Phones and Technology

Mobile Cellular Service

All students on Carleton OCS programs are required to have a functioning cellular device on them at all times. The same is true for many non-Carleton programs.There are several options for obtaining international cellular service:

  1. Keep your US phone & add an international calling plan
  2. Keep your US phone & get a local SIM card
  3. Purchase a local phone & SIM card

Although mobile data service is not required, it can be handy for navigation, email, VOiP calling, messaging, and other services.

This article explains phone options while traveling. You may wait until you arrive on site to obtain a local number.

Resources for International Calling

VOiP platforms such as Skype, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, What’s App, and FaceTime are all useful platforms for audio, video and group calling/texting. Plan to set up and test a few of them with your friends and family before leaving so that you have an established means of communicating once you are abroad and connected to the internet. has a number of resources related to international calling such as country & city codes, international clocks, date calculators, and so on.

Computers & Tablets

Most students travel with a laptop and/or a tablet for academic and personal use. Some students choose to bring an older or less expensive laptop while traveling in case of damage or theft. Before leaving, make sure your data is backed up and that you have appropriate plug-ins/adapters, batteries, connectors, and removable storage for your device. is a great resource for knowing what adapters you will need.

Internet Connectivity

Internet connectivity is available worldwide and WiFi is prevalent in many countries, but you should do some research on your specific destination(s) to get a sense of how fast and reliable your connection will be. For example, will your host family have a broadband connection? Does service ever get interrupted? How expensive will it be? Are there any firewalls that will prevent you from accessing your favorite websites?


Be cautious when using public Wi-Fi connections and never transmit banking or other sensitive information over a public network.Keep devices near you when traveling or stored in a secure location. Be sure that your data is backed up to a cloud server and/or an external hard drive and that your devices all have secure passcodes.We recommend insuring your valuable electronics. Insurance is available through a homeowner’s policy or a separate personal articles policy.

Access to Carleton Resources from Off-Campus

ITS publishes a resource page on how to access the Carleton network from abroad.

ITS also has some helpful travel tips for traveling abroad.

ITS has information about accessing Duo Two-Factor Authentication