How do I stay in touch with my family and friends back home?

Staying connected with friends and family back home is important for many newcomers. Choose an option that suits your choice communication style and budget.

Video Calls

Video calls are a great way to have face to face conversations with your family and friends back home.

Skype and Facetime are popular applications for video calling.

You can download Skype for free on many different devices, and you can also use the service for audio calls and instant messaging with anyone who has a Skype account.

is only available on Apple devices and can be used for audio and video calls with anyone who also has the FaceTime application on their Apple device.

The availability of video calling services vary from country to country. Other popular video calling services include Facebook Messenger and Google Hangouts.

Voice Calling

Cell (mobile) phones are very common in Canada. Most cell phone providers have higher per minute rates for international phone calls. Make sure to check your provider’s rates in advance as some can be very expensive. Many providers offer plans that include international calling rates at a discount.

You can also use a calling card. You can buy calling cards at supermarkets or convenience stores. When you use a calling card, your cell phone provider will charge you local rates.

There are also free computer and mobile phone programs that use Wi-Fi or mobile data to make audio calls. These programs and apps generally use less bandwidth than video calls.

Popular voice calling options include:

Instant Messaging

Instant messaging is a common method of staying in touch with family and friends back home. There are many instant messaging services available online and on smartphone app stores. These services allow you to connect with others who use the same service. Many email services also offer the option to send instant messages to your contacts.  

Popular instant messaging options include:

  • Text Messaging (SMS)
  • iMessage
  • WhatsApp
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Google Hangouts
  • Instagram Direct
  • Snapchat
  • Various e-Mail providers        

Social Media

You can connect with others through many different social media networks. These are available online and through smartphone application stores. Social media can be a good tool if you are trying to update many friends or family members at once.

Note that some features are public while others allow for private, one-on-one interactions.

Popular social media networks:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • WhatsApp

Email and Mail

Of course, you can also email your loved ones or mail letters or packages. Mail prices vary depending on the size, weight and destination of your mail.

For More Information:

Last updated: October 23, 2018 4006292