Not in my experience. I believe Republic made exceptions on some occasions for military service members but otherwise, I believe you’re incorrect about that.
Anyway short of something like that, no such option exists with your current phone and plan. The least expensive Republic plan that works with your phone is $15. You could save yourself a few dollars by transferring the number to a number parking service, then reactivating service when you return and finally bring back the number from the parking service. The most reasonably priced number parking service I know of is NumberBarn and it would run you at a minimum $7 for the first month and $2 per month thereafter. I’ll leave it to you to decide if the hassle is worth $8, since you mentioned being out of the country for a month.
On the other hand, your new Republic 3.0 phone is likely capable of using a local (in country) SIM for cellular service where you’re traveling. This was not possible with older Republic phones. Otherwise, like older Republic phones, it will work when on unrestricted WiFi as it does here at home. Some details here: International Travel with a Republic Phone.