My son will be studying abroad in Hungary for the next four months. His plan is to communicate with us in the U.S. through Viber or Facetime, but wants an international SIM card for texting and local calls or for emergencies in non-wifi areas. He will travel to some extent on the weekends to Austria, Germany, and Italy. Is there a SIM card you would recommend so that he only needs one card rather than need to buy a new one in every country he visits? Would he be able to make calls to the U.S. for those times he doesn't have wifi? Thanks for your suggestions!
A SIM card from an EU country (such as Hungary) works in all other EU countries (such as Austria, Germany, and Italy) without a roaming surcharge.
He will also be able to make calls to the USA (or any other country) by dialling the correct country code (1 for the USA) For example:
+ 1 aaa nnn nnnn
The price for a call outside the EU is not governed by EU roaming charge limits, he would have to check with the phone company how much it would cost.
There is no such thing as a "international SIM card". All SIM cards are issued by a company according to the telecommunications regulations of one country, and have a phone number from that country.
Thank you! That's very helpful! I've read that SIM cards vary a lot by company and by store. Can you give me any suggestions for what to buy in Hungary? He'll be in Budapest.
I find this website to be useful for the picture view of local SIM cards. I have found that details such as package name and pricing is sometimes dated.
It looks like your son should be able to find a package that includes roaming to the EU. Since he intends to use VOIP services for calls home please make sure these services are allowed under the particular carrier and plan he intends to buy.