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Wi-Fi is pretty set-it-and-forget it. When you register your device on eduroam at UNC, you can count on connecting to one of UNC’s 12,000 access points all over campus. But did you know eduroam isn’t just a Carolina network? It’s part of a worldwide network of more than 100 partners and 10,000 locations.

This past summer, two ITS student workers, Lila Davidson and Lesley Gonzalez, were among the 36% of UNC students who study abroad at one of the 400 programs offered by UNC’s Study Abroad Office. When Davidson and Gonzalez landed in Europe, they were delighted to see a familiar name from home — eduroam.

Their study abroad spots, University of Galway in Ireland for Davidson and King’s College London for Gonzalez, participate in the eduroam worldwide network. Even though Davidson and Gonzalez were more than 3,500 miles away, they connected automatically to eduroam using their UNC credentials. By automatically connecting to secure Wi-Fi, they had one less thing to worry about.

Lila Davidson

This past summer, I studied abroad for three weeks in Galway, Ireland. It was one of the most special experiences of my life, but the preparation for my program was stressful. Finding flights, figuring out particulars like a cell phone plan and learning how to navigate a new campus (and country) felt overwhelming.

When I finally got to the University of Galway, I learned that my laptop already connected to eduroam, the Wi-Fi I use at home at UNC Chapel-Hill. I felt like I could breathe a sigh of relief — something else was off my plate.

I used eduroam every day when I was abroad. I was able to pull up my readings when I was in the classroom, do my homework each evening in my student apartment and edit my friends’ essays on Google Docs without having to worry about whether or not I could access them.

Having eduroam abroad made my experience easier. I feel so lucky that I was able to study abroad during my time at Carolina and that UNC ITS was there to support me along the way.

Lila Davidson and three friends pose together for a photo in Galway, Ireland.
Lila Davidson (third from left) and three friends pose together for a photo in Galway, Ireland

Lesley Gonzalez

Lesley Gonzalez posing in front of a London skyscraper known as "the Shard."
Lesley Gonzalez posing in front of a London skyscraper known as “the Shard”

I went to King’s College London for a month-long study abroad experience last summer. With a beautiful campus spread out across central London, I spent my summer taking the Underground and riding buses from one side of the city to the other. I was spending so much time planning where to go and what to do, I didn’t want to worry about how to get service and connect to Wi-Fi.

Thankfully, I had eduroam to help me relax. I didn’t even know I would be able to connect to the network until I made it to the dorms at Great Dover Street. As soon as I checked into my room, I connected to the network. Then, once I stepped foot on Strand Campus (across the River Thames from the apartments), I connected again.

I was able to attend classes, study and stay connected easily with these eduroam hotspots. Whenever it was difficult to find service or free Wi-Fi in the city, I knew I could head to one of the many libraries of King’s College or set off to a campus area somewhere in the city and connect.

With functionality in more than 100 countries around the world, eduroam made one part of my study abroad experience easy and stress-free. With classes, travel, expenses and other details filling up my mind while I was abroad, knowing that eduroam had my back was a huge help. My study abroad trip ended up being one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, and the support of UNC ITS made it even better.


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