Cell Phones

As a safety measure, all SAI students are asked 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 are not sufficient.

We have laid out below your options for cell phone use while you are abroad. For ease and simplicity, SAI has partnered with PicCell Wireless to offer local phone numbers to students enrolled in SAI Signature Services programs. While this is not always the cheapest option, PicCell Wireless 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 (AT&T, Verizon, etc.)
  • Bring your own unlocked smartphone and buy/rent an international SIM card and data plan through PicCell Wireless or another provider abroad (Vodafone, TIM, WIND, etc.)
  • Rent or buy a smartphone and SIM card, along with a data plan, through PicCell Wireless or another provider abroad (Vodafone, TIM, WIND, etc.)
  • Rent or buy a basic handheld cell phone and SIM card, along with a simple talk & text plan, through PicCell Wireless or another provider abroad (Vodafone, TIM, WIND, etc.). This option offers no data capability, but students can supplement this with their personal smartphone, using wifi only.

Please note: If you choose to rent or buy from a provider abroad, 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 PicCell Wireless

Standard shipping is free to your U.S. home address, but you must allow at least 14 days for delivery (a fee is imposed for faster delivery). SAI therefore recommends ordering your phone at least 20 days prior to your departure, as items cannot be delivered on weekends and holidays.

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

  • Step 1: Choose your plan (data plan or non-data plan)
  • Step 2: Choose your device (SIM-only, PicCell standard free phone and SIM, or purchase a smartphone for an additional fee paid to PicCell)
  • Step 3: Continue through the order process until you receive confirmation

Oops – is it already less than 14 days prior to departure? You have the option to pay a rush shipping fee, or simply order your items and pick them up in-country. This may incur additional shipping costs for some locations that will be indicated to you when you place your order.

If you have any questions during the order process, please contact PicCell Wireless at either rachel@piccellwireless.com, info@piccellwireless.com or call toll-free 1-877-235-5742. If you call the toll-free number, you must leave a voice message and a representative will call you back shortly after.

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.