60k Pingo Local Access Numbers.

We truly appreciate your business and patience to allow us to restore the service.

Thanks for your continued support,

- The Pingo Team

Dial The World!

Importance of Documenting Phone Records for J1 Visa Spouse Immigration

A J1 visa is a visa that allows someone from a foreign country (non-US citizen) to come to the United States in order to participate in come sort of activity that promotes the exchange of cultural ideas. More specifically it is granted to students that come to the United States to study business or medicine. Residents of some countries are required to have a job offer secured in the United States before they can start the J1 visa application process.

Spouses and unmarried dependents under the age of 21 may apply for something called a J2 visa. This visa is for those family members to join the employed J1 visa holder or enrolled student J1 visa holder in this country. The J1 visa categories of child care providers, youth counselors, high school exchange student ecetera do not allow for J2 dependent visas as they are only intended to be short term visas. The J1 visas, other than the short term ones just mentioned, can last anywhere from one year to five years.

In order to secure a J2 visa, you have to provide proof that the dependents you are petitioning to have join you in the United States of America are indeed your dependents. This is proof must show that you are the financial support for those people. That could be your spouse, any children (adopted or natural born), etc that derive their financial support from you, the J1 visa holder. This proof can be in the form of marriage licenses, birth certificates, adoption paperwork, etc.

Maintaining phone records throughout this process is never a bad idea. The original J1 visa holder is required to have sponsor. That sponsor is usually an employer or an educational institution like a university. The phone records of who was talked to and when could be used in the process of securing a Certificate of Eligibility (form DS-2019). Records of all communications with the United States Department of State and Department of Homeland Security could be of service in expediting the matter. All calls should be documented by recording the day, time, location, and person (or persons) spoken to.

About the Author
Jo Harris is a writer and the Director of Content for the Morgan Law Firm, an Austin, Texas divorce firm. Please visit the Morgan Law Firm Blog for additional content.

Related Blog Post:

Phone Card Can Help You Win Family US Citizenship after Student Visa

Read this post to learn how using Pingo to call family while away from home can help with visa applicant call records to help show their family relationship is intact and genuine.

Disclaimer:

his site does not compensate its guest bloggers for their posts. The opinions expressed in the guest posts are those of the authors and do not reflect the opinions of iBasis.  In addition, iBasis does not review the posts for factual accuracy and therefore does not vouch for the accuracy of any facts contained in this guest post.

Pingo Service Update: Toll Free Service Available at NO Additional Cost

Dear Valued Pingo Customers,

As mentioned previously, we are currently experiencing connectivity issues using Local Access numbers due to service disruptions caused by Hurricane Sandy.  At this time, we still do not have a reliable estimate of when this problem will be resolved. In the meantime, Pingo toll-free access is working normally.  

Please use the following Toll Free Number: 1-888-967-4646

As a courtesy to our customers, for a limited time, NO additional charges will be assessed for using any of our Toll Free Access numbers to make your calls during the service outage period. We will notify you when the Local Access service is fully restored, and at that time, the toll free charges will resume.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience. To fully investigate this matter, we are working diligently with providers that support over 60k Pingo Local Access numbers.

If you have experienced a problem using a Pingo local access number, we want to know about it. Please fill out the trouble shoot form so we can diagnose and resolve the problem.

http://www.pingo.com/en/troubleshoot.do

We truly appreciate your business and patience to allow us to restore the service.

Thanks for your continued support,

- The Pingo Team