Inexpensive calling cards and the cheapest international calling card and direct calling rates can be found within the advice on this page. If you have other inexpensive ways to call nationally or internationally, please use the email link on the bottom of this page and share your knowledge about the cheapest ways to call (with more than 400 people who visit this page).



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cheapest international calling card rates (picture 1)  calling advice

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Ways to keep in touch with America when you study and stay in Europe


how to let your family and friends from America keep in touch with you (using inexpensive international calling cards and numbers like 1016868) without running their phone bills through the roof.

cheapest international calling card rates (picture 2) calling advice

Because I studied in Oldenburg, Germany, this centers around studying in Oldenburg.  However, most of this applies to studying/working anywhere in Europe.

If you want the best rates on cheap international and national calling cards, as well as airfares, be sure to check out the links on this page marked with a International phone calls.  Save MONEY!.

1.  Don't Call.  Don't buy a calling card.  Don't heed my advice for inexpensive phone rates.
Note:  Not calling is not recommended and not a good idea if you want people to think you're still alive.  However, if you went to Europe to escape a (crazy ex who wouldn't stop calling, psycho roommate, calls from a long distance company's bills collectors, etc.) this may be the absolute best calling strategy you can use.


cheap long distance advice picture 3 GREAT CALLING CARD SEARCH! cheap long distance advice picture 3
Do You need an International Calling Card for when you go abroad?
Do you need an inexpensive rate for a call you need to make from where you are now?  Try this search for some great calling cards and great rates!

International calling cards from America
International calling cards to the world

2. Do call

Use a calling card!  The least expensive calling card that I knew ofcheapest international calling card rates (picture 3) (when I was in Germany) for calling from Europe to America (thanks to Kurt telling me) was the Eurocity card.

The Eurocity card can be purchased all over Europe in Telecafe's (Internet cafe's as well.)

With this calling card, dialing to the states is not expensive (at summer 2001 exchange rates, about 4 cents/minute from Europe to the U.S.). cheapest international calling card rates (picture 4) You get a 0800 number (like the U.S.' 1800 number), and then the back of the card gives you a PIN # to dial.  You dial the number and the recording asks you to choose the language you want.  (There are about 15 to choose from--English is 1).  Then it gives you instructions and you dial your number very cheap.

In Oldenburg, you can purchase this calling card in the Telecafe in the Innenstadt.  The Telecafe is near the Lambertikirche across from Kaufhof.  Ask for the Eurocity card for either 10 or 20 Marks.

Note: Be careful to get the correct card.  My brother visited Austria for a weekend and accidentally bought a Eurocity calling card which which cost about 3.3 cents per minute in Austria, which would have been great except that he studied and lived in Germany.

Since getting back to America however, I have discovered some better deals for calling from America to Europe.  One of the best sites I've found is the calling card search above.  Parents/husbands/wives can send these calling cards to their loved ones living/working in Europe.

Another option is to change your long distance carrier to one which offers you better rates on local, national, and international calls.  One of the best ways to find out if your long distance can be cheaper is to use Cognigen's best rate calculator.  The strive4impact Cognigen site will find the cheapest long distance provider for your specific phone number, location, and calling situation when you click the link below.



  What can you do with 2.9 cents? Call the US from anywhere in the world.

If you have friends who would be interested in reading the discounted long distance advice offered here, click here and tell them about this page.


3. Have your parents/loved ones set up a 1800 #. Awesome calling cards and 800 number

Check out Kall8 for some awesome deals for setting up 800 numbers.  They're an awesome 800 number company and can get you some great 800 number deals!  Also check out the features, because if you get even a few international calls on your 800 number, it can be very easy to rack up an international long distance bill in a hurry.  Kall8 has come up with a solution.


  ZapTel Phone Card Superstore Button

4. Email email providers on the cheapest international calling card rates (picture 1)

Hello?  No email account yet?  If you don't already have anemail providers on the cheapest international calling card rates (picture 2) email account, spending a semester or a year in Europe is a good excuse to get one.  I've linked you to a couple sites on the right which give free email.  If you don't choose one of these, there are hundreds of other free email providers.

