Tag Archives: International students

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.

Information on Semester Study Abroad Programs

For those who are interested, there are many different types of semester long study abroad programs in the United States as well as in other countries. By attending this type of program, the student’s educational opportunities can be greatly enriched with different customs, cultures and languages. In fact, students that take advantage of these opportunities can also increase their earning potential substantially. It is also considered to be an invaluable experience that many companies need in order to compete in the worldwide business market.

Types of Study Abroad Programs

Presently, there are at least two types of programs available in the United States for students who are interested and want to apply. The two types that are most commonly known are school sponsored semester study abroad programs and private study abroad programs. Each type has their own set of requirements and they must be met before a student becomes eligible.

With a school-sponsored semester study abroad program, a student can take classes abroad and the credits can be applied to the major that they are pursuing. Private study abroad programs are available for students who want to attend a college or university abroad instead of in the states.

Things to Consider When Selecting a Semester Long Study Abroad Program in the US

Prior to pursuing any type of program, a student should consider several things before applying. Some of the things that should be considered is the language that is spoken, the finances needed, the student’s interest, the credits that can be transferred, and the past study abroad program reviews of other students.

Language is a major consideration because some study abroad programs require students to speak a certain language before the student becomes eligible. For example, non-English speaking countries like Portugal may require the student to speak Portuguese as a requirement for acceptance. Also, finances for the studying abroad program should be reviewed, especially if the person cannot pay for the living expenses and the program cost.

Each student that applies may have a specific interest in a certain culture, which means this should be taken into consideration when applying. Their interest may also coincide with their college major. In addition to looking at specific interests, the student should also look at past studying abroad reviews from students who attended the abroad student program. These studying abroad reviews will often indicate both the advantages and the disadvantages of certain study abroad programs.

Contacts and Mentors

When researching these studying abroad student programs, you should look for program contacts and mentors that can provide essential information about the full details of the study abroad program. These contacts will depend upon the type of abroad study program that the person is researching. For example, if the college abroad program is school-sponsored, the colleges will have advisers that can help the student find a college abroad program that will meet their specific needs.

In some colleges and universities, peer mentors are hired to provide interested students with essential college abroad program information. For example, the University of Maryland International program hires peer mentors to help with promoting these college based abroad programs on their campuses. These peer mentors can assist students by providing information on both the pros and cons of each semester college abroad program that is being offered. Which we highly recommend you seek a professional from a credited school to assist you and only use this article as a starting guide to your journey to studying & living abroad.

**Photograph “Get Trained for ‘New GRE’” by Achieverspointweb under Creative Commons Attribution

The Do’s and Don’ts of Living Abroad with a Sponsored Family

In today’s open world, the ability to immigrate is a fast growing trend. If one doesn’t like their present situation or lifestyle, they have the option of relocating to a new place with new opportunities. For these reasons, many nations are composed of not just one culture, but are becoming a conglomeration of different people from different places all living abroad with sponsored family.

When finances become difficult or opportunity comes with limits, it is a popular choice for children to immigrate to live with sponsoring families elsewhere. A child may find himself living with a completely new family, perhaps cousins or distant relatives, or perhaps brothers and sisters who’ve immigrated before and have settled into their new community.

But there is a trick to this type of situation, mostly because a new person, especially a child, brings along many new responsibilities. Children will likely need to attend schooling, won’t be able to work, and will leave traces in every aspect of a common household.

Not just for the family, the child must be responsible as well. The child must consider himself a guest within his or her new home rather than expect the sponsoring family to be completely obligated to the child.

Consider the family members that are already occupying the household. Many immigrating children find themselves living in an overcrowded home.

It’s also important to consider that some kids may be accustomed to different lifestyles and habits. In a new household, this can occasionally become a problem while living abroad with family. There may also be a language barrier as well.

While it’s important that children get the help they need and feel that they are in a situation where they are free to ask whenever, it is often small habits and practices that can sometimes get in the way or make someone feel like a burden when moving into a new home.

Keep the load light

So how does one lighten the load your sponsoring family experiences with a new addition to their family? There are many things to consider, some blatantly obvious while others are often overlooked or misconceived.

The best places to start consist of keeping condiments, such as your toothbrush and other toiletries out of sight and avoid cluttering the household you live in. Basically, the art of cleaning up after yourself is something one should master when living with a sponsored family. Always keep in mind the many burdens and responsibilities that are often unseen and rarely discussed, such as feeding an extra mouth, transportation, and even clothing. Take care of what you’re given and always show appreciation.

You can also help out wherever you can, such as household chores. Things as simple as washing the dishes, yard care, and even simply doing your own laundry can really make a difference by lightening the load your family experiences.

What about the simple concept of “getting on each other’s nerves?” This is a big issue that isn’t normally discussed, but often goes undetected and can bring about uncomfortable issues within the household. Schooling incorporates homework, which may demand quiet or study time. This can demand space and silence to provide a quality environment for education. Be aware and respectful of these important times of the day, and consider organizing your own schedule to provide an environment that is accommodating to your sponsoring family, rather than expecting them to accommodate you.

