Have you always dreamed of taking that picturesque college study abroad trip to some exotic country? Maybe you’re finally lucky enough to take it! But now, the fact that you have no idea what you’re doing or how to prepare for this trip is becoming more daunting as the departure date looms nearer.
Make sure to meet with a travel consultant when planning your trip, so you get all the necessary information for navigating the destination country. For example, if you’re thinking about traveling to New Zealand, meet with a study in New Zealand consultant. A consultant will act as your virtual guide to help you though the application process and preparations for the trip.
Once you’ve met with your consultant, here are some apps you can download on your iPhone or iPad to have a seamless transition from tourist to student.
This one is a given and pretty self-explanatory. Depending on where you’re going, you may not speak the local language, meaning that you’ll need this app when learning new words.
If you’ve met with your travel consultant already, you’ll know whether or not there is a translator present to assist on your journey. Otherwise, this is a great (and free!) app to help you get around easier.
Not to toot Google’s horn, but they do know what they’re doing when it comes to making apps that help you get around. This app is available offline, meaning you can download directions when you have WiFi and be out and about in the city without using up your precious data!
This is an incredibly useful (and free) app that will keep you from accidentally misinterpreting that kind local’s directions and finding yourself in some back-ally dive bar.
Viber and WhatsApp
These are both great internet messaging apps that allow you to keep in contact via Wi-Fi with friends and family while you’re abroad. This is great when you consider that an overseas text message can cost 25 cents a piece!
As long as you’re connected to Wi-Fi, you can use this app to send pictures, videos, messages, and anything else you would normally send via text message—but it’s all for free! If you’re worried about staying connected with people while you’re away, one of these apps is key.
Internet security isn’t necessarily as secure in other countries as it is in the states. If you log in to a local cafe’s Wi-Fi, you might find yourself hacked. Tunnel Bear is a great app that masks your IP address, acting as a virtual private network (VPN). This is fantastic if you need to access accounts via the web, but don’t trust the Wi-Fi nearby.
It may be awkward to talk about, but it happens—sometimes nature calls at the most inconvenient times. The US is great about having public bathrooms at literally every turn, but other countries…not so much.
This app is updated by users constantly and is always adding new stops. It can direct you to the nearest restroom, and it also has them rated by cleanliness! Getting caught with the need to go without knowing where the nearest restroom is can be terrifying. Luckily, this app is here to help!
If you’re traveling to an area where the US dollar isn’t accepted as currency, you’re going to want to know what the exchange rate is from dollars to the country’s currency. This app can be great as a reference. It lets you make sure you’re not getting ripped off by that shady-looking exchange booth in the mall.
While the rates on the app may differ from rates at a local bank, it helps to know the average exchange rates. That way, you can gauge for yourself who is overcharging.
Hint: Banks tend to have higher exchange rates!
The Bottom Line
Studying abroad is a wonderful and fulfilling experience. But it can also be very daunting, and understandably so! Luckily, we live in an age where computers are at our fingertips, and we should put them to good use! These and many other apps out there will make your study abroad experience seamless.