I have purchased tickets through both of these sites, and both of them offer rates lower than the airlines' web sites.

Great rates on airfares!  You really oughta' check one of these sites out.

    Cheap Airline Tickets!    

5. High Speed Internet

If you are not studying at the University of Oldenburg, contact your exchange University to find out if you will have an Internet connection or at least access to the Internet.  It's helpful to know.

In Oldenburg, if you are going to live in Hermann Ehler's House or Huntemannstrasse, the Internet connection is not expensive.  (In Huntemannstrasse, less than $30 for the whole semester.)  Provided of course that you have a computer (taking or buying a laptop is recommended) with high speed Internet capability, this gives you access to email (see #4) sending SMS' (see #7), Instant Messaging (see #8). 

6. Get a "handy" cheapest calling rates within Europe(picture 1)

Why do Germans call a cell phone a Handy?  It's like asking why do people park in driveways and park in driveways.  I really don't know.  It's someone else's job to figure these things out.

A handy is a cell phone.  Besides allowing you to receive and send SMS' (See # 7), they also allow you to receive phone calls for free.  Since the phones are prepaid, it only costs you when you call, not when someone calls you.

 When I was in Oldenburg, the E-Plus store in the Innenstadt had a deal where they were selling a NOKIA for 99 Marks (about $45), with 25 Marks of prepaid time and 70 Prepaid SMS' (I said see #7).  This was a great deal considering it gave me a phone for the entire time I was in Germany, and when I ran out of time, all I had to do was go back and get a refill card for my phone.  (You'll be able to figure this one out on your own, but if not, the people in the store will help you.)



7. SMS   (SMS, a page by Jonathan)

We have a lot of things in the US, but I don't know why it's taking America so long to get SMS (phone to phone Instant Messaging).  It's just now getting as popular in America as it is in Europe.  To learn more about SMS, (a major means of communication in Europe) head to my SMS page.


instant messengers on the cheapest international calling card rates (picture 1)8. Instant Messaging

instant messengers on the cheapest international calling card rates (picture 2)This I used quite a bit while in Germany.  Both of my brothers have MSN Instant Messenger, some friends of mine from school use Yahoo IM, and some people I met in Germany use ICQ.instant messengers on the cheapest international calling card rates (picture 3)  Whichever you decide to use, these programs allow you to chat with one or more people in a real time typed (and now voice) conversation via the Internet.  Instead of calling long distance, even though it is very, very cheap, if you've paid your Internet already, why pay for long distance calls too?  You can share files, pictures, viruses (let's not do that), and keep in touch with people at the touch of a button.  Quite awesome!


9. 1016868
(Updated 9/20/02: I couldn't fit all of the 1016868 information on this page.
Click here for better and more complete information about 1016868 and dial around plans)

If you want to save your people (who are calling you long distance from America) some moola (do you have people?  It's fun to have people), your best bet is to have them use the long distance routing code.  Kurt also told me about this. 

To use this in the states, you have to call from a phone which is registered to someone (can't be a pay phone), and it can't have long distance blocking on the service. 

Dial 1016868 before calling.  Then the international calling number (011 from the US), then the country code, then the number.  So calling Germany would go something like this.  1016868, then 011, then 49, then the number. 

Without this number, dialing long distance to Germany directly, my parents were charged over (overcharged) $1.00/minute.  When they used this number, it became 9 cents/minute.


And in case you missed the best calling card search above, here it is again.
Do You need a Calling Card for when you go abroad?
Try this search for some great calling cards and great rates both nationally and internationally!

International calling cards from America
International calling cards to the world
10. Tin cans and string

Note:  This is not highly recommended.  Long distance over string can get difficult and due to the long distance between America and Europe, your string may break. However, if you decide to use this method, you are going to need one very long, very expensive, very strong string.  As for the cans, I've heard that the Campbell's Soup ones work the best, although I can't say for sure.


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