Calling and Visiting Your Student at the JFRC
Before your student leaves for Rome, talk to them about how you will keep in touch while they are abroad. Many past students have found it best to set up a planned time to regularly touch base with loved ones. All JFRC students are required to have cell phones with call and data plans, but it can be quite expensive to make international calls on cell phones depending on the plan. The most popular way of communicating with loved ones back home is to utilize online applications like Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime, Viber, etc. to make and receive international phone calls and text messages for free. For basic phone calls, students may purchase a calling card on campus at the JFRC and using a public phone in the residence halls. See more information on "Telephone Communication" in our Packing Guide.
You and your student should discuss visiting them abroad before their departure. Our recommendation is that you visit after the program has ended, before the student returns home. This way, your trip will be best enjoyed without any added pressures your student may face in school. In addition, students abroad often find themselves going through dramatic levels of personal growth and change while adapting to a new culture. Although you may have the best intentions not to interfere with your student's life in his/her new environment abroad, and he/she strongly wishes for you to visit, there is a possibility that your visit may interrupt that vital process and/or reset the progress they've made in adapting to their new surroundings. The JFRC Chicago Office would be happy to speak with you further if you'd like advice about whether to visit your student abroad.
Talked to your student and decided you're going to visit? Check out our list of recommendations for where to stay near campus.