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Cell phone coverage while abroad?

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Hi guys, first time poster here.

I'm going on an exchange this upcoming spring semester to Vienna, Austria. I currently reside in Vancouver BC and I'm locked into a multi year iPhone contract with Rogers.

I was curious as to how people in similar situations have dealt with this. I would like to have texting ability and calling, as well as wifi access and perhaps some data for emergency situations (such as using Google maps or something).

I have thought of using facebook/whatsapp for wifi text messaging, and then perhaps some type of VOIP app for calling, but I'm not sure how that plays into the fact that I currently have a contract - I assume I can't just up and leave my contract temporarily?

How have you guys gone about this in the past? Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks!

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