Technology on GO
Technology & Communication Abroad
Using your Cell phone
- For GO Short and GO Your Way programs, many students will look into the international plan offered by your wireless carrier. Some offer $10/day when used, others offer a monthly plan that can be cheaper.
- Many major US wireless carriers can “unlock” your phone for you. This will allow you to use a SIM card from any carrier in any country, which can help you to avoid expensive international charges.
- You can purchase a prepaid SIM card when you arrive at your destination.
- Monitor your usage. If you have a limited amount of data available, you can monitor your usage on your phone. This will ensure that you don’t go over your data limit and rack up overage fees.
- Turning off your data will ensure that, when you’re not on Wi-Fi, apps don’t use all your data or make you exceed your data limit. You can still send and receive calls or texts while your data roaming is off. Keeping your phone in airplane mode will save your battery charge.
- Disabling “push notifications” will help save data as well.
- Data roaming can be very expensive, so try to use Wi-Fi networks whenever possible. Before you depart, download one of the free “Wi-Fi finder” apps that use your phone’s GPS to locate nearby free wireless networks.
Apps to consider
- Google Voice, WhatsApp, Skype, FaceTime, and Facebook Messenger are all free apps that allow you to communicate with people in the US.
- There are tons of worthwhile apps developed with travelers in mind, but a few staples include XE (exchange rates), Google Translate, Citymapper, Triposo, and TripIt. Be sure to download these apps before travelling abroad. Check out this list.
- Navigation: You can download offline apps like OsmAnd, Maps.me, or cache your own offline maps in Google Maps.
- Consider local apps for your host location/city to stay up to date with local activities.
- Know what transportation apps are used in your host location. There may be a specific taxi app. And many cities have specific subway apps as to train and airlines companies.
- Download Microsoft Authenticator app so that you can still access your SU profiles and platforms.
Electricity Converter and Adapter
- You will need an outlet plug adapter, which can be purchased inexpensively (and the GO office may have some available).
- Electrical currents abroad often run differently than they do in American. Without the use of a converter, your appliance could burn out in a matter of seconds, and you could also damage the building’s electrical wiring system. You should look into if you need a converter or not, depending on which appliances you are bringing with you.
- Pay close attention to time zones. Just because it is 1PM where you are, does not mean that it is the same time back home. Double check the time before calling your family or friends.