By: Morisa Young, THON Chair
Staying connected is important when you’re in Public Relations, or want to maintain a good relationship with someone you’ve met. Whether it’s a boss, alumni, or guest speaker, keeping in touch is essential for networking. However, this is hard to do when going overseas and suddenly finding yourself with little to no phone service or Internet access. Here are a few tips I’ve learned while studying in England this summer.
Check your phone company
Different carriers offer different international plans. There are options based on the duration of your trip and the country you’re traveling to. Just make to sure contact your phone company to unlock your phone. This will let you have access to the local providers. For some, it is easier to buy a local SIM card once arriving overseas, which provides texts, calling and data. Some SIM cards work on a pay-as-you-go basis and others give you a set amount of data, texts and minutes for a certain price per month.
Constantly check for wifi
Wifi is incredibly important to look out for. In England, there are a decent amount of free wifi hotspots available, so take advantage of them. Most restaurants have wifi available as well. You just need to ask an employee for the password and they are happy to help.
In general, social media is becoming a key player in Public Relations and is a great way to stay connected. Different platforms of social media now have a convenient direct messaging function. Facebook, Twitter and even Snapchat and Instagram are more useful than you would think. Also, messaging apps such as GroupMe and WhatsApp are beneficial. These apps work on wifi and can substitute for text messages.
Don’t disregard emails. It might not be as quick as others forms of communication, but it gets the job done. In the end, you might find it easier to use emails. It is easier to type out a full message than trying to send it through text messages. I also found it to be a handy way to share pictures with people I’ve met as I traveled. It saves the quality of the photos and ends up being simpler.
Going overseas is something that should be experienced if given the chance. Hopefully these tips will help ease any worries about keeping in touch with family and friends. However, don’t let your phone take over your life. Enjoy where you are and take advantage of being disconnected in a new place.