Whether you are arriving for the first time, or already here – getting a cellphone and making the right choice on a cellphone plan is an extremely important decision. If done right – international students can save a lot of time and hassle.
As an international student, I found getting a cellphone in the US an extremely difficult process so I wanted to share my experience so it can save you some time and money.
Typical issues you’d face when trying to get a cellphone service:
1) First, if you arrive with no local service, it is expensive to make international calls or even just get around
2) Secondly if you are here, deciding on which plan to stick with is a challenge
3) Many US cellphone companies may require a security deposit or good credit standing which at arrival you won’t have
4) Deciding what is important to you can be challenging, each carrier has its own pros and cons (speed vs. coverage vs. price)
5) Only a few providers allow for you to use your device from home. You might need to buy a new US phone
6) Learning the difference between prepaid and postpaid, individual vs. family plans
7) Getting the right SIM card size with cheap international calling capability
To decide which mobile carrier to choose, I just Google’d “American mobile carriers” to learn but after quickly being overwhelmed I asked my international student office and they were able to help.
How to avoid these problems:
A San Francisco based company (www.semtus.com) is now partnering with UC Berkeley international student office to bring some of the best US plans and discounts to international students within a single online store. Along with that, their online store offers all the new phones that are unlocked and can be used with any carrier in the US or worldwide.
As a UC Berkeley international student, you can get guaranteed lowest rates on a variety of different wireless plans and carriers. Some of the carriers they offer include T-Mobile, AT&T, and Ultra Mobile with the latest iPhones, Galaxy, and other popular devices.
How to get it?
If you are interested, you can visit their online store at www.semtus.com or contact the UC Berkeley International Student Office to request a free SIM card.
They will also be present at the campus during the orientation week on Sunday (Aug 17), Monday (Aug 18), and Wednesday (Aug 20) at the student fair and Friday (Aug 22). You can meet their staff and buy your service in person and get some of the best discounts.
How else can you benefit?
I also learned that this year they will be introducing a referral program that will allow international students to bring a friend, and for each friend that signs up, you can earn $20 referral fee towards your plan.
Hope you can take advantage of these new solutions now available to UC Berkeley International Students.
Welcome to UC Berkeley.
一家在旧金山成立的公司 （www.semtus.com ) 现在和伯克利大学国际学生部开始合作，他们是一家网络公司给国际学生带来最好的手机服务套餐。同时他们的网站上还提供最新解锁版智慧型手机，所以我们可以在全球任何地方使用。
如果你对该公司感兴趣，你可以上他们的网站 www.semtus.com 或者联系伯克利大学国际学生部领取免费sim卡。
July 6, 2014 | By Henry Cheng at UC Berkeley
Most of you will come across some degree of culture shock when you arrive to the United States for education. I certainly experienced this and wanted to share some ways in which you may be able to avoid them or prepare for it.
When I first moved to the U.S., I didn’t assume there would be a huge difference in the way people behaved. Frankly, coming from a Latin country with no study abroad experience, I had no idea what to expect. I arrived in America with an open mind but realized that there were many differences, which led me to experience a sense of a ‘culture shock’.
‘Culture shock’ occurs when a person feels disoriented in a new country and is not used to the routine or people. This often leads to homesickness but can be avoided if you’re aware of what to expect.
Some social customs can make you feel a certain level of ‘culture shock’. Here are a few examples from my experience: