Most students will want to purchase a cell phone when they arrive in the United State to use for communication while abroad. Unlike in the most countries, both people who receive and make the call are generally charged for the call.
It is possible in many cases to purchase an international SIM card so your cell phone will work in the U.S. Contact your cell phone carrier for more information. This is likely to be very expensive.
Placing an international phone call involves a few more digits than an average call. When calling from the U.S. on campus. you must first dial the code to get out of campus extension by dialing 97, then you must dial the appropriate toll free number, and follow the instruction provided.
In recent years VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) has taken off as a great, cheap way to keep in touch. There are a number of companies which provide this service, the best-known of which is Skype. You and your family members can download this free software on your computers and make calls for free or at a very affordable rate. You will need to purchase a headset compatible with the computer to use VoIP.