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Mobile phones and calling home

Student page

If you are coming from outside of the UK you should look into getting a UK mobile phone SIM to save money

Students from the EU

You may know that mobile phone companies can no longer charge extra for roaming in other EU countries.

This only applies for visits to other countries and not for extended stays, which could include your time in the UK as a student.

Some mobile phone companies are also applying 'fair use' clauses limiting the amount of data/minutes that can be used.

You should check with your mobile phone provider before coming the the UK and considering taking out a contract with a UK provider.

Using mobile phones in the UK

By keeping your current SIM you may be liable for high charges for usage so it is best to consider purchasing a UK SIM card.

There are plenty of mobile network providers (3, O2, EE, Vodafone, Tesco Mobile, GiffGaff) who provide similar services in different packages for you to choose from.

Comparison sites like Money Supermarket and MobilePhoneChecker mean that you can compare offers and find the right deal for you.

SIM only 

If you are happy to keep your current phone then a SIM only deal is usually the cheapest way to go. Your current phone may need to be unlocked - check with your current provider.

You buy a SIM card and a 30 day contract with it, which you can choose to extend or opt out of.

Goldsmiths students we've spoke to recommend GiffGaff for this but all mobile phone providers offer this type of contract.

Two ways to pay for a mobile phone service in the UK

Pay monthly

If you think you will need an unlimited amount of minutes, texts and a large data allowance this may be the best deal for you.

Paying monthly means taking up a 12-24 month contract, so you should think about if you want to commit to this length of time.

Pay as you go (PAYG)

Arguably the simplest set up - buy a handset then top-up when you need to for increased calls and texts.

This option can prove the cheapest and means you can track how much you spend, however if you are in need of using the internet on your phone it may not be the best idea.

Calling home

We appreciate that you need to be able to contact home wherever that may be. International calls and texts can come at great expense if you do not look for a deal that offers them as part of their service.

Mobile phone providers usually offer a 'bolt on' where you pay an extra fee for cheaper international calls.

It may be worth considering the deals offered by Lebara or Lycamobile.

Messaging apps and calling over wi-fi

You can also use apps like WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger to make calls using wi-fi.

Free wi-fi is available across Goldsmiths campus and in our accomodation.

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