Bader International Study Centre

BISC

at Herstmonceux Castle, U.K.

The BADER INTERNATIONAL

STUDY CENTRE

at Herstmonceux Castle, U.K.

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Staying in Touch

Cell phones

There are three ways in which you can pay for a mobile phone service in the UK:

Pay Monthly
This is the least flexible option and you will be tied into a contract of between 18 and 24 months. If you choose a pay monthly deal and leave before your contract has ended you will almost certainly be charged for early disconnections.

Pay as you go (PAYG)
PAYG is very popular amongst students. You buy a handset and then pay in advance for a set amount of calls and texts. This usually is not the cheapest option, but it does offer great flexibility and is the best way to keep track of how much you spend.

SIM only
These packages are a halfway house between PAYG and contract phone. You will be provided with a SIM card but no phone, and you will only be committed to a rolling 30 day contract.

There are currently several major mobile phone providers in the UK: 3, O2, EE and Vodafone. However, some of the smaller providers, such as Tesco Mobile and Giff Gaff are also worth checking out. Each provider has its own range of packages so it is important to shop around when you are deciding on the best option for you.

The first thing you need to consider is whether you actually need a new phone handset. If you don’t, you could make a big saving by opting for a SIM only deal. If you have brought your phone with you, it may be worth continuing to use that phone but with a UK SIM card. You may need to get your phone unlocked as some phones are locked to the network from which the handset is purchased. Speak to your provider about this – some providers may charge a fee to unlock your phone. Alternatively you could buy a new phone handset in the UK.

Before deciding, take a look at an Ofcom pproved price comparison site, like MobilePhoneChecker – this is an easy to use site where you can compare deals across several networks and compare the different services (pay as you go, pay monthly and SIM only). Take a look – you’ll see you can often get a SIM only deal for half the price of a pay monthly contract!

The Carphone Warehouse is a shop in the UK that caters for all mobile networks so may also be a good starting point for comparing the various options.

When you are researching your mobile options, make sure you take into account whether they offer an international calling plan if you expect to make regular international calls. Many providers will offer this as an extra service on top of a monthly subscription, but some are available to PAYG customers too.

Before committing to a contract, make sure you know that the cancellation policy is, and what you are paying for each month.

Other Options

Calling international numbers from the UK can be expensive, especially if you decide to use your mobile. Some alternative ways to stay in touch with your family and friends back home include:

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

This is an excellent method of staying in touch if you have a broadband. With a reputable VoIP provider such as Skype you can make free voice or video calls to anywhere in the world as long as you and the person you are calling are both online and have the same software installed. In addition to calling from your PC, Skype has a smartphone app which allows you to make calls via the app to other Skype users. Be aware that this can use a lot of data quite quickly, so make sure you are connected to Wifi instead of using your mobile data.

If you need to call someone who does not have internet access, you can use Skype to make cheap calls to their landline or mobile phones. You can pay for these calls after you make them, or save more by buying blocks of minutes to a specific country.

If you have an iPhone or iPad, then Facetime is a good option – again, it is better to use this only when connected to Wifi to avoid big data charges.

International calling cards

You can use international calling cards to make cheap calls from landline and mobile phones, and they are very widely available. You can usually find them in convenience stores and supermarkets. You are recommended to compare different cards to find the one that offers the cheapest rate to your country and has the lowest connection charge, so be careful to select one with the most appropriate access number.

Phones in Bader Hall

There are no phones in your rooms. There are three payphones in Bader Hall for local calls, as well as other phones you can use with a calling card.

Payphone Locations

  • Next to the desk at Bader Reception
  • At the end of B2 in the stairwell.
  • D3 by the lift (elevator).

White phones in Bader Hall

These may be used to call the International Operator and to place calls using a calling card with an 0800 or other freephone number access. Dial ‘9’ first to get an external line.

  • The end of B1: extension is 4429.
  • D1, near the lift: extension is 4428.
  • C0 (basement), near the Games Room: extension is 4454.
  • C1, opposite the C1 Computer Lab. Please reserve this phone for emergency use only as conversations can be a distraction for those in the computer lab.