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Phones Abroad


Before the end of the semester prior to the study abroad experience, students are required to submit the international cell phone number that will serve as their primary means of contact in emergencies while abroad. Each student shoud select from one of four options, all of which will take advance planning.

Global/International SIM card

Call your current cell phone provider and ask to have your phone "unlocked," which makes it possible for you to install a new SIM card into your phone just prior to departure. You can purchase international SIM cards in advance from STA TRAVEL and PICCELL WIRELESS. Be aware that this SIM card will assign a new number to your phone.

Rent an International Phone

You can rent a cell phone that carries a global sim card with various levels of usage minutes provided. You can update your minutes on the phone itself or via internet. Recommended vendors include STA or PICCELL.

Purchase an International Phone

You might choose to purchase a phone with a global sim card. Again, you will need to also buy a usage plan, to which you will be able to add minutes as needed. See the relevant pages at STA and PICCELL.

International Plans on Your Current Phone

Call your current cell phone provider and ask to add an "International Plan" to your current plan. Because these plans do not actually save that much money, with calls that can cost well over a $1 per minute, this is only recommended for those who do not intend to use their cell phone except for emergencies. However, it will provide you with a good means of contact in the event of an emergency.

WIFI Options

Students might also choose to download and use free WIFI telephone applications (such as Facetime, Messenger, VIBER and SKYPE) for the occasional calls to home. Be aware that these services are only available in WIFI hotspots, and reception can be somewhat unstable, resulting in dropped calls. This option does not provide a suitable emergency contact number.