Mobile phones

All students at the University are strongly recommended to purchase a UK registered mobile phone and/or SIM card. This is crucial because all emergency services in the UK operate on systems which are only accessible to UK phones.  Calls to emergency lines (Police, Ambulance, NHS24, etc.) from a phone with an international SIM card will not go through.

Many students who come to St Andrews bring a mobile or cell phone with them. Students from within the UK should find that their mobile phone works as usual in St Andrews. International students may be interested in the information below.

SIM cards

All mobile phones in the UK require a SIM card to connect to a network. If you are bringing a phone from a country which does not require a SIM card, you will need to purchase a SIM card before your phone will work in the UK. SIM cards are attached to a network; there are a number of networks in the UK, most of which have a strong signal within St Andrews. There is one mobile phone store in St Andrews (located on Market Street) where you can buy a SIM card.

Unlocking your mobile phone

Some mobile phones are locked to the network which the phone is currently using. In order to use your phone on a new network, you may have to unlock your mobile phone so that it can be used on another network. There are a number of services online and in stores where this can be organised. You can unlock your phone before arriving in St Andrews. 

UK mobile networks

There are a number of UK mobile networks, including some that are aimed specifically at international students and include reduced rates on international texts or calls. There are two ways to connect to a network: via a pay monthly contract or pay-as-you-go. You can set up a pay monthly contract at any phone store in the UK. Pay-as-you-go is very easy and flexible in the UK, and you can get some good deals. Pay-as-you-go is very easy to set up – often it is as easy as buying a pay-as-you-go SIM card and inserting it into an unlocked phone. 

Data charges

International students bringing their mobile phones to the UK on an international contract may find that they run up large charges due to using data overseas. Please check with your network provider and disable data roaming when you arrive in the UK if you would like to avoid running up large charges.