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Avoiding Roaming Costs as an International Student

Posted on February 2nd, 2010 by Jennifer Frankel

We all love our mobile phones, they provide such a high level of convenience that most people do not want to go without them. However, although you may travel well, its most likely that your existing mobile phone provider and contract in your home country will not travel well with you. As any traveler will tell you, when you use your mobile phone abroad you will be hit with high roaming charges that can really start to add up if you use your phone for any length of time.

To avoid any surprises in your phone bill, there are a few things you can do to minimize your costs and make sure you have the best calling options available to you. Before you travel abroad, you should:

  1. Call Current Provider – before you leave, you should call your current phone provider and find out firstly if you can use your phone abroad, secondly find out what the charges will be (so there will be no surprises if you do end up using your phone) and thirdly ask if your phone is locked or unlocked, and if the latter you should request your phone unlock code. If they do not provide this to you, there are many sources online to unlock your phone – Google Search is a good start!
  2. Do Some Research – after calling your provider, you will most likely find out that your charges when abroad are going to be high. The best way to avoid this is to purchase a sim card for the country you are traveling to, this way you will have a local number, cheap calls locally and depending on the country you are traveling to, you may have free inbound calls.
  3. International Calls – of course, if you are traveling, you will want to be calling home and people around the world. The best and cheapest way to do this is through a VOIP solution such as Skype and Gizmo which you can run for free on your laptop, and will offer low cost rates per minute to countries around the world. If you do not have access to a laptop, consider purchasing an international calling card, or a sim card with international calling services built in. It may be slightly more expensive, but will be very easy as you can call directly from your mobile phone. Please also be aware that when using a calling card from a prepaid phone, you will be using up your prepaid credit and your international calling credit.

Hopefully with these few simple steps, you will be able to avoid the high roaming charges that most providers will impose on you when you travel abroad. If you need a range of sim cards, we have a range available that can be purchased online quickly and easily. For example our T-Mobile USA Sim Card offers some excellent benefits and can be delivered anywhere in the world!

18 Responses to “Avoiding Roaming Costs as an International Student”

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  4. New USA Sim Card Options « The International Student Blog Says:

    […] in our previous post, mobile phone companies tend to hit those who travel or study abroad with high roaming costs if you use your mobile phone when abroad. Our post identified some key areas to help students […]

  5. prince love erhurhu Says:

    im prince love by name from africa well i despirately want to further my education in uk im only have west african examination council certificate[WAEC].but im not too financially bold at the moment but i can still afford something substancial please admin i need urgent assistance and guidance to enable me get started with proper analysis leading to me been admitted in any low cost school in united kingdom.hope to read you privately.

  6. Kimberly Says:

    The steps you mention are exactly how we have done this in the past. The charges were going to be much higher in the end so worth checking ahead of time.

  7. Chris Says:

    As you mentioned the cheapest solution is VOIP and this can be a huge saver of expenses. When the Internet is available as it is in a vast number of places while traveling abroad this along with a laptop should be on your list as it has worked well for us several times.

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