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Calling/Texting local French numbers with iPhone?

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Hello,

Here is my situation:
I will be studying in Paris for the next 8 months, and I will also be teaching English part-time.

I have an iPhone 4s with Verizon, purchased the $25 per month data roaming plan (for a whopping 100MB) and calling to the US or to France will cost $0.99 per minute. I need a more efficient way to communicate with fellow students in France, my employers or anybody who will want to contact me while I'm in France.

I have downloaded an app called Pinger, that has assigned me a separate US phone number and I can use that to text/call for free to the US over Wi-Fi or data network. (I also know of Skype and Google Voice). So I'm all set to call/text to the US. However, I would love to find an app, or some way that I can get a French phone number (similar to what Pinger, Textfree and other apps do, but in France) forwarded to my iphone so that I can text (hopefully call as well) French phones without being charged or charging the people I am texting.

I don't know if this is possible, but I would love any suggestions! Also, I would like to avoid purchasing another French phone if possible. I did this when I studied abroad for my undergrad, and found it to be a pain to carry two phones. Would love to put that expensive iphone to use! (without unlocking it!)

thanks!
Gina

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