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Phones for Studying Abroad

Stay Connected While Overseas

Going overseas for college is an exciting and worthwhile adventure. But there's a good chance that your current cell phone won't work overseas. The solution is to buy an unlocked phone from Best Buy.

Watch video about the benefits of unlocked phones

Choosing an Unlocked Phone for Use Abroad

It's a good idea to buy your unlocked phone before your trip because you can use it at home as well as overseas. Plus, you'll be able to get used to your new phone, add your contacts and download your apps before you go. Best Buy has a great selection of unlocked phones to choose from that work on international networks. You'll find popular brands such as Samsung, Motorola, Huawei, BLU, LG, Sony and more. Plan on taking a lot of photos? Choose an unlocked phone with a powerful camera. See some top picks for unlocked GSM phones below.

How to Use an Unlocked Phone Abroad

A SIM card is the microchip that slides into the slot on the side (or sometimes under the battery) of your phone. SIM cards house carrier and user data within your smartphone and will connect your phone to your chosen network.

Upon arriving at your destination, buy a SIM card from one of the local carriers (SIM cards are available at most international airports). You can prepay for minutes and data as well. Pop the card into your phone, activate the card and you're ready to go. Buying a local SIM card would allow you to communicate with other students or locals cheaply. Some plans allow for communications to others in nearby countries at no additional charge. Students will pay international rates when calling relatives at home but they could save money by communicating via Wi-Fi using services such as Skype, FaceTime, Google Chat, Facebook Messenger and others.

Networks in Popular Student Destinations


Popular Carriers

United Kingdom

EE, O2


TIM, Vodafone


Movistar, Vodafone


Orange, SFR


O2, Telekom


China Mobile, China Unicom


Optus, Telstra


Telcel, Movistar


O2, Vodafone

Costa Rica

Claro, Movistar
Don't Forget the Accessories

A charger adapter for different electrical plug configurations is a must to have when overseas. Add a power pack, headphones, portable speakers and other accessories to make the experience fun and memorable.