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How to use your Mobile Phone abroad

by Enrique Jover VelozReading time: 4 min.
How to use your Mobile Phone abroad
Are you going abroad to work as an Au Pair? In that case, you will surely need to take many important aspects into account: flights, a new culture, a new language…. But have you thought about your mobile phone?

Maybe, this is one of the points that some people tend to forget when they arrive at their destination and suddenly they feel lost and disconnected. We bring our mobile phones everywhere and therefore, we have to remember what changes when we go abroad, to simply avoid surprises.

Easy solution in the European Union

Thanks to some European Union agreements signed in 2017, it is easy to use the internet and make calls on your mobile phone if you are moving to a country in the EU. The same fee that you have in your country of origin will be applied to you if you are from a country which is a member of the EU. Therefore, you will not have to worry about any possible fees or recharge. You can use your mobile phone as if you were at home, but if your tariff includes unlimited data, you must agree with your operator on the volume of data roaming in order not to get a surcharge. In any case, you can receive more information here.

Technical issues

However, if you have problems getting a connection, sometimes you have to simply switch your mobile phone off and on. You know that roaming works when you receive a message welcoming you to a new country. If this is not the case, you can try to contact your mobile company to solve it. Sometimes, you need to change some settings manually on the mobile phone.
You also have to keep in mind that there is a policy of fair use in the EU. This measures if you are using your mobile phone in your country most of the year. If it is not the case and you are having a long stay as Au Pair, it is recommendable to  conclude a contract with a company in the country where you are currently living.

The famous roaming

The term roaming refers to the service which allows users to use their mobile phones while they are abroad. Even though this sounds good, the absence of it is actually what is better for your bank account, as it is the case in the European Union. Therefore, roaming will be available everywhere you go, except the EU, which means you have to pay additional fees and a rise in prices to keep using your mobile phones as usual. 


There are some exceptions for European countries which are not members of the European Union. However, they can have agreements in some areas, including the deletion of roaming. One example of this is the United Kingdom, which, despite not being an EU member, allows you to use your mobile phone as if you were in the EU due to some companies' agreements. Nevertheless, there is the possibility that your company is not included in this agreement. Therefore, it is better to check it before your journey.

High fees

Outside the European Union, agreements won't be that common. You will, at least at the beginning, have to use roaming. However, with roaming, a simple sent message or a quick search on the internet could have a huge impact on your payments.
It is beneficial to know the roaming rate that will be applied to you. There are essentially four zones worldwide. Zone 1 includes the countries of the EU and zone 2 mainly the countries of the Americas like Canada and the USA. Zones 3 and 4 cover countries of Oceania and Asia like New Zealand, Australia and Japan, just to name a few. You can verify the zone of any country here.

Longer stays

If you are open to other options, which may be the best due to the price and the duration of the stay, you could get a new SIM card in your destination country. It is easy to find anywhere. You have the possibility to recharge it with the amount of data and calls needed.
With this solution you will only have to focus on having a great experience as Au Pair, discovering a new culture, meeting international people and travelling around in another country.
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