Special Cellular Access for International Students

Please Note: This process is still being updated. The final process regarding reimbursement should be confirmed by 11/9/2020.


During the global pandemic, while our students are not able to be on campus, the college can assist with obtaining cellular access on a student's college-issued iPad.

Students first need to submit a request and receive approval. Once approved, IT staff will work to enable cellular on iPads for students residing within the US or US territories. The process is different for students international students as there is no way for the college to pre-purchase cellular plans in other countries.

Process Overview

International students who are approved for cellular will be asked to seek a local service provider and purchase either a plan directly from their iPad or by purchasing a SIM card. 

They should then send their receipt to Susan Foster at shfoster@bowdoin.edu. She will then work with the Bursar's Office to send reimbursement to the student.

The preference is to receive your receipt(s) all in a single lump sum through the end of the semester. For most international students, this would be for 1 or 2 months of service. If this is NOT possible, receipts for each month can be sent once received.

Cellular or Data Plan Details

Students should purchase a monthly service plan with unlimited data, if available. In addition, the ability to tether or have the iPad become a hot spot should also be considered, if needed.

Annual plans or long-term agreements should be avoided. The college will only reimburse for as long as the student can not travel to campus while classes are in session. This means that the college will not provide cellular service and won't reimburse for service during the month-long break (December 23-end of January).

Avoiding long-term plans ensures that the student isn't stuck with a plan that they don't want or can't pay for.


Each country has their own set of carriers. Apple maintains a list of carriers that they work with and who also support LTE access (faster than standard cellular access).  For a list of carriers by country, visit Apple's knowledge base article. Remember, students received an 11" iPad Pro.


Article ID: 119840
Fri 11/6/20 10:32 AM
Fri 11/6/20 11:06 AM
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