One of the most important things anyone, especially me, would need for studying abroad is a working cell phone.Before I studied abroad in Korea, I had been stressing and researching several ways to get cell phones once abroad.
The three major ways I have found on getting a cellphone abroad include:
1) pre paid phone cards-----
First off, I think this would be such a HUGE pain to have to buy a card and find a phone to use. so this option was definitely off my list.
2. pay as you go phone-----
Through some research I have found that this is more expensive then just getting an actual phone contract and once again a little bit of a pin to have to keep up with buying minutes.
3. Korean phone contract-----
This one was the best option I could find. HOWEVER, if you are not planning to stay for the whole 2 years that your contract would be, than this probably is not the best option. On top of that to get an actual phone contract you must first register for an ARC (Alien Registration Card), which can take up to 4-5 weeks to finally receive. Then open up a bank account and then hopefully find a friend who lives in Korea to have them open the phone account for you. Of course after you would have to switch the bill to your account so they wouldn't get charged ;)
**Being an Iphone user, I was also told I could easily just buy a Korean sim card (even though they do not use the sim card system). However, you have to jailbreak and have your phone unlocked to where it would be able to work. This might be a good option, but I am not to savvy on jailbreaking electronics. I am too scared I would break it . After finding these three options, I was still lost and unsure of what to do. I am one of those people who likes to have things ready to go when I get there. I don't want to have to wander around aimlessly hoping to find a way to get a good deal.
BUT FINALLY I FOUND..... The Arrival Store. www.thearrivalstore.com
This is an online website where you can order cellphones (pre paid,contracts, new/used), electronics, bathroom utensils, bed linings, and even FOOD! At first I wasn't sure about it, but after researching and reading reviews on other websites and even videos I decided this was the best bet. Why you ask?? Well let me tell you :)
-First off they claim to have the shortest phone contracts. 9 months to be exact. This might not fit with all study abroad trips though.
-They will deliver your phone (or items) WHEREVER (in Korea of course) . You can also deliver ahead of time so it is ready for you when you arrive. I had mine being delivered to the airport so it was ready to go when I got there. :D Convenient huh? They will have your phone set up (and in English!) and will be able to use immediately.
-They will also have the bill for you in English as well. Paying the bill sounds very simple as well.
-And they give you a free plastic case and screen protector!
The phones you can choose from are also pretty good. If you want to do a two year contract you can choose from Iphones and other fancy phones. The phone I ended up ordering is the Samsung Galaxy S2. It wouldn't be my first choice since I am an apple kinda girl, but I was very excited. I had heard that Galaxy phones were pretty commonly used there before I had arrived.
Hopefully this post will help anyone who has been having the same problem I had. Of course, this post is in my opinion, and maybe some of the options I listed are actually just as good. :)