Don’t Leave Home Without These Travel Apps
Having the right apps on your smartphone before departing for your study abroad or global internship adventure can make a HUGE difference. Consider the following:
If you’re heading to a host country where you don’t speak the native language, have this app handy. Google Translate helps you interpret more than 104 languages and decipher common conversational phrases. Even better – the app is free, and you can use it even when you’re not connected to Wi-Fi. What are you waiting for? Get Google Translate on your phone, stat!
Google has done it again, this time with maps. Google Maps will likely be your best friend while abroad. Think about it – you’re going to be living and learning in a foreign city, surrounded by landmarks and streets with strange names. Give yourself a leg up getting oriented and download Google Maps. Like Google Translate, Google Maps even works if you’re offline. Getting from point A to point B has never been easier.
Best for cities where you'll be heavily relying on public transportation to get around, Citymapper is an excellent app to have handy to get you know your new home while also saving money. This public transit app and mapping service displays all your transport options, with living timing, between any two locations in a supported city. From walking to cycling, buses to subway systems, this app is one you're going to want to download to navigate your home away from home like a pro!
If you’re like most, figuring out prices abroad can be a real headache – especially with fluctuating exchange rates and currency in strange denominations. Thankfully there’s an app for that. Elk converts currencies on the go using real-time exchange rates. You’ll never need to wonder what 115.29 Czech koruna is because Elk will calculate it for you.
No one wants to worry about finding a public restroom on the fly – especially one that charges an entry fee. That’s where Flushd comes in. Flushd searches through its global database of 190,000 public bathrooms and helps you locate a communal restroom no matter where you are. It even breaks them down by category. For instance, need a wheelchair-accessible restroom? Flushd has you covered. Does the bathroom require a key or a fee? Flushd can tell you! The app is free to use, requires no internet connection, and even directs you to the nearest toilet. Flushd could come in very handy – especially when you least expect it!
Get Your Guide
Abroad, you'll certainly have leisure time to go on your own excursions and seek out personal activities to immerse yourself in your new community. Download Get Your Guide, an online travel marketplace for tour guides and excursions. This app spotlights unforgettable experiences, from local cooking classes to sports games to museum tours to day trips outside your city. Once you create an account, you can purchase tickets to excursions that pique your interest – and share the love with your friends so they can join you!
Want to text or call your family without racking up a massive phone bill? Download a messenger app on your smartphone! The majority of these apps are free and only require a Wi-Fi connection to start chatting. Instead of a massive phone bill, you’ll have savings to spend on museums, travel, and sightseeing. Depending on where you’re studying abroad, the most popular messenger apps vary. Here are four preferred messenger apps based on specific regions/countries:
- WhatsApp – the most preferred messenger app in the world! WhatsApp is primarily used in Europe, Africa, Great Britain, South Asia, and Jordan.
- Facebook Messenger – the second most popular messenger app across the globe. If you have a Facebook account, you can use the Facebook Messenger app to message, call, or video chat with other Facebook users worldwide.
- WeChat – this messenger app dominates the Chinese market. You can use WeChat strictly for communication purposes or as a GPS to find new friends nearby!
- LINE – download this messenger app if you plan to study abroad in Japan or Taiwan. LINE offers free calls, video chats, social groups, stickers, and even games.
- BOTIM – this is the most popular messenger app used in the United Arab Emirates. With BOTIM, you can make HD video calls and voice calls, send photos and videos, and have group chats of up to 500 people! For your safety, remember to exercise caution when using apps in foreign places.
Now that your smartphone is outfitted with the best travel apps, browse programs!
Kate Miller is one of our Open Campus students of this Fall Semester 2023. She has been studying and doing her internship at a local startup called Tuesday Coworking, environmentally-conscientious... keep reading
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