For safety reasons, it is REQUIRED that all students have a cell phone while abroad. Here are some of your options:
If you prefer to use your U.S. phone you might be able to use your current wireless service. Please contact your current phone carrier for service availability and roaming charges prior to departing for your host country.
A SIM card specifically purchased for your time in your program country would allow you to use your own phone while giving you a local country number and access to a local network. The ability to do this would depend on the compatibility with your current network and the country’s network you choose. You should consult your current phone company to see if they know which, if any, SIM cards will work in your phone, and whether your phone will need to be unlocked for usage on another provider’s network.
If you are going to use calling cards, we recommend purchasing them after arriving in your host country. If you purchase them in your host country, you are likely to get more calling time for your money.
*Please note that the cell phone system abroad can be very different from the United States system. You may want to check with your cell phone carrier regarding your eligibility and access to coverage.
Be sure to check your specific program location pre-departure sections to see if there are any additional cell phone options offered with your program.
Many students also use apps such as Skype, WhatsApp or iMessage as additional modes of communication while abroad. These services use wifi and therefore allow for free calls internationally and app-to-app.