We recommend that students contact you as soon as they can after arriving overseas. Since the Villa and our Italian homestays are equipped with internet access, we recommend email and skype as the most cost-effective means for communicating with your student. Please note, however, that Internet speeds and bandwidth are not as reliable as in the U.S.
Most students will have cell phone access, but it may take a few days to get this set up. International phone rates will vary, but most U.S. plans carry hefty roaming charges; be sure to check with your U.S. service provider to make sure your student's phone is activated for international use and to inform yourself of the various calling/texting rates. Renting or buying a European phone or SIM card is an alternative - most incoming calls to these numbers will be free for the recipient.
Students living at Villa Le Balze will have access to an incoming phone line in their bedroom and your student will be provided that phone number a few weeks before the program begins. Remember that your student will be sharing a room with 1-2 other students and a private conversation on this phone line may not be possible. These phones are only equipped for outgoing emergency calls to police, fire, and rescue services.
We recommend that you maintain contact with your student, but not on a daily basis. This is a time for your son or daughter to gain the confidence of becoming an independent global citizen. Familiarize yourself with the program dates and your student's travel itinerary. If you have not heard from your student, it may be because they are on an excursion.