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Essential Apps to Connect International Students and Their Parents

Essential Apps to Connect International Students and Their Parents
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Created By: Reem Mohamedon 27 June, 2022

To connect is human nature, especially with loved ones who are halfway across the globe. As parents, you often find yourselves worrying about your children who are studying abroad, and constantly looking for ways to stay in touch. A perk of the recent pandemic is that video messaging and text chat apps have advanced to help people maintain connections with each other at all times, across borders, and under any circumastances. We, at Casita, recognize the importance of staying in touch, and have thus compiled a list of essential apps to connect international students and their parents!

  1. Facebook Messenger

As the world’s most advanced social network with around 3 billion users worldwide, Facebook is the go-to application for all things communication. Thanks to the worldwide availability of Facebook Messenger and its compatibility with different devices, it has made connecting with others an easy feat. You can use messenger for text conversations, voice calls, video calls, and group calls. You can also engage in group games and exchange photos. Facebook Messenger is generally considered the best app for families to stay in touch.

Available on: Windows, Android, iOS, Web

Price: Free

Maximum Users: 50

  1. Facetime

iOS users find it easy to stay in touch with each other through Facetime. It's easy to use for voice calls, video calls, and group calls. It’s also often insync with the iMessage app, making it easy to start a call in the middle of a text conversation. Facetime is preinstalled on all Apple hardware and supports a number of fun and useful features, from cute Animojis, Memojis, and stickers to allowing up to 32 people on a single call. So if you and your child that’s studying abroad both have access to an iOS device, then Facetime is the app for you.

Available on: iPhones, iPads, and MacOS desktops

Price: Free

Maximum Users: 32

  1. Zoom

The ideal application and obvious choice for the entire family to have a chat or a virtual family gathering is Zoom. Popular for work conferences, school classes, and all virtual get togethers alike, Zoom is the best overall choice for a video chat app. It works great on both desktop and mobile devices with options to view just the person speaking or the whole group. The only downside to using zoom as your primary source of communication is the 40-minute time limit when three or more users are in a call together, that is unless you opt for one of their pricing plans.

Available on: Windows and macOS (desktop), Android and iOS (mobile)

Price: Free, with paid plans being available

Maximum Users: 100 for free plans

  1. Skype

Skype does not need an introduction. As a pioneering platform, Skype has been connecting people and providing reliable communications since 2003. Skype users can chat one-on-one, in groups, or via voice and video calls over a range of devices. Skype also allows users to send SMS messages and call landline phones at reduced rates through credit purchased on the platform. Many parents trust this app and its reputation over time, and it is thus a preferred choice for many of them to stay in touch with their children abroad. 

Available on: Windows and macOS (desktop), Android and iOS (mobile)

Price: Free

Maximum Users: 50

  1. Google Duo

Google Duo is the newest application from Google that's perfect for video calls between Android and iPhone users. Unlike Facetime, Google Duo is ideal to use when you and your children have different devices that support different operating systems. Google Duo supports a lot of fun features, including the ability to record and send video messages that let you connect with friends and family, even if they're not available at that exact moment. This is available almost everywhere and is an easy way to stay connected!

Available on: Windows and macOS (desktop), Android and iOS (mobile)

Price: Free

Maximum Users: 32

  1. WhatsApp

WhatsApp is a popular messaging app that is commonly used across the globe. You can use this app to make voice and video calls for up to four users. The calls are on the phone's data plan or via WiFi, thus saving you and your children’s phone minutes. WhatsApp is an application with far reach, thus making it the best choice to stay in touch with your loved ones anywhere across the globe.

Available on: Windows and macOS (desktop), Android and iOS (mobile)

Price: Free

Maximum Users: 4

  1. Telegram

If you’re looking for an app to accommodate large group chats for the entire family, Telegram is the obvious choice! Having the entire family, including the ones across the globe, in one place, where you can text, video chat, or have a voice call, is ideally done through Telegram. This allows parents to stay in touch with their children abroad, as well as keep their children connected to the entire family with ease. 

Available on: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Web

Price: Free

Maximum Users: Supergroups can accommodate up to 200,000 people

Checking in on your children who are studying abroad and staying in touch with them throughout their stay overseas is crucial for every parent, and is one of many questions we know you need the answers to before sending your child to a foreign country. Use this list as a reference, try out the different applications mentioned, and find the easiest and most convenient one to use with your children. Don’t let the distance keep you apart; keep in touch and stay connected! 


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