Contact and Communications

Student Cell Phones

As part of SIT’s commitment to student safety and security, all students are required to have a working cell phone while on our programs. For some programs, our recommendation is for students to obtain an international cell phone in the US prior to traveling. Please review your program pre-departure documents to determine if this is true for you. If this is the case, possible options for getting a phone are listed below.

Cellhire USA
You can rent a cell phone with airtime for your study abroad country through Cellhire USA before departure. Cellhire has several student bundles to choose from. The phone is shipped to your residence in the US via UPS, so you will have a local phone and local phone number before your arrival in country. For more information and to place an order, please visit www.cellhire.com/sit.

AT&T
If your cell phone provider is AT&T, you may be interested in their Study Abroad student package, which enables you to keep your mobile number and the content on your current phone. Please note that while this option allows you to keep your current phone, we do not advise bringing expensive looking phones on our programs. Keeping your current phone number but temporarily switching to a more basic phone may be the best option if you choose to go with the AT&T plan. For more information on this option please visit http://www.corp.att.com/edu/studyabroad/.

Before you bring your own phone on the program please check with your admissions counselor to see if this would be an appropriate option. Many programs recommend that students obtain cell phones once they arrive in country so please check your program pre-departure documents before you make any choices. Please also bear in mind that a basic cell phone with simple call and text messaging is the best option for all programs. Expensive or flashy phones (including iPhones) are not recommended as these may attract unwanted attention in some economically depressed areas.

Communication with Students while on the Program

SIT Study Abroad encourages parents to maintain good lines of communication with their students and to encourage students to remain at the helm of the study abroad process, whether through the application, the visa process, or on the program. SIT Study Abroad programs require strength of character and independent mindedness, and parents can help students recognize that early. That said, SIT Study Abroad staff in our Vermont headquarters are available for parent questions, comments, or concerns at any point before, during, or after a student’s program. 

In most cases, when parents call or email SIT Study Abroad, they will be put in contact with the Study Abroad Student Affairs Office. The Student Affairs Office can be reached directly by calling 802 258-3292. The Vermont office is open from 8:30 AM–5:00 PM EST, Monday through Friday, with emergency service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Read more about emergency communication.

For routing program communication, SIT Study Abroad encourages students and parents to discuss communication expectations prior to the start of the program. Many SIT programs take place in remote locations and/or involve extensive travel. It can be difficult to know where students are at all times and to keep track of what types of communication may be feasible when. Many alumni recommend making an appointment to call home or to receive a call, thereby avoiding frustration and making connections more meaningful.

We also encourage students to consider the impact of constant communication with friends and family at home on their cultural immersion. While all students are encouraged to share with those close to them and use them for support whenever necessary, it is also important to remember that students are on the program for just one term, and that they get out of the program what they put into it.