Should I get on an international phone plan?

Question Details

Do you use your phone much?


For me, it was easier to just get a SIM card at one of the local carriers and use it in my iphone. I really only ever used my phone to contact other students in my program, and even then, most of us tried to plan things in person, or through fb messenger or whatsapp when we had wifi. It also came in handy when I wanted to gps somewhere, but there's also gps apps you can download before you leave that don't require an internet connection. I wouldn't recommend getting an international plan, just because you probably won't use it as much as you think you will. And they're expensive. If you don't have a smartphone, you can always get a cheap pay as you go phone while you're there, too. Most of the programs' staff will show you how to do that, and if they don't, just ask.

I always recommend never upgrading to an international phone plan if you have an American phone. It is always cheaper to either just exist on wifi since wifi is more readily available outside the US for free or to buy a SIM card when you get there. Most smartphones these days are unlocked and let you change your SIM card. Plus pay as you go plans are more readily available too and really cheap. For example I was just in Bali and for a month of data, texting, and phone calls it cost me $7.50 US and that was it! That was for 4G too. Just to give you an idea.

For most study abroad students it is definitely easier to bring a phone from home and get a SIM card with a local number upon your arrival. The cost of phone services abroad is often much cheaper than it is in the United States so this will likely save you money.