Nervous about studying abroad? That’s understandable! New city, new language, new people, new experiences. The newness is exciting… but it’s also an unknown, and unknowns can be scary! Luckily, we live in a time where we have tools at our literal fingertips. Pack your phones with useful apps before your study or intern abroad program just like you would your suitcase!
Here are some apps you may want to download if you’re going to study abroad or do an international internship:
We know we’re not blowing your mind with this one, but it is probably the most useful app for studying abroad. Not only does it make it easy to combine multiple types of public transportation and transit routes into one trip, but it can also show you nearby restaurants and other attractions, and even show you reviews.
Planning on hitting the trail to explore nature while abroad? Komoot is designed for hikers and bikers to plan their adventures. It’s kind of like Google Maps but for off-road excursions. It even shows you topographic maps, so you know how much of a workout the land is going to give you. Of course, there are offline options so you can find your route even when there’s no service.
Flight Booking Apps
Think of Skyscanner as a search engine for planes. Simply type in where you want to go, when and when you want to come back, and it will find the best flights across airlines based on your price range or flexibility. Its available in 49 countries, so if you decide to take a last-minute trip to a nearby country, this app should make it easy.
This is a data-driven app designed to monitor airfares, predict prices and send you an alert when there’s a cheap or convenient flight to where you want to go. The Hopper app is perfect for the jetsetter itching to get started on their next adventure.
The unique thing about Rome2Rio is that you can search any city, town, or even landmark or attraction and it will give you a multi-modal route designed just for you. Whether you need to take planes, trains, ferries, or buses to get to where you want to go, it will lay out your travel plan.
You know it, you love it. Unlike Lyft, which is only available in the U.S. and Canada, Uber is available in 70 countries worldwide. Need a quick way to get to an airport? Accidentally end up in an unfamiliar area and need a quick way home? Your old friend Uber can provide a car for you in just a few clicks.
It’s smart not to rely on just one app when it comes to ride-sharing. In many countries, the competitor to Uber is Bolt. If you are staying in Europe, South Africa, or parts of Latin America, you should be able to take Bolt should Uber not be working for whatever reason.
For those studying abroad in Europe, this app offers seamless navigation of train routes, schedules, and reservations. You can also buy and manage your tickets on the app. There’s also Eurail Pass, which gives you unlimited travel for a set number of days, perfect for people extending their trip after the semester ends. Oh, and they have discounts for people under 27!
Available in over 200 countries, Airbnb needs no introduction. Whether you’re going on a weekend getaway from your host city, or just want to get away from campus to study, Airbnb allows you to literally live like the locals.
If you’d prefer booking a hotel for your weekend getaway during your study abroad program, Booking.com is consistently rated the best of the hotel-booking apps and is available in 229 countries.
Traveling on a budget? The HostelWorld app simplifies the process of finding budget-friendly accommodations when you’re traveling abroad, great for if you want to book a weekend trip outside your host city. The app allows you to compare reviews and prices, and empowers young people and students to make informed choices when choosing a place to crash.
WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in the world, particularly because it has become the primary means of Internet communication for people with family overseas. It’s likely the app most people you meet on your trip use this app to text, and you can use it text your friends back home!
Apps for Local Events or Cultural Experiences
If meeting the locals is important to you, the Meetup app is designed to help you do what the Romans do (or Florentines, or Seoulites, or Berliners, etc.). Available in 193 countries, this app is a massive database of local events such as tours, workshops, lectures, or even just low-key hangs.
Spotted by Locals
What if you could go to a city and have a local plan everything for you, so you have an authentic experience without the headache of itineraries? That’s pretty much what the Spotted by Locals app does! The Spotters in 82 cities want you to avoid the tourist traps and have an authentic experience you’ll never forget.
Language Learning Apps
If learning languages is your passion, you’re probably familiar with the Duolingo app and of course, Duo, its persistent owl mascot. Even if you don’t have an ear for language, Duo can help you gain enough familiarity to navigate your host city. Nobody wants to be the traveler who won’t even try to learn the language.
If you’re looking for an app designed to pair with more traditional language instruction, Babbel is for you. While Duolingo incentivizes learning through a gamified experience, Babbel offers more traditional self-study assignments, as well as live classes, and podcasts, designed to emphasize practical language use in real-life scenarios.
Social Media Apps
Who knows, your TikTok account could blow up while studying abroad! Travel content is consistently popular on the app, particularly when there’s engaging video of breathtaking scenic views combined with a “day in the life” type of narrative.
Follow AIFS Abroad on TikTok:
For some, traveling abroad is for the soul, but for others, it’s for the ‘gram. Fill the grid up with your most stunning landscapes or create a visual diary of your trip in your highlights so you can return to it in the future and the memories come flooding back. Use stories on the regular to show your friends, family, and followers what day-to-day life is like as a student studying or interning abroad — they’ll love getting to see all of your adventures.
Follow AIFS Abroad on Instagram:
It may not be an app you use daily to share your global education experience, but we recommend posting on LinkedIn at the beginning, middle, and end of your program. First, before you depart, share the news with your academic and professional network that you were accepted into a study abroad or international internship program to show prospective employers and connections that you’re passionate about new experiences, intercultural exchange, and even language learning. Give another update mid-program, and another after you’ve returned home to highlight the impact of your experience. It’ll show prospective employers and your network how you’ve grown.
Throughout your experience abroad, send connection requests to people you meet — whether it’s classmates, professors, on-site staff, host employers and colleagues, or those you meet at events. It’s a solid way to expand your network! Not only is it a great way to stay in touch, but it can potentially open professional opportunities down the line. You never know!
Pro-Tip: Going abroad with AIFS Abroad? Don’t forget to tag @aifsabroad in your social media content so we can see what you’re up to (and maybe feature you in ours!).
Now that you’ve packed your apps, it’s time for your study abroad experience!
You have your apps, and we have our own inclusions for your study abroad program, such as tuition, housing, insurance, excursions and activities, on-site staff, and emergency support. With AIFS Abroad, you’ll have a stress-free global education experience.
This is an editorial blog post from AIFS Abroad’s content team who independently selected the resources listed below. AIFS Abroad does not endorse and has not partnered with any of these companies or vendors. As always, use common sense when visiting a third party website or using a third-party service. AFIS Abroad makes no representation or warranty of any kind concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of any of these resources. This blog is subject to the AIFS Abroad Terms & Conditions.