Keeping in touch while living in Germany

Hello everyone,

What are the best ways you've found for keeping in touch with friends and family back home while living in Germany? How frequently do you stay in touch with loved ones?

Are there local equivalents to common instant messaging and online video calling services that you prefer or are more widely used?

If there is a sizeable time difference, how do you manage this?

Do you make international phone calls from a landline or mobile phone from Germany? What do you think of the cost?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


Best ways I keep in touch with family & friends...
Whatsapp is the best for me.  It's free, you can txt instantly and video phone.  Anywhere to anyone that has this app on their smart phone/tablets, any  I stopped using Skype years ago.  It wasn't so easy with everyone and always had some problem connecting, everyone has to have an "account", etc.  I also have a land line where I can call internationally.  It's a monthly fee for like 500 minutes per month.  I believe it's like 10-15 euros a month.  Anything over you'll get charged so don't go over.  Never make an international call from your cell unless you're on a free app.  Otherwise you'll get charged big time.   

Country time difference...for me it ranges between 1 hr - 7 hr time difference to certain people I know in various countries.  I typically have to set a "call date" and time with the other person.  Days or weeks in advance.  Everyone works, is busy, things change, people forget, people get sick, time escapes us....even when you agree on that date collectively.  Calls get cancelled.  It's not easy.  Keep trying.  Get the other person to stick to a plan.  Find out each-others schedules.  If you have to postpone for whatever reason, make another plan.  One thing I've learned over the years being away from family and even my oldest and closest friends....Some of these wonderful people who promise to stay in touch - don't!  :(  They just don't, no matter what you do.  You'll learn who they are.  They are not bad people and you haven't done anything wrong & they still care about you however, ....These people are just not good communicators.  They probably never were good "pen pals" and never will be.  I've learned to accept those who are not good at this.  It hurts but try not to take it personally.  I had to.  Part of being and "Ex-Pat".

Hope I answered all your questions.
Best.  L :cheers:

I mainly use email. I chat online with my daughter often via Facebook and sometimes with my son as well. I don't have any of those other tools and have never used Skype. I'm sure I would not like video-chatting, in part because I multi-task during long phone calls (dust, tidy up, etc.).

I call my parents most Mondays from my landline - we have a flat rate for international calls but I don't remember what it costs. I call my daughter when there's a need and we both have time. The time difference is 6 hours for her and 7 hours for my parents and son. I can't say how we handle it - it's just never been a problem. We pre-arrange a time when we're both available and adjust as needed.

My best friend sends an email once every few months, and I write back. Contact with others is mainly through email or Facebook messenging. I do not text, but I actually do still write hand-written letters and postcards to my kids. I send birthday cards through the mail. I find electronic communication convenient but impersonal.

I don't talk much about my life here with people in my passport country (except for my daughter) unless they ask, which is rare. I am happier here than I ever was in the US, and maybe that rubs people the wrong way. I write a blog, but more strangers read it than people who know me. And that's ok.

I'm Shivani from India. It is really difficult to live in abroad without someone you know. I'm living in India with my mom and I can't imagine to go anywhere without her. But now I was planing to move Germany from my Studies. To keep touch with her I have search some International calling app which can be to make calls in India............

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