What about coordinating time for privacy? This is especially important when considering who is going to sleep where as well as restroom availability. More than likely, you’ll have a designated domicile that you might have to share, especially when you live in a large family or large household. Don’t spread yourself out across the home or create clutter, such as messy laundry and equipment.

Finally, help others do the same for you. Communication is perhaps the most effective tool when adapting yourself to a new home environment. Be open rather than reclusive.

Stay in contact by utilizing prepaid international calling services, where you’ll be able to contact family overseas. You can ask for advice or just listen to the comforting familiarity of your home while you’re adjusting to your new environment. The best thing about international calling services is that they are easily affordable and won’t hinder your sponsoring family’s phone bills with high-cost long distance calls. It’s a great way to be financially sound while staying in contact with family back home.

When you find yourself in a new country with a new culture, it isn’t just the practices and traditions you need to adapt to. Consider your new sponsoring family and the sacrifices they’ve made to provide a new opportunity for you.

* Use this only as a guide, please seek professional help from a certified counselor that has experience with family immigration support.

**Photograph “Everybody Clean Up” by NazarethCollege under Creative Commons Attribution

Who Else Wants to Say Good-Bye to Pin-Codes?

Whether you’re traveling or staying at home, making a call to anyone anywhere in the world is always a must. Fortunately, services such as Pingo provide users with the ability to utilize prepaid accounts and calling cards so they can have access from any phone.

Because our work and travels often take us in different parts of the world, international long distance services are a must for many. International calling cards have risen in demand, especially in countries where regular phone services cost a lot. Sometimes, these phone services even have hidden charges like connecting and disconnecting fees. But Pingo won’t surprise you with anything like that. They stick to a firm rate that’s fair for everyone.

With a calling card, you usually call the local or toll-free access number to gain connection. Then you enter your pin number. The pin-codes can be a downside for many. Commonly, they are a fourteen-digit number that you need to enter before you could make a call. But that is a thing of the past. Pingo has now devised a plan to alleviate the need to enter a code before you make a call.

The PINpass is a feature that allows you to bypass the need to enter a code. All you have to do is register any of up to ten different numbers that you commonly use, and the PINpass feature will automatically recognize the number and allow you to make a call. Because this uses your account, you should definitely refrain from adding a number from a dormitory or otherwise public place so that unauthorized persons don’t take advantage of this awesome feature.

With that in mind, consider the expensive rates that many cell phone companies add to your bill when you make an international call. By using Pingo, you can save a bundle on your cellular bills. Just be sure to add your cell phone to your list of PINpass numbers, and consider removing international calls on your cell phone account. Also, make sure that after you dial your number you press # instead of “send.”

Once you’ve gained access to your account, all you have to do is enter a country code and phone number. Pingo also offers another feature that can speed-dial the number you need with a push of a button. If you have family in another country, this feature can definitely be a timesaver if you’re in a hurry or don’t want to enter the number every time.

The best thing is that you can even refer friends to Pingo and get rewarded for it. So if you’re in need of long-distance services with a speedy connection, be sure to try Pingo and its user friendly features. You can reach out to your contacts around the world and still save some cash in the process. With Pingo, it’s a win/win calling situation.

How to Live and Work in the USA

The USA is one of the toughest countries to migrate to. Being able to live and work in the USA very much depends on your dedication to acquiring the required visas and documents, and also on your own qualifications. There are several ways to move to the USA, and to gain the ability to work. You can choose to work in the country on a permanent or temporary basis depending on your situation.

Temporary Working Visa

It is possible to arrange for a temporary visa to enable you to work in the USA for a short period. This visa allows you to enter the country and perform the task you have been granted permission for. On this visa, you will not be allowed to perform work on anything else. It is a highly restricted visa and it is only granted for a limited time.

There are a wide range of visas available, depending on the job you plan on doing when you get to the United States.

Permanent Working Visa

This type of visa allows you to enter the USA to live and work there permanently.

There are five levels of visas available for permanent work and they are referred to as Employment Based Immigration. They start at First Preference and pertain to people with extraordinary abilities, down to Fifth Preference. Each category provides detailed criteria which must be met in order for the visa to be issued.

There are approximately 140,000 places each year made available for permanent working visas. These categories filter and give priority to individuals with the most extraordinary skills.


This approach to getting a visa is sometimes frowned upon, but if you have a legitimate relationship with an American citizen, you may marry and then apply for a Green Card afterwards.

Student Visas

It is possible to work in the United States on a student visa. Normally, the only work that an international student is eligible for is work on campus, but it is also possible for permission to be granted for employment within the field they are studying in. Permission can only be granted after one year of study.

Exchange Visitors

Temporary exchange visitors may apply for a working visa in the United States under the J1 classification. This includes professions such as teaching an au pair, and is a popular way of working in the US. Many other professions are covered under this scheme, but you would need to check first whether your desired exchange program is covered by the US Department of State.

Once you have gotten your necessary visa and documents and are able to move into the United States to begin your new life, make sure you check out Pingo which can provide you with an easy way to keep in contact with your friends and loved ones back home. Pingo offers fantastic rates and services so you will never have to break your budget when staying in touch.

