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International Travel Mobile Device Tips

What to do when you are going to travel internationally

  1. Be aware that international service plans must be added prior to leaving the United States. We advise adding international service plans at least 1 week prior to departure.
  2. Know what countries you are traveling to and the dates you will be in each country. 
    Note: International service is not available in all countries.
  3. Know what devices you plan to take on your international travel (ie: Cell Phone, Tablet, Data Card) and the phone number associated with each.  
  4. Determine what service plans you want to add for each device:
    mobiledevices.stanford.edu/serviceplans
  5. Submit a HelpSU request with all of the information from above or call the Mobile Device Help Desk:
    • Stanford University:  5Help (650-725-4357), option 4
    • Stanford Hospital & Clinics:  4Help (650-724-4357), option 4
    • Stanford Children's Health:  5Help (650-725-4357), option 4
  6. 30 days after you return from your international travel please submit a HelpSU request or call the Mobile Device Help Desk to remove the international service plans.

    Wi-Fi only Loaner iPads are available at no additional cost for international travel. For more information visit: itservices.stanford.edu/service/ipadloan

Other international travel tips

Set your voicemail passcode

Before you travel to another country, set up a voicemail passcode so that you can retrieve voicemails while abroad. Make a note of your passcode; you may need to enter it when you check your voicemail. Note: You might not receive a voicemail indicator when you travel internationally.

Prior to leaving, call the Mobile Device Help Desk for support to set your voicemail passcode:

  • Stanford University:  5Help (650-725-4357), option 4
  • Stanford Hospital & Clinics:  4Help (650-724-4357), option 4
  • Stanford Children's Health:  5Help (650-725-4357), option 4

Use Wi-Fi instead of the carrier's network

Warning: You can quickly accrue thousands of dollars in roaming charges while abroad or on a cruise. Manage your phone settings and purchase the correct data plan to avoid exorbitant bills.

Don't use your mobile phone at sea unless you can use Wi-Fi. International roaming packages often do not cover cell phone usage after you're a certain distance from the shore.

You can set your iPhone or Android device to stop receiving data over a cellular network but permit phone calls and text messages over Wi-Fi.

Turn off data roaming and cellular data on your iPhone

  1. Tap Settings > General > Cellular.
  2. Set Cellular Data and Data Roaming to OFF.

To turn on Wi-FI:

  1. Tap Settings > Wi-Fi.
  2. Set Wi-Fi to ON.

To turn off all connectivity:

  1. Tap Settings
  2. Set Airplane Mode to ON.

Turn off data roaming and cellular data on your Android device

  1. Tap Settings > Wireless and network More Settings.
  2. Tap Mobile network.
  3. Set Packet Data to OFF.
  4. Set Data Roaming to OFF.

To turn on Wi-FI:

  1. Tap Settings > Wi-Fi.
  2. Set Wi-Fi to ON.

To turn off all connectivity:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Set Airplane Mode to ON.

If you have technical difficulties using your mobile device while traveling outside the U.S., contact your carrier directly.

  • AT&T:   +1-916-843-4685
    To access the plus sign (+) on most devices, press and hold the 0 key.
  • Sprint:   1-888-226-7212, option 2
  • Verizon:   Dial the exit code for the country you're in, then dial (908) 559-4899


If your mobile device is lost or stolen when traveling internationally, please following guidelines on Mobile Device Program Policy page.

Unlocked phones:  At this time, our policy is that we do not unlock any phones or devices.

Last modified March 27, 2014