Cell Phone Usage Within the US

Updated on February 23rd, 2023

International students enrolled in Berklee Summer Programs are not required to have a US phone number. However, you may wish to maintain your international phone service or obtain US phone service for your program. While you will ultimately need to research options and evaluate which is the best for you based on your budget and program length, an overview of some of your options is provided below.

Get an International Plan from Your Current Phone Provider

Many major carriers offer at least one international phone plan option. You may wish to connect with your current carrier to determine if they offer an option that meets your needs. Be aware of the difference between a true international plan (one that allows you to use your phone and data abroad) or a plan with international calling (one that allows you to call international phone numbers while you are still in your country), as well as potential roaming charges.

Get a US-Compatible SIM Card

If your cell phone is unlocked or compatible, you may be able to use your current phone in the US by swapping out the SIM card and finding a phone plan that meets your needs, whether it be a monthly plan or a pre-paid voucher card. SIM cards can be purchased from major US cell phone providers such as T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T and will provide you with a US phone number. Chat apps like WhatsApp and WeChat can then be utilized to stay connected with family and friends in your home country.

Internet-Based Phone and Text Services

Another option is to obtain an internet-based US phone number that will allow you to make calls when connected to Wi-Fi. Many of these services are low-cost or free, including Skype Number and Google Voice.

Use Campus Wi-Fi without a Phone Plan

Berklee has guest Wi-Fi and the password will be provided to you upon arrival for your program. If you plan to remain primarily on campus and don't think you will need to use standard call, text, and/or data when you are off campus, you can simply use our Wi-Fi and use chat apps to connect with family and friends in your home country and the US.