Choosing the right SIM card as an overseas student in Australia

So you’ve landed in Australia. You’re about to embark on the journey of a lifetime. It’s time for you to begin your international study but there is a lot to learn. You need to find your classes, decide on an apartment, locate the supermarket, make some friends … the list seems to be never-ending.

It’s overwhelming at first, but trust us, you made the right choice.

You’re about to embark on the journey of a lifetime. It’s time for you to begin your international study but there is a lot to learn.

Before you enter this brave new world, you’ll want to make sure you have one essential tool at your disposal: a mobile phone.

From Google Mapping directions to transferring money quickly to checking where the closest bus stop is – your phone will be your best friend.

However, navigating the range of plans and providers in a new country is complicated and you want to get the best deal you can. Let’s take a look at a few quick tips to ensure you find the right SIM card for your needs.

Tip #1: Talk to your home plan provider

Your first stop should be your home plan provider. You’ll want to ask them whether or not your current phone will work during your time overseas. It’s often a mixed bag with providers, some offer really awesome international plans. In this scenario, you’ll be able to use your phone as normal.

However, by and large, mobile providers tend to either not offer coverage overseas at all or charge excessive fees to keep your phone running. Whatever the case, the journey to the right SIM card will start with a conversation between you and your regular provider.

Tip #2: Unlock your phone

While you’re chatting to your provider about your plan options, make sure you ask them if it’s possible to unlock your phone. This will allow you to insert any SIM card into your current smartphone so you don’t have to pay for a new phone altogether. Most telecom providers offer this service for free if you contact them before leaving the country.

If you receive the green light for unlocking your phone, make sure everything is in order before you set off. Check that everything seems to be functioning as normal, find that SIM card slot on your phone for future reference, and start looking into SIM card options in your study abroad destination.

Some providers will allow you to unlock your phone for easy access to the SIM slot.

Tip #3: Failing that …. Opt for a cheap mobile option

If your provider is being stubborn about unlocking your phone, it’s likely time for Plan B. You’ll want to buy a phone from your country of study. For students undertaking a longer term of international study, it may be worth investing in a mid-range phone.

However, for those who don’t have the budget for this, it’s best to get a cheap phone for texts and calls while keeping your normal smartphone for general browsing. Remember: Even unlocked phones can connect to Wi-Fi and the internet when in range.

Tip #4: Let Cohort Go help

Cohort Go enables students to prepare for their trip before they go – saving them from searching for the services once they arrive in Australia.

Whether you’re trying to find out the best way to transfer money internationally or you’re looking for some advice on how to pick the right student accommodation, Cohort Go is here to help. Our goal is to ensure you get your overseas study experience off to a flying start!

Looking for more international study tips?

Download our international study survival guide below!

Author: Kirsty Jackson

As CMO, Kirsty is responsible for carrying out our company vision by creating global marketing and communication strategies that drive growth and nurture our customer experiences.