By Lexi Paul
A free way to stay in touch with your friends and family during your semester on the other side of the pond is a necessity. Call, text or video call, all while using your phone’s internet connection means no pricey calling charges!
2. Google Translate
Another free app (and we love that), Google Translate can translate up to 103 languages, perfect for finding your way to the next photo-ope spot in the different countries you’re about to visit. But the best feature about this app? Gone are the days of only being able to type; with Google Translate you can use your phone’s camera to take a picture of a sign you need translated. You can even use your phone’s microphone to instantly translate conversations.
3. Google Maps
Navigating your way through a new city where you might not speak the language can be challenging, even with Google Translate. This is where maps comes in. You can download maps of certain areas to use offline in addition to real-time transit information, traffic reports, restaurant views, and even street view. What I love most about this app is that you can pin your favorite places. That amazing restaurant you stumbled upon? The perfect cafe to study? The bar with the cheapest wine? Save all of your locations to your customized map.
“Recommendations by students, for students,” so no more scrolling through pages of reviews from parents or families just to find one from someone you can relate to. A social feed that provides you with advice on restaurants, bars, and things to do for places around the world by students who have done this before, Rayka is the first student travel review app that limits recommendations to those from the study abroad demographic. The platform compiles student reviews and favorites into rankings in every city to help students easily find the best spots.
5. XE Currency
The #1 app when it comes to calculating currency conversions, XE Currency is free, easy to use, and able to be used offline because the app will supply you with the last updated rates (so don’t worry about if that restaurant has wifi!)
Just like back home, Venmo makes splitting the bill or forgetting your wallet at home a little easier. This app is a hassle-free way to make and share payments with friends. Connect Venmo to your bank account for a seamless transfer. Pro-tip: make sure to download Venmo before you get here, because it’s not available on the European App store!
Basically, the best app to help you learn the basics. Start to learn your abroad countries’ native language during bus trips or in your down time, so you’ll be able to introduce yourself, order a coffee or a drink, ask for directions and navigate the grocery store like a pro.