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Study Abroad in Paris: Best Cell Phone Options?

From what I have gathered on this forum as well as the other resources, it appears that the best and most cost-effective option for cell phone use in Paris would be to unlock my current iPhone and have a French/International SIM inserted during my time abroad.

I will be studying abroad for 3 months in Paris and plan to do some traveling within the EU on weekends. I plan to mainly utilize WiFi to my fullest advantage when communicating with friends and family in the US through FaceTime, WhatsApp, Skype, iMessage, etc, but I also hope to be able to communicate at least sparingly with classmates and friends who are also in Europe. I plan to minimize my usage to solely several calls and texts a day when WiFi is inaccessible. If anyone could provide any insight or advice based on experience, I would greatly appreciate it! Also, if you have any suggestions of French/European carriers, that would be extremely helpful.


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We purchased our SIM cards in Italy from Vodafone. It’s a global plan, but allows usage without additional costs in the EU (not Switzerland). We have 500 minutes to Italy numbers, and 300 free minutes to other countries including US. Chat apps usage is unlimited (what’s app, messenger).
Agree with previous poster to purchase from a store, not tabacchi, where you are more likely to find a little English spoken. For whatever reason, we seem to use way more data here than in US. We had a Verizon plan with 2 GB and never went over, and now we have a plan with 18 GB $12/mo) on one phone and 25 GB ($15/month) on other. We don’t have cable internet, so no “free” WiFi, but also watch some Netflix. Don’t skimp on data.