How to Call Long Distance Out of the Country

by Joanne Cichetti

Making long-distance, international calls can be quite confusing, with phone numbers extending up to and even beyond 17 digits. However, keeping in touch with your loved ones who out of the country need not be this difficult. Simply follow a few steps and you can enjoy talking to your friends and family abroad without any hassle.

Step 1

Dial international direct dialing (IDD) prefix code. Every country has a different prefix that allows you to make international calls. The IDD prefix for the United States and Canada is 011.

Step 2

Dial country code for the destination you're calling. Every country has a different country code that may be from one to three digits (see Resources below).

Step 3

Dial the city code for your destination. Most cities around the world have a separate area code, with the exception of those in smaller countries.

Step 4

Dial the local number.

If you're making an out-of-country call from the United States or Canada, follow this sequence: 011 + country code + city code + local phone number. For instance, if you want to call a number in Oxford, UK: dial 011 (international calling prefix); dial 44 (destination country code); dial 186 (Oxford city code); dial the local number. If you're making an international call from outside the United States or Canada, substitute "00" for "011."


  • International calling cards allow you to make cheaper out-of-country calls. You will easily find a calling card at the nearest store and online (see Resources).
  • Consider VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services if you intend to make a lot of international calls, as these services are offered at very competitive rates.
  • Skype is another affordable option for making cheap international calls. Moreover, if you and the person you're calling both have high-speed internet access, you can make Skype calls for free (see Resources).
  • Always determine the calling rates for your destination. In some countries, it is cheaper to call landline than a cell phone.

About the Author

Joanne Cichetti has written articles and Web content professionally since 2009, focusing primarily on health and lifestyle. In order to further pursue her writing career professionally, Cichetti inducted herself in the Long Ridge Writers Group, and she looks forward to having a novel published under their guidance.

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