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Communication Abroad

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Prepare to Go: Communication While Abroad


Haifa, Israel and Great Barrier Reef

Consider how you will communicate with new people you meet abroad and stay in touch with your friends and family back home. Keep in mind that there is a time difference between the U.S. and your host country. Be sure to set clear expectations regarding your frequency of communication, and notify them in advance if you will not be reachable for a period of time.

Two-Factor Authentication (MFA)

As you prepare for your study abroad experience, please note that Two-Factor Authentication remains active while you are abroad and you will continue to need a phone (either a smartphone, cell phone or landline) to verify your identity when logging in from abroad. The UW IT Service Center recommends that you register your phone with the Duo Mobile app. Instructions for setting up Duo Mobile are available in the IT Knowledge Base.

If you know the international phone number that you’ll use while abroad, it is strongly recommended that you add that number to your Duo account before you leave the U.S..

If you only have a U.S. phone number registered and that phone won’t be available to you while traveling or you won’t have an international number until you arrive onsite, you will need to email or call the UW IT Service Center Office after an international phone and number have been established. The email should be sent to Userhelp@uwyo.edu, or you can call +1 (307) 766- 4357. 


Cell Phones

You must be reachable in case of emergency.This means that you must have a working phone while abroad. You can either keep your U.S. phone and phone number, or you can get a local phone number and plan.

If you are going abroad for a semester or more, UW Education Abroad recommends getting a local SIM card, so that you have a local number and can keep in easy contact with other students, locals and your on-site program administrators.

Read these tips on taking your phone abroad:

  • Start by finding out whether your phone and phone plan will work while you study abroad. Some providers offer great international plans, which allow you to continue using your phone as you normally would at home. Others do not offer coverage overseas or will give you coverage at exorbitant rates. Keep in mind that if you sign up for an international plan with your U.S. phone,it can be quite expensive for locals to call a U.S. number.
  • If your provider does not offer coverage overseas, you can bring your phone from the U.S. and buy a local SIM card and phone plan. Be sure that the phone is unlocked and compatible. The cost of phones and phone plans will vary significantly based on where you’re headed. Use this traveler's guide to using a smartphone abroad to research some international plans or options.

Please note that UW Education Abroad collects cell numbers from students participating in UW Education Abroad Programs and Exchanges so that we can contact you in the case of an emergency. You should also provide this number to your own emergency contacts. 


Email & Internet

Any official UW communications will come through your UW email address. Failure to receive, read, and/or respond to communication sent to your official email address may result in penalties, including possible removal from your study abroad program.

You will most likely have Internet access in various facilities at your host institution and in your accommodations. For locations where internet access and reliability can be challenging, additional information and instructions will be provided by your program.

UW participates in eduroam (education roaming), a secure federated wireless network for the international research and education community. The service allows UWstudents, staff, and faculty to use their UW credentials to access wireless network services while visiting eduroam-participating institutions located throughout the world. With hundreds of thousands of wireless access points sharing a common SSID, eduroam acts as one large, world-wide, wireless hotspot.

Before leaving campus to travel abroad, students are encouraged to set up eduroam on their laptops and other wireless devices to ensure that wireless access at any other eduroam-affiliated institution will be automatic and will not require extra configuration. Before leaving campus, choose “eduroam” from the list of wireless networks on your device and use your UW credentials to log in. To connect to Eduroam you will need to use your full UW email address and your UWyo password.

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