Today is my last day of work and then i have ten days to prepare for departure! Last night i set up my web cam, headset, and skype on both my laptop and my parents desktop. After weighing the pros and cons, i have decided to bring my laptop! Initially i was concerned about bringing it because of security issues, but my mom made a good point about loosing it or having it stolen. She said it could happen ANYWHERE! With that being said, ill be packing it up and taking it on my adventure!
In the end i think i would be at a disadvantage and inconvenience if i didn't bring it because Spain is foreign and unknown to me, meaning i do not know FOR SURE what my situation may be. Its possible that i could go to an Internet cafe and video/web chat with little difficulty, but it is also possible that i would have problems. One reason is, skype takes a great deal of bandwidth and on a network where everyone is trying to communicate with other people in different countries, it could make web chat quite slow. Another reason why i am bringing my laptop is to put my photos from my digital camera directly on to my computer instead of worrying about using a flash drive...and in addition, i am familiar with my laptop (ie; i have my instant messenger, and other programs already on it and i know how to access them quickly with less stress). I am almost 100% my host mom does not have Internet in her home because she does not have an email address, but I have been advised by other past Spain study abroaders that i can find free wifi in many plazas and my university has wireless in certain areas as well.
Anyways, my screen name for skype is ky8087 but you can search for me just by typing in Kyla Grossberg. If for some reason you want to chat with my family or you would like their screen name, it is: csakfam or you can search for Cheryl Grossberg. Also i just purchased skype pro (you guys probably dont need it because you wont be calling landlines), however it is a great thing for me to have because i can call landlines for free, sometimes there is a 3 cent connection fee, but still thats better then a calling card, which is way more expensive. By purchasing skypepro i also received 214 international minutes (which is like a calling card). I am not sure how many you use a minute to call the United States, but at least it starts me out with some. Those i will use to call cell phones (mostly friends, because my family all have landlines). Lastly skypepro has voicemail for free! You guys can leave me up to 10 minute voicemails if i do not answer (meaning i am not at the computer).
On a side note if you are not familiar with skype yet you probably will be confused by a good 60% of this post. NOW IS YOUR TIME! i have not left the country yet so im definitely patient and willing to help anyone over the phone or through email set up their skype. Once i am in Spain there is no telling whether i can help, I am saying this mostly to my family because i know a lot of my friends already have skype or are quite computer savvy! Just as a simple overview though skype is FREE for computer to computer communication either with just a headset/microphone or a web cam as well. I am going to have a cell phone in Spain, but as of now i am planning to only use it to communicate with other people in Spain. If for some odd reason skype does not fulfill all my needs, i will end up buying a normal calling card and use that on the cell phone. However, im confident that will not be necessary. Furthermore, you all do not need to worry about calling me from your phones, BUT i can call you from my computer. That does cost money, but its worth spending a little bit to me because i do realize that you guys cant ALWAYS be waiting anxiously at your computers to chat for a few with me! Thats why i got skype pro so i could call land lines for free and i plan to add more minutes to the skypecash so i can call cells as well.
OK........well this was a long post and it wasn't necessarily about the most exciting information like new places and sites to see, but logistics are important too!
I will post again in the next few days when i start packing. AHH!