Working and living in the USA can become a fantastic experience which can help you grow and develop as a person. Once you’ve sorted out how to get there, you can quickly get started on your new and exciting life working in the United States.

Use this guide for informational purposes only. It’s best to seek legal advice from a licensed immigration lawyer in addition to reading this.

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

student visaIt’s no surprise that calling cards are highly popular among foreign students studying in the U.S.. The phone cards let international students call family and friends back home, from any phone in the U.S., at very low cost.

What’s surprising is that some of those international students obtained the required F1 or M1 student visa because they used a particular phone card to help them apply. That’s because foreign students applying for an F1 or M1 student visa to study in the U.S. show that they have a residence abroad and a connection to the states.

International students that eventually become US citizens. Can leverage this call record data for the time that they temporarily living apart from their family home country.

By using a phone card to call family while away from home, F1 and M1 student visa applicants can supply call records to help show their family relationship is intact and genuine.

The catch is that very few calling card companies are both able and willing to provide the detailed data.
Pingo is one that is, and does it free.

Pingo marketing manager Brian Hawkins said that Pingo gets a few requests a week from foreign students and other immigrants seeking call records for their family immigration proceedings. In the case of immigration proceedings, Pingo documents communications between family members where one family member is already in the USA, to help other family members or loved ones immigrate.

“We’re happy to help,” said Hawkins, “and we don’t charge for this service.”

“When we receive such a request, we tap into our sophisticated IT systems to pull down the customer’s call records,” he said, “and then we package the records up with a cover letter that gets signed by one of our senior executives.”

An actual example of such a letter is shown in this post. It was written on the letterhead of Pingo’s parent company, iBasis, a KPN Company that owns Pingo. iBasis is a leading telecom provider that delivers over a billion minutes of international voice calls every month.

“Even if you’re not yet certain you’ll be applying to get a family member citizenship , I would urge you to get a Pingo phone card right now,” Hawkins stressed, “so that if the time comes later, we can supply a most helpful set of International call records for you or your loved one.”

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* This post is just one opinion of advice, we encourage you to please contact a licensed immigration lawyer and US government directly for specific information to help with your student visa, F1 to US citizenship paperwork.

Over 3 Million International Students Phone Home

international StudentsA globalizing economy has pushed the worldwide number of foreign students past 3 million, and the number is expected to swell as more families in China, India and other fast-developing countries join the ranks of those able to support international students.

Most Calls From USA, UK, France, Germany and Australia
The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reports that the USA is the most popular destination for international students, followed by the UK, France, Germany and Australia. Foreign students who want to study in the USA must obtain a student visa, and show ability to pay the costs born by international students.

Pingo Calling Cards Make It Affordable to Visit Loved Ones Worldwide
Fortunately, thanks to Pingo phone cards, among the lowest costs born by international students is the cost of staying in close touch with family and friends. Pingo is a leading supplier of calling cards for international and foreign exchange students and their families, who need rates far below those otherwise available to them. Pingo offers cards allowing inexpensive calls to and from over 200 countries using any phone, and is the only company with calling card rates that get even cheaper the more you use them.
And if you click here right now, with just a $20 Pingo sign-up, you immediately get $10 in free calls!

Foreign Exchange Programs Boost Demand for Reliable Pingo Calling Card
Pingo calling cards are popular among foreign exchange students and their families,
and not just because they save money and are easy to use. Many foreign exchange students are minors in high school, typically a susceptible age. Pingo’s pinless speed-dial and advanced systems deliver lightning-fast and highly reliable service, assuring foreign exchange students and their families of an ability to communicate immediately in the event of concern or emergency. That’s something not even the most cautious and capable of foreign exchange programs and foreign exchange hosts can themselves guarantee. Pingo promises 100% reliability and crystal-clear quality, and backs it with a money-back guarantee.

Frequent-Calling International Students: Happier and More Successful
International students typically reap many rewards, but also face many challenges. No matter what country they come from or travel to as foreign students — whether they are high schoolers in foreign exchange programs or adults in universities –
a key challenge is the distance between them and their families and friends back home. Foreign students who stay in close touch with familiar and supportive loved ones back home tend to be happier and more successful than those who don’t.

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There’s no way to stay in touch that’s cheaper, faster, more reliable, versatile, portable, or private than a Pingo calling card. Every international student and family should have one, and you can get yours quickly and easily. But don’t put it off, click here, Pingo is offering $10 in free calls with a $20 sign-up right now!

More Information About International Students and Foreign Exchange Programs
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reported that the number of students studying in universities and colleges outside their own country more than doubled between 2000 and 2007, to over 2 million, and a jump. to over 2.5 million in 2009. And even the leap past 3.0 million in 2011 excludes the many international students in foreign exchange programs for high schools, meaning that the numbers of foreign students and families who need the benefits of a Pingo calling card is considerably higher than 3 million. Fortunately, Pingo provides cards for calls to and from over 200 countries, and virtually every country in the world hosting foreign exchange programs. And just in case you missed the good news above, you can click here to immediately get $10 in free calls with a $20 Pingo sign-up right now!