Cell Phones

As a safety measure, all SAI students are required to have a working cell phone number on which they can be reached while they are abroad. Phone numbers that are accessible only with wifi (airplane mode) are not sufficient, and do not meet SAI requirements.

We have laid out below your options for cell phone use while you are abroad. For ease and simplicity, SAI has partnered with Cellhire to offer host country phone numbers to students enrolled in SAI Signature Services programs. Cellhire allows students to receive all their necessary items prior to departure from home, for a smooth transition.

Cell phone options:

  • Bring your own smartphone and use your own U.S. provider’s international service plan (AT&T, Verizon, etc.)
  • Bring your own unlocked smartphone and rent an international SIM card and data plan through Cellhire or another provider abroad (Vodafone, TIM, WIND, etc.)
  • Rent a smartphone and SIM card, along with a data plan, through Cellhire or another provider abroad (Vodafone, TIM, WIND, etc.)
  • Rent a basic handheld cell phone and SIM card, along with a simple talk & text plan, through Cellhire or another provider abroad (Vodafone, TIM, WIND, etc.). This option offers no data capability, but students can supplement this with their own personal smartphone, using wifi only.

Please note: If you choose to rent or buy from another provider abroad (Vodafone, TIM, WIND), it is your responsibility to do your research and purchase the necessary items. Most students who choose this route will save money, but must wait until they have arrived in country to make their purchase.

How to Order through Cellhire

Standard shipping is included to your U.S. home address, but you must allow at least 10 days for delivery (a fee is imposed for faster delivery). SAI therefore recommends ordering your phone at least 14 days prior to your departure, as items cannot be delivered on weekends and holidays. Signature required at time of delivery.

In order to obtain your Cellhire SIM card (and phone, if necessary) prior to departure go to: www.cellhire.com/saiprograms

  • Step 1: Choose your device for rent (SIM-Only, Cellhire Basic Phone, iPhone or Android)
  • Step 2: Choose your plan (data plan w/SIM Only, iPhone or Android) – or – (non-data plan w/Basic Phone)
  • Step 3: Continue through the order process until you receive confirmation

Oops – is it already less than 10 days prior to departure? You have the option to pay a rush shipping fee to receive it at your home address before you depart. Shipping options are provided when placing your order. Signature required at time of delivery.

If you have any questions during the order process, please contact Cellhire at dallasrentals@cellhire.com or call toll-free 1-877-244-7242. Important: If you do call the toll-free number with any order questions, please mention that you are studying abroad through SAI Programs, Inc. In addition, you must return to the cellhire/saiprograms link provided above to place your order, and to receive special pricing for SAI students.

For information about other cell phone options please see a recent cell phone blog post by our Resources Coordinator.

About SAI

SAI is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.