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Call Home

It's difficult letting a family member leave for a few years. Your family will appreciate a phone call, and you'll probably want to hear their voices too.

18: Customs | 19: Call Home
Right after you arrive, you will want to be ready to call home to tell everyone you are alright. It may seem like a small thing right now, but calling your family will feel very important when you arrive in America. You will need some way of paying for the call, and iStudentCity can help.

When should I take this step?
As soon as you get through U.S. Customs. You should call your family to tell them that you have safely arrived in America and are on your way to a good night's rest. They will be glad to hear that you arrived safely. Before you depart, purchase a prepaid phone card and bring the PIN with you. It's handy and much cheaper than cash or credit cards.

iStudentCity Resource
- Purchase your phone card before you leave from America

How can I pay for this call?
You can use coins, a credit card, or a phone card.

  • If you choose to use cash, you will need to get a few dollars changed into coins for the telephone. There are coin exchange machines at the airport. However, it is very expensive to make internaional calls via payphone. A local domestic call in the U.S. wil cost you 35 cents for the first 3 minutes, and a long-distance call within the U.S. will cost you 75 cents for the first couple minutes.
  • If you have a credit card, you can use that at pay phones in most airports.
  • However, a telephone card will work no matter where you are. It's the cheapest way to make an international call. If you need a phone card, iStudentCity can provide one. You can purchase the prepaid rechargeable phone card online even before you depart. For more information check out the iStudentCity Telecom Center.

How do I make an international call?

  • IF you use a pay phone, dial "011" + your country code* + area code + phone number;
  • IF you use iStudentCity phone card,
    1. Dial our toll-free access number, 1-888-653-9988 (English) or 1-888-651-9988 (Mandarin).
    2. After the prompt, enter your PIN then press #.
    3. Enter the number you wish to call then press #. (For international call: 011 + Country Code + Area Code + Phone number, for domestic long distance: 1 + Area Code + Phone number)
  • If you use other prepaid calling card, see instruction here.
* If you don't know your country code, you can look it up on this chart. You need to know your country code in order to call home.
18: Customs | | Stage 2: Settle Down

Important US Official Links:
1) SEVIS is a government, computerized system that maintains and manages data about foreign students and exchange visitors during their stay in the United States. More info >>
2) U.S. Customs - Department of State

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