The UK's excellent communications services make it easy for you to keep in contact with friends and family back at home

Public phones

You can operate public telephones in the UK by using coins, credit cards or pre-paid phone cards. Phone cards come in a range of values including £5, £10 and £20 and you can buy them from post offices and supermarkets.

Private or personal phone

Calling from a private phone is considerably cheaper in UK than calling from a public phone. Calls from one part of the UK to another (inland calls) are cheapest from 6.00 p.m. to 8.00 a.m. and between midnight on Friday and midnight on Sunday. International calls are also cheapest between these times. Students can buy pre-paidphone cards or post-paid cards from a number of companies. One should compare cards carefully as rates differ.

E-mail and the internet

The majority of colleges and universities provide free e-mail accounts for their students; students should check with their Students' Union in this regard. At many colleges and universities, rooms in halls of residence will have an internet connection provided for the whole academic year.

Students with their own computers can also sign up directly with any of the UK's internet service providers (ISP). Several now offer free access; all you will pay is the phone company's charges for your connection time.

You will also find that most high streets have internet cafés, where you pay for use by the hour. If you have your own laptop Wireless Hi Fi can be accessed for free in an increasing number of coffee shops and public places across the UK.

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