There’s no other experience quite like studying abroad. You’re breaking up the monotony of your typical university schedule by studying in a fascinating new location but without the permanence of moving. You’re immersing yourself in new traditions and languages and you have everything to gain.
Unlike some of your past vacations, which might have had you joined at the hip with a tour group or your parents, you’re on your own and most likely visiting in a non-tourist season. You’ll be able to see how locals go about their daily lives and you’ll learn how to adapt to the lifestyle, minus the crowds and long lines that inevitably come with summer and winter break. Whether you’re studying abroad for a term or a year, here’s every app you need to make the most of your experience.
1. Convert Units
Part of getting ready for your new experience is being prepared for currency and metric system differences. The Convert Units app helps you convert anything from area and currency to temperature and time. Soon enough, you’ll be able to calculate the perfect time to FaceTime your girls or figure out if those pair of shoes at the market are really worth the price.
We all can agree that Google Translate isn’t the most accurate language translator out there. With Duolingo, you can learn the basics of any language through flashcards and games, with choices from Portuguese to Swedish.
If you’re lucky enough to be studying in Europe, you’ll know that one of the many perks is how accessible it is to visit another country, even if it’s just for a weekend. With GoEuro, users can compare rates for trains, busses and flights and you’ll be able to buy tickets through the app.
4. Google Maps
Forget whatever map system your phone came with and convert to Google Maps. It has the easiest navigation directions, from public transit to walking, and you can save any places you visit frequently.
Pics or it didn’t happen, people. From sunbathing in Greece to taking selfies with koalas in Australia, not only will you get to share your international experiences, you’ll have photo records of your experiences to look back on.
6. TWC WiFi Finder
Desperately want to check your Instagram feed but won’t be back home until nighttime? The TWC WiFi Finder shows you through a map the hotspots in your area. You can view your WiFi usage and calculate savings over cellular data.
That strict student budget is not to be messed with, especially when you’re abroad. Avoid all the awkward conversations about getting paid back by simply requesting a payment for the late night round of drinks or taxi ride. Simply add your friends from your contact list and securely link your bank account.
8. Voucher Cloud
Your wallet will be thanking this app, which shows you every current discount from a broad range of categories, from restaurants, hotels and stores across the globe.
Looking for international phone plans is already headache-inducing enough, so get your texting dilemma out of the way by downloading Whatsapp. Though data charges may apply when it comes to calls, rest easy knowing that you can message anyone for free, wherever they are in the world. You can leave voice messages, send photos and videos and even share your location. When you return home after being abroad, this might just be the app you use to stay in touch with your international friends.
Don’t have any locals with you to differentiate where to visit or where to skip? With Yelp and the 32 countries they have in their system, you’ll find photos and reviews of restaurants, activities and services.