Study abroad provides a unique opportunity to explore a new country, meet new people and have fun doing it. To make your transition as seamless as possible, you’ll want to make sure that you’re equipped with these handy apps.
If you’re on a typical college student budget, you’re sure to be looking for deals everywhere you go. Flights are certainly big-ticket items so if you can snag a good deal on a flight, you may be saving yourself hundreds of dollars. Skyscanner shows you the best deals on flights by culling through everything that’s available online. You can set the parameters to be as flexible as you’d like. For example, you can look at an entire month to see which day would be the cheapest. If you’re ready to fly by the seat of your pants, you can even pick a day and choose the cheapest flight on that day to any destination.
If you’re studying abroad in a country whose primary language isn’t English–or if you’re taking a side trip to somewhere with a different local language–DuoLingo is a great way to boost your language skills. The free app makes it fun and easy to practice a bit of your chosen language each day. Their immersion model won’t hit you over the head with grammar rules. Instead, you’ll feel like you’re playing a game with a green owl along for the ride to cheer on your successes (and nag you when you’re slacking).
3. Western Union
The Western Union app lets you transfer money directly from your bank account, with a credit or debit card or with Apple Pay. You can even use the app to pay with cash at an agent location. You can also track transfers, estimate transfer fees, pay bills, and find agent locations using the app. In short, this cash app will fulfill all your financial needs while abroad.
WhatsApp isn’t all that popular in the U.S., but it’s all the rage elsewhere so downloading it is a must if you plan to communicate with locals or students from other countries. WhatsApp is an internet messaging service much like Facebook Messenger, albeit with a different interface and slightly different capabilities. In addition to messaging, you can use WhatsApp to make voice and video calls. Some of WhatsApp’s other features include the ability to share contacts with your friends, to see when someone was last online, to set your status and to send documents. Finally, WhatsApp has end-to-end encryption, meaning no one besides the receiver may access your message.
This may not be the most well-known maps app around, but it’s very useful. MAPS.ME has a nice, serviceable interface and allows you to download maps of your region using data so you can access them offline. This is crucial for when you lose connection or want to save data. You can also drop pins on locations you want to remember for later.
With these apps in your pocket, you’ll be ready to take the world by storm!