Get unlimited data and texting when you're living abroad. Yes, please.
I’ve put my phone on airplane mode, suspended my data, (traveled without it - which I don't recommend) and tried out local sim cards in different countries, but the most convenient option when you travel is to get an international data plan. Your phone will work just like normal, isn't crazy expensive and you can just use data while you are out exploring ... aka, no more frantic searches for cafes with WiFi. And ILP’s made this even easier by figuring it all out for you.
Not an ILP volunteer yet?
We'll make this easy — fill out an application here
The days of not having international data because it was crazy expensive really isn't the case anymore. Now, you can get an international plan for about the same you're probably paying at home no matter where you are in the world.
T-Mobile + ILP
Most volunteers are going abroad with data plans because it’s so much more affordable than it used to be and it’s so convenient to have data no matter where you are.
I’ve traveled with my phone just on airplane mode (tips on that here) but it’s soooo nice to know I can pull up Google Maps if I get lost and can FaceTime my family whenever I want (even when the WiFi is spotty). Also, imagine losing the rest of your group in a crowded and huge flea market. Instead of having a panic attack, just text them (if you've got a plan that is).
So this option — getting a T-mobile phone plan with ILP — is super awesome because it’ll last the whole length of your semester and gets you unlimited international texting and international data.
What If I Don’t Have T-Mobile?
The phone plan is provided by T-Mobile, but anyone can use it, no matter who their carrier is. You’ll just need to suspend your current phone plane and then plug in the SIM card ILP sends your way. No need to buy a new phone! When you get back, you’ll just take the SIM card out and re-active your current plan. I use Verizon at home, but was able to suspend my plan with them and pop in this T-Mobile SIM before my semester in Europe. It was fantastic because I had unlimited data in every single country I went on vacation, then when I came home, I just popped back in my Verizon SIM once I landed in the US.
If the word SIM card makes you a little hesitant because you don't know what that is and you're not techy so it sounds hard...don't worry. It's really not hard at all and we can help you out with this post plus there's YouTube videos on how to put it in your phone. It takes about 2 minutes, tops.
What If I Already DO Have T-Mobile?
Then you're in luck because you probably already have international data on your current plan and don't have to do anything to get it. Just give them a call and see what you've got to be safe.
Can I Get More Info?
Of course! The plan is $169 for your semester and you'll just need to contact the ILP office if you'd like one for your semester.
A couple months before you leave you’ll get an email from your ILP representative that talks about this in way more detail (like how to get the SIM sorted out, suspending your current phone plane, etc.) We just want to let you know it’s an option so you can start thinking about it sooner rather than later.
So just keep an eye out for that email a couple of months before you're leaving!
Still deciding where to go?
ILP has programs all over the world, so I don't blame you if you can't quite decide which part of the world is best for you. Come get a little more info about each of our countries here: