Dear exchange student,

We urge you to have a U.S. cell phone number to communicate with your host family, new American friends, and United Studies staff during your exchange.

One service we can suggest is J1 SIM, not because we receive compensation from you enrolling in J1 Sim (we don’t), but because it

  • is relatively affordable,
  • can be used with a SIM-unlocked smartphone, and
  • can be discontinued at any time.

Of course, you can’t become a member of an American family, make lots of American friends, and create memories that will last a lifetime if you spend all your time on your phone! Therefore, we recommend starting with the $25/month plan (about $28/month after taxes), which includes:

  • unlimited USA nationwide incoming/outgoing calls and texts
    • (you can add unlimited international calls for $2 to $10 per month, depending on the country)
  • unlimited international texts
  • unlimited audio streaming through iTunes, Pandora, and Spotify; and
  • unlimited Data with 2GB on 4G LTE.
    • (Data slows after 2 GB but is always available. Data use varies based on factors such as signal strength and phone memory, but 2 GB is normally enough for 80-90 hours of web surfing without audio or video streaming, 20 episodes of a 30-minute TV program, or 9 hours of Skype chatting.)

If you’re interested:

  • make sure J1 SIM’s T-Mobile network covers your U.S. community by entering your host family’s address into this page; and
  • if it does, request a free J1 SIM card by
    • clicking here
    • completing all fields (where it asks for “Program or School,” write “United Studies”), and
    • clicking “Order Free SIM.”


United Studies staff