We know you want your participant to stay connected while they are abroad. There are a few options to consider:
- Use their United States smartphone on WiFi: With internet calling and texting options like Skype and Whatsapp, it is easy to stay connected without a phone plan. Participants can simply turn off their United States plan when they arrive in their host country and connect to WiFi instead. (They will also need to buy an inexpensive local phone if they choose this option.)
- Unlock their United States cell phone and get a SIM card when they arrive in their host country: Before your participant leaves, ask your phone company if they can unlock the participant’s phone, allowing them to switch out the SIM card. Then, your participant can buy a local SIM card when they arrive in their host country and put it in their unlocked phone. Their host family or our staff can help them with this process. Your participant will need to keep the local SIM card in their phone for the entire program so that we can always reach them in the event of an emergency.
- Buy an inexpensive phone in country: Many carriers offer pay-as-you-go plans on cheap phones for local calls. Your participant could sign up for one when they arrive in their host country. Again, their host family or our staff can help them with this process.
Please Note: We don't recommend getting an international phone plan in the United States, as that is usually much more expensive than the options listed above. Also, participants will be required to have a local phone number at which they can be reached at all times so that we can contact them in the event of an emergency.