Cheap phone plans & other tips for staying in touch with friends

A perk of being an international student is living an exciting life and learning about a bunch of new cultures. However, a downside of being international is that you might not get to see your friends and family as much as you’d like. Maybe you’re in different time zones and you just about miss each other each time. Or, you and your friends are really busy with lectures, projects and societies. That’s why you need these tips on how to keep in touch with your mates back home! The truth is, staying in contact is easier nowadays. Starting with getting cheap phone plans and ending with meeting up, here's a list of tips you need to know:

Image of student using cheap phone plans to text friends

Get cheap phone plans through College Life

Using Wi-Fi is great and all, but what about when you’re out and about and want to talk to your friends or want to check the bus times from your campus? The solution, friends, is to get a cheap sim only deal.

College Life & United Consumers have teamed up to make life easier for you. You can now simply find the sim only plan that works best for you - head over to College Life Deals & get started right away!

You will be able to compare dozens of sim only deals based on your specifications (i.e. how much data & calling do you need?). This simplifies your life, since you won't have to open up multiple tabs with Dutch websites of different service providers.

Set a date and time

Everyone has a busy life and schedule, especially those who work or are in school. If you have friends in university or college, they might also have demanding class schedules or social events they are going to. What’s more, being an international student, you might have friends in college all over the world. Your time zones may be different, meaning you don’t always have time to communicate face-to-face. To fix this, you should aim to set a specific date and time when you want to talk. Maybe a weekend where you have more free time or a period between classes where you know you can talk for a few minutes.

Your family and parents are important, too! In the case of parents, they might want to talk to you once or twice a week to check up on you and see how it’s going. It’s a good idea to pencil in one specific time each week so that neither side forgets to talk!

Image of pair of friends

Video calling wins it all

You don’t have to limit yourself to simply calling! You can also text or video call. Video calling is our personal favourite, because it feels more real and you can even give each other mini-dorm or campus tours! Calling or video calling is also more demanding, since you can’t really multitask like you would when texting. This is great because you focus all your attention on catching up with that family member or friend.

Group chats are the answer

Yes, group chats can be annoying (i.e. waking up to 245 messages). However, group chats with your friends can make it easier for everyone to stay up-to-date with what everyone is doing. You can share photos and talk about your life to everyone at once, instead of messaging each and every friend separately.

Stay in touch in other ways

Other great, alternative methods of keeping contact with your friends are curating a Spotify playlist together. It’s fun to see what your friends are listening to and it’s a good conversation piece. Tagging each other on Facebook or Instagram posts is also a funny way to remind your friends about great memories or inside jokes.

Image of two friends

When all else fails, meet up!

It’s always nice to see each other, even if you can communicate via the internet or phone. If your friends live close to you, just jump on a train or take a flight to see them. If they live further apart, consider planning a summer trip or weekend road trip once they are back home. Winter and the summer is a good time to reunite with your friends and catch up on how their semester has been!


With these tips, staying in touch with your friends and family back home couldn’t be easier. Make sure to find cheap phone plans, like with Telfort, so that you can stay in touch 24/7!

What are your tips for making time to call friends?