Phone & Internet

Phone & Internet while Abroad

Taking Your Cell Phone Abroad

If you plan on using your current service provider while abroad:

  • Call your service provider and ask them to activate an international calling plan
  • Check all charges associated with international calls:
    • Cost per minute for incoming and outgoing phone calls
    • Cost for incoming and outgoing text messages
    • Changes in costs based on location/country

If you plan to use your current phone while abroad (with a different sim-card):

  • Visit your service provider and have them unlock your phone
  • Buy a sim-card and minutes at a local service provider upon arrival in your host country
  • Check all charges associated with international calls:
    • Cost per minute for incoming and outgoing phone calls
    • Cost for incoming and outgoing text messages
    • Changes in costs based on location/country

If you plan to buy a phone while abroad:

  • Go to a local cell phone provider and purchase your cell phone
    • Check exchange rates before you travel. In some countries it may be less expensive to purchase a cell phone here and take it with you.
  • Consider the length of your program and how often you make calls. These factors will help you decide whether to purchase a calling plan or use pre-paid minutes.
Calling Home

Applications such as Skype and Jajah are available to provide you with free computer to computer chatting as well as the ability to call a telephone with your computer for set fees. Make sure you will have a good internet connection before deciding on this form of communication.

If you set up a foreign phone number, consider calling home with an international calling card:

  • Think ahead before loading up on these at Costco! It is often cheaper and more efficient to buy these in your host country.
  • If you do buy your calling cards before leaving the U.S., make sure you have the correct access codes.