For safety reasons and ease of communication, students are required to have a working cell phone with a local number for use in their host countries for the duration of their time abroad. Phones must be acquired and working within a week of arriving on-site. Students should research the mobile phone options available to them during their time abroad.
Most UK networks provide a ‘pay as you go’ service whereby students can add credit to a phone to make calls, send text messages, use data services, etc. Students have two options with a pay-as-you-go plan:
1) Students may purchase a SIM card and cell phone (mobile) in the UK from a network of their choice.
2) Students who currently have a phone that can be “unlocked” will be able to purchase a UK-compatible SIM card only. Most networks lock their phones, so students will need to either ask their network to unlock the phone or buy a new “unlocked” phone in addition to a SIM card that will work on a UK network.
Students can either visit a mobile store when they arrive in London or purchase their SIM card and phone online (if available). Students should research cell phone plans prior to departure so that they are better informed and can budget for the cost of their desired plan.
The following providers offer pay-as-you-go plans (please note this is not an exhaustive list):- O2 GiffGaff
PicCell Wireless, a US based company, provides mobile phones to American students studying in the UK at local rates. Where possible, students may have their phone shipped to them in the U.S. before they leave. FIE students receive a discounted rate. Students will also meet a PicCell representative during their orientation in London. For more information on PicCell Wireless please click here.
Please note that we encourage students to conduct thorough research and choose the best mobile phone option for them. N.U.in and FIE do not endorse any particular mobile phone provider.