Communicating with Family

A brief word on communicating in China
The Chinese government heavily monitors who uses the Internet and what they are doing. Social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are blocked in China and generally inaccessible. Anything tied to Google such as YouTube, Blogger and Gmail is also off limits. Don’t worry though, there are plenty of other ways to communicate with your son and daughter while he or she is teaching. Below we’ve provided a list of ways you can stay in contact while your son or daughter is away.

Most emails work well in China; some better than others. Gmail, as mentioned above, is completely inaccessible for people in China, but other emails including Yahoo and Hotmail (Outlook or MSN) are usable in China.

For texting, China has an amazing and free app for instant messaging, voice messages, and video calls called WeChat. One catch is that WeChat requires a smartphone. You can have it on your PC/Mac but a phone is necessary to login to your computer.

WeChat is extremely useful. It allows instant chatting, video chatting, as well as up to 60 seconds of a voice recording. It has the ability to run off Wifi, so it won’t rack up charges on your phone bill. However, it also can run off data if your son/daughter has access to data in China. Anywhere Internet is available, you can chat with your son/daughter.
To download this app click here.

Most of you are aware of what Skype is. For those who don’t, Skype is a worldwide video call service that has both free and paid aspects to it.

Video chatting is free with one other person. Group video chat sessions can be done but this does cost some money. Skype can also be used to call any landline throughout the world at a pretty affordable rate.

Skype will be your cheapest and most effective means of communication with the people back home. Even if there are days where the Internet is too slow for good video quality, you can turn the video off and still talk.

To download Skype for your Mac or PC, click here.


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