From planning trips home to calculating currency exchange rates, studying abroad comes with its own set of unique challenges. Luckily, the app market is chock full of apps that will have you navigating your new life as an international student like a local.
1. Google Maps
This free map and navigation app will quickly become a favorite as you explore your new city. Use it to get walking, driving, or public transportation directions and locate shops, restaurants, and landmarks nearby. Get voice prompts, traffic alerts, and best route suggestions. This app is free for Android and iOS.
Wondering how much to tip the waiter? Need to convert from Celsius to Fahrenheit? Converter+ contains over 100 converters and calculators including temperature, length, weight, and currency. It’s simple to use, and invaluable for those adjusting to a foreign country. Download Converter+ for free on iTunes.
3. Google Translate
Free for Android and iOS users, this language translation app has over 90 languages and is a breeze to use. Speak, type, or draw words into your phone or tablet and get instant translations in your chosen language. The Conversation Mode feature can translate chats with friends in real-time. Hover your phone over menus, signs, or books, and the World Lens tool will overlay your translated text.
Chat with friends and family for free with LINE. Send instant messages, make voice or video calls, and have group chats with other LINE users worldwide free of charge using its VoIP technology. This app is free for Android and iOS.
Talk and data plans in the US can be confusing and expensive. Avoid paying hefty overages on talk minutes or data by using the DataMan app for iOS. DataMan Next keeps track of your smartphone usage in real-time and alerts you when you are about to exceed usage limits. DataMan’s upgraded version shows you which apps are eating up your data. If you’re a heavy smartphone user, a small investment in this app could save quite a bit of cash in the long run.
Never lose coursework again with Dropbox, a cloud-based file storage service that lets you upload files (documents, photos, videos, etc.) and access them on any device with an internet connection. Dropbox comes with 2GB free storage, and lets you share files and sync them from any computer or device. Instantly save email attachments, photos and docs for safe keeping, and get peace of mind with automatic backup. Dropbox is free for both Android and iOS.
CliffNotes, a popular study guide company, has gone digital with their guides. Download the app for free on iTunes and purchase notes with information on characters, plot, and summaries for every book you read. Audio versions of the notes let you study while on walks or at the gym.
With over 20 million tracks, Spotify is a popular music streaming service great for music lovers who want to listen to specific songs without having to purchase them individually. Simply download the free app to your device and stream songs using a network or Wi-Fi connection. Upgrade to the paid version, Spotify Premium, to stream and download songs to your device commercial-free. Spotify is free for Android and iOS.
Get organized with Studious, the perfect study companion. Studious will keep your class schedule, exam dates, and project deadlines all in one place. The app works like an alarm clock, alerting you with reminders for items you’ve entered. Choose how and when you’re notified to avoid alarms sounding during class. Download Studious for free in the Google Play store or for $0.99 on iTunes.
Find out what’s happening in your area with the Eventbrite app. Free on iTunes and Google Play, this app lets you search festivals, concerts, and upcoming events in your new city. Search and buy tickets for events based on interests, dates, popularity, and even what your friends are attending. The social nature of the app lets you share plans, so you can also invite friends to join your events right from the palm of your hand.
Know of a useful app we missed? Let us know in the comments!