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These apps will help make your study abroad semester easier and your travel plans go smoothly. These apps will help you split costs with your study abroad friends, book cheap travel, get around your city, and do well in classes.

13 Must-Have Smartphone Apps for Studying Abroad

You already use your smartphone constantly in your day-to-day life back in the US, and just because you’re studying abroad doesn’t mean it will be any different. Here are my picks for must-have apps when you’re abroad that will help you travel better, manage your money, keep in contact with your family and friends, and more.

1. Skype

Having Skype on your phone means you can video chat while you’re traveling without having to bring your heavy laptop with you. You can also buy Skype credit, which you can use to call landlines and cell phones. This is helpful to have if you need emergency money from Dad while you’re skydiving in New Zealand or to call your credit card company after your card gets stolen while touring the Louvre.

Free
Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play

Read next: How to Communicate for Cheap or Free While Traveling

 

These are the best apps to download before your study abroad semester. They will help study abroad students book travel easier, split costs with study abroad friends, and just have a better experience during your study abroad semester.

2. Convert Units

This one is self explanatory. Part of the study abroad experience may be learning how cultures around the world do things differently than our own, but trying to figure out kilometers and grams can be extremely frustrating when you just want a few slices of meat at the market. Have this handy app that works without wifi and you won’t have to guess what temperature in Celsius you should be baking your homemade biscotti at.

Free
Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play

3. TripAdvisor

This is a great app for those of you who don’t want to stick to gross hostel food every time you travel. You can see what the top rated restaurants are around you and can use the many filters to find just the right match for what you’re looking to dine on that day. TripAdvisor also has ratings for tours and tourist attractions, so you can save time by knowing which sites to check out and which are overrated.

Free
Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play

4. Oanda Currency Converter

If you’re like most study abroad students, you’ll be visiting a few different countries during your experience, which means that you’ll probably be doing some currency exchanging. This converter has up-to-date rates when connected to wifi but still works when not. Forget about trying to convert 58,900 Hungarian Forint in your head and just plug it into the converter. It can also calculate the rate with any fees you might get from your bank.

Free
Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play

5. Workout Trainer

I know it’s hard to swallow, but understand this– you WILL get out of shape when you study abroad. So we present you with your cheapest bet for staying in shape as best as you can. Choose from hundreds of workouts that you can do in your apartment living room, no equipment needed. It tells you what to do for how long, and even includes some motivational phrases.

Free, $9.99 for premium
Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play

Read next: How to Keep Off the “Study Abroad 15”

6. Skyscanner

This is a great “just-in-case” app. If you ever miss a flight and need to book a new one in a pinch, use this app to find your cheapest last-minute option. Skyscanner wins over Kayak and Expedia because it includes budget airlines in its search results, such as Ryan Air and Wizz Air. You’ll be happy you have it when your train to the airport gets cancelled and you miss your flight back to Rome.

Free
Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play

7. DuoLingo

Even if you’re not taking language classes while you study abroad, it’s a great idea to still try to learn some of the language basics for the country you’re studying in. DuoLingo is a free app that will help you do just that. You’ll be able to communicate with the locals and also have a language to add to your resume.

Free
Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play

8. Rome2Rio

Rome2rio is a website-turned-app that shows you all of the travel options available for getting between two places anywhere in the world. You might THINK that flying is the best option but Rome2rio might show you that you’ll actually save a lot of money by taking the train. It’s super handy when you’re planning your weekend and spring break trips.

Free
Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play

9. Evernote

Not your basic notes app, you can write notes from class, add drawings, or save important travel information which will automatically sync to the Desktop and iPad versions of Evernote too. You can organize everything into specific notebooks and ultimately just keep your life REALLY organized.

Free
Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play

10. Google Maps

Not your ordinary directions app, Google has data for public transportation systems in many places around the world, so you can see all of your options for getting from one end of a city to another. In my opinion, it also has the best walking directions.

Free
Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play

11. Splitwise

You’re going to splitting LOTS of costs with your roommates and study abroad friends, and Splitwise will help you keep track of what you’re owed and who has paid you.

Free
Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play

12. Whatsapp

You’ll probably find that many of your international friends won’t have iPhones, so iMessaging them is not an option. Whatsapp is usually the texting app of choice outside of the US.

Free
Download on the App Store
Get it for Android

13. Triposo

A guidebook for your pocket. See what you should do wherever you are, personalise your results, and save anything that you want to remember to do. It also works offline!

Free
Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play

Download these apps before you go on your study abroad semester and you’ll be set!

 



Jess is the Editor-in-Chief of The Abroad Guide. After studying abroad in Belgium during her junior year of college, she caught the travel bug. Her experiences include volunteering in Nicaragua, backpacking through Europe, and a year-long adventure in Italy, and she's now settled in London.


7 thoughts on “13 Must-Have Smartphone Apps for Studying Abroad

  1. Jonathan

    An honorable mention to “Word Lens.” A great app for on-the-go translations when you need them. Just open the app, hold it up to the sign/map/menu you are reading, and get instant translations on your phone!

    Reply
  2. Shopgirl

    Another great new travel app for world travel is Simply Declare. Keeps me on track, on budget and makes sure I don’t have to stress and scrounge for paperwork as I travel back home and have to prove my goodies purchases. Super for currency exchange too as it’s easy to use.

    Reply

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