15 Free Apps that Make Studying Abroad a Breeze


Oct 02 • 4 minute read

It’s almost time for students to head back to school and over the next few weeks, thousands will be packing their bags as the new semester approaches. For those embarking on a study abroad experience, this could mean being thousands of miles from home in a new country. It’s not just suitcases that need to packing - HousingAnywhere.com encourages students to remember just how helpful having your smartphone at hand can be.

We're sharing our favorite apps for school year success at home or abroad to ensure a stress-free experience. So don’t forget to visit the App store or Google Play before the new semester begins!

Apps for getting around in your new city

Smart Traveler is the U.S. State Department’s official app for American travelers that provides a wealth of information including alerts, warnings, and embassy information for whatever country you’re in. This app is a lifesaver if you lose your passport or simply need to keep track of your itinerary while you’re abroad.

Flush Toilet Finder is a must have when you're out and about sight-seeing. With over 190,000 public bathrooms and WC's available to search around the world, you can avoid awkward language barriers and have peace of mind throughout your day! Better yet, it's free for download, has no in-app purchases and even works offline.

Citymapper is a real-time journey planner that offers the best transit navigation for 39 cities (at the time of publication). This app is a lifesaver as you can easily see which method of transport, like bus, train or metro, to take to get from A to B. It even notifies you when it's time to get off at your stop. Don’t just take our word for it, over 65,000 users on Google Play have given this app a rating of 4.5.

Findmyfriends is a handy tool for the start of the new semester when you're in a new city. You don't want to be spending time on a night out, trying to locate your new friends or getting lost. Findmyfriends uses GPS to locate your friends and sends you directions if you're not great with reading maps.

Sickweather is an illness crowdsourcing community that provides real-time alerts whenever you enter a 'sick zone'. Be alerted for Flu, Norovirus, Pink Eye, Whooping Cough and 20 other illnesses, especially when those big exams and papers are coming up. The app processes over 6 million illness reports each month so you’ll know when it’s time top up that vitamin C.

Apps for making your money go further

Splitwise is great for keeping track of all of the spending you and your roommates do for shared household items like toilet paper or cleaning products. The app keeps track of what you buy and who paid for it and calculates who owes who what. 73,400 people have rated this app which holds a 4.6 star rating on Google Play.

Transferwise is a convenient service that can save you money in the long run. Transferring money internationally can incur hefty bank fees that are often hidden. Transferwise lets you avoid these costs and transfer money easily and quickly into any currency. It’s also pretty handy for checking out current exchange rates and making repeat transactions at just a tap of your home button. The finance disruptor now has over a million customers a month worldwide.

Skyscanner helps you to plan your next trip by comparing airlines, hotels, trains and car hire all from one place. Search by the best deals, work out the best days to travel on, find the fastest routes or get inspiration for the best and cheapest places to visit during the semester break.

Hopper is great if you’re traveling on a budget. It essentially ‘predicts’ the future of flight and hotel prices, so just say where and when you want to go and then you’ll be notified when it’s the best time to book at the lowest price point. Hopper is free to download and you can save a whopping 40% on your next trip!

Apps for communicating while you’re abroad

Google translate may be obvious, but it’s awesome for avoiding awkward language barriers with the locals until you have the basics down. Gone are the days of humorous or too-literal translations, and now with the new voice search feature you can just speak into the app and get a translation quicker, even without an internet connection.

DuoLingo helps over 200 million learners get to grips with new languages every year. Even if you’re not enrolling in language classes at school, you’ll still want to be able to communicate with your new classmates and neighbors. Duolingo provides a fun and easy-going learning experience and helps you stay motivated as you progress.

Whatsapp lets you catch up with friends and family wherever they are. It’s also useful for projects or group presentations as you can create group chats and organize meet-ups. With close to 70 million users worldwide. Whatsapp will allow you to keep in touch with everyone important in your life.

Touch Note: Cards & Gifts lets you take those iconic campus and tourist photos and turn them into postcards you can print and mail to mom, dad, siblings, and friends anywhere. The app has been reviewed by close to 20,000 users, resulting in a four star rating.

Essential apps for a good night out

WINGiT is perfect when you’re settling into your new city. You often won’t know which bars and clubs are best, which events are happening. or the most cost-effective things to do straight away. Find out what’s happening around you and get updates on trending events to plan your next nights out with your new friends.

Drunk Mode -because we’ve all been there. Waking up after a night out and seeing that you’ve drunkenly texted your ex is never a good thing. This is where Drunk Mode is the ultimate life saver! This app allows you to block contacts before a night out, track your drunken friends all over the city and find out the most popular bars and clubs to check out. You can also use it to retrace your steps and find the keys you lost! It received a 3.7 star rating on Google Play.

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