Living in Birmingham
If you’d like to buy a mobile phone while you’re studying in the UK there are four main options:
If you’d like a phone on a monthly contract there are many network providers to choose from. It’s well worth visiting a mobile phone shop such as Carphone Warehouse, O2 or EE to discuss the options that are available. It can be difficult for international students to get a monthly contract as the shop will need to complete a UK credit check and if it is your first time in the UK you will not have any credit history.
A contract normally lasts from between one to two years, and often comes with a free handset and other benefits.
Review any contract carefully, and don’t forget to ask what offers are available on international calls, particularly if you plan on spending a lot of time talking to relatives and friends at home. In addition you will need to ensure you can keep up with the monthly payments until the contract ends.
Pay as you go
If you don’t use your phone regularly, you could save money with a ‘pay as you go’ deal. This allows you to ‘top up’ the credit on a mobile whenever you need to. Again – high street phone shops will have a variety of offers to choose from.
Bring your own phone
If you’re bringing a phone from home first check that it will work in the UK with your service provider, and make sure there are no hidden charges.
It may also be possible to purchase a UK SIM card for use in your existing handset at a fairly low cost.
Phone cards can be purchased from the Post Office and at many newsagents in the city.
These can often work out cheaper for calling overseas from a landline. As always, shop around for the best prices.