For a parent, your child is always a child no matter what their age. The thought of them leaving home can be quite terrifying, especially if they are heading to a college overseas. Thankfully, there’s no more waiting for postmarked envelopes that take over a week to reach but instead technology that allows us to have a virtual presence in a child’s life no matter where they are. Here are 5 free technological must haves for every parent with a child overseas.
No matter how independent a child is, everyone looks forward to hearing a familiar voice at the end of the day. Overseas phone calls can rake up quite a bill and are not financially viable past the first month. Apps like Skype and Viber allow for free satellite calls between people all over the world. Skype gets an upper hand over Viber because it allows you to video-chat easily with people across the world.
After years of looking over your child’s homework, it’s unnerving to not be included in their school activities anymore. Dropbox is a cloud storing facility that enables your child to share documents, presentation, videos, photographs and just about anything created on a computer with you. Accessing these files is simple and helping your child edit their final paper is now easy to do. The best part about Dropbox is that all your data stays private and is extremely easy to use, according to Top 10 Cloud Storage.
Be it a delicious meal or a walk down a picturesque street, photographs are the easiest way of sharing an experience. Flickr is a photo sharing app that enables you and your child to upload photographs instantly and organize them into albums. These albums can then be shared with specific people or the whole world, depending on the settings you choose. Now, when your kids want you to see how their birthday party was, all they have to do is upload the pictures and share the album with you! This is especially great for study abroad semesters because you can see all the fun and cultural things they are doing.
Evernote is a tech equivalent of the to-do lists that graced your refrigerator. Create, manage and share shopping lists, to-do lists and other similar charts that let you be a part of your child’s day-to-day life even though they may be miles away. Both of you can create and edit lists that can be updated on the go. This way you make sure your child doesn't forget to put bread and eggs on their shopping list.
The biggest issue of moving overseas is the time difference. This often means that calling home requires calculating the time difference only to find a groggy sleep ridden voice at the other end. At times like this, messages become important as they let you leave notes any time of the day. Like phone calls, international messaging rates are quite high, hence the need for a free messaging service like Whatsapp. The added benefit of Whatsapp is the groups feature, which allows you to share a thought with the entire family at once.
When faced with never ending schedules and time differences, it becomes very difficult to constantly be in touch with your child abroad. With the help of technology, it is now easier to know that your child is still reachable even if they are in another country.