If you are coming abroad with your smartphone here are some options for what you can do once you get here:
- Put it on airplane mode and use it only on WiFi. WiFi is not as reliable as it is in the US, England, and Australia, but it is the most cost effective option. It also is more accessible than in the United States.
- Check with your provider if you have free international roaming because some providers, such as TMobile, do offer it.
- Buy a sim card. Either before you leave or once you arrive in Italy, you can purchase a sim card for your phone for Italian, multi-country, or International plans. This will give you an Italian phone number, but you will still have you American number as well. Make sure your phone is "unlocked" before you decide to do this, as it will not work if it is not. Sim cards in Sorrento are about 10EUR.
- Buy a second phone with an Italian number. This could be anything from a simple block phone to a smart phone.
Additionally there are a number of places to buy personal WiFi hotspots in Sorrento. If you plan on using your phone just on WiFi, or even just want regular access to internet when out, you can consider purchasing a hotspot to carry.
Most students find that by bringing some Euros or exchanging money once in Italy and using access to their American bank account they do not need to open an Italian bank account.
Things to keep in mind while using your American accounts:
- Debit cards almost always have foreign transaction fees on them which can be anywhere from $3-8 per transaction, so use them sparingly or only to withdraw from ATMs.
- Most ATMs (bancomats in Italian) will charge you a fee for using an ATM out of your system, but this is usually less than transaction fees that your card will charge for swiping in the stores, so consider taking out the cash. Also, there are still many places that will/can not take card in Italy.
- There are credit cards that do not have foreign transaction fees so you will only be paying the conversion rate. Consider opening a card and paying off the balance.
If you prefer, Sant'Anna can help you with ordering an Italian Bank Account. This card is an innovative tool developed by Eduservices particularly for young students who are looking for a bank that can meet all their needs.
The vantages are many:
- NO opening/closing fees
- NO exchange commissions
- NO commissions at the ATMs (Intesa SanPaolo and CRF banks) in Italy
- NO annual fees
- NO usage fees
- Incoming international wire transfers accepted
- Withdraw money from any other ATMs with the MasterCard logo (NOT Intesa San Paolo and CRF banks) with a fixed fee of € 2,00
- The card also covers liability for card theft or loss: simply block the card by calling the toll free number 800-902-631 and report it to the Authorities to ensure the reimbursement of the balance available in the card.
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