Depending on location, acquiring a cell phone when spending some times overseas can be a bit tricky and is often expensive, which is the antithesis of every budget-conscious student. For those participating in a study abroad program of some sort - whether as a teacher or as a student - AT&T has announced a new plan aptly named the Study Abroad plan with two monthly rate options.
Under the Study Abroad plan, rather than acquiring an international number (and thusly becoming an international charge to your at-home companions), subscribers will keep their normal phone number and can use their smartphone. There are monthly rates accompanying the program rather than pay-per-use fees, and while they're priced quite a bit higher than what you'd pay for the equivalent minutes/texts/data stateside, those who regularly use a phone may find it more economical than taking on a local plan.
Two monthly plans are available under Study Abroad, one of which is priced at $60 and the other at $90. Under the $60 plan, subscribers will get 250 minutes, 250 outgoing text messages, and 250MB of mobile data. The $90 plan, meanwhile, is a bit less than double that at 400 minutes, 400 outgoing text messages, and 400MB of data/1GB of WiFi data depending on device.
The service is available in 150 countries, among them being some of the more common destinations - Australia, Canada, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Mexico - as well as quite a few more obscure and less well-trodden locations like Macau, Qatar, Sierra Leone, Uzbekistan, Svalbard, St. Martin, and dozens of others.
The Study Abroad program will be available starting on August 9, and can be used by Apple devices running iOS 4.3 and higher and Android smartphones running 2.2/tablets running 3.2 and higher. The maximum length of the service is 12 months, and is only available to subscribers online.