There’s an App for That…Abroad!

Top 10 Free Apps for Students Going Abroad

Studying abroad can be a daunting experience for some, but with our ever increasing technology, your smartphone can help make the transition easier! From academic apps, money saving apps, communication apps, and general travel apps, your time abroad has just become easier.  Listed below are ten beneficial apps for all sojourning students. (all can be found in the app store)


  • Evernote is a web-based app that aids in organization of anything from notes, checklists, research, and presentations. It allows you to share notes between all of your electronic devices and discuss your work with other people without through your device.  With plenty of storage space, it is a great app to keep your notes on so that you have them for those long bus or train rides you are sure to take on your weekends off.  Don’t forget that you are abroad for ACADEMIC purposes in the first place!



  • Worried about not being able to stay connected to your friends and family at home? Viber is the app for you!  Don’t worry about buying an expensive international plan because as long as you have Wi-Fi you can call, text, and create group messages for free.  You can even share photos and videos with friends and family at home through this simple app with only one click of a button.   This is a MUST have app.


Google Translate

  • Studying in a non-English speaking country? Never fear, Google Translate is here!  Use the app to translate nearly 90 different languages into English.  You can even use your camera to translate text nearly instantaneously! This app will relieve all of your communication fears.


Sit or Squat: Restroom Finder

  • When you got to go you got to go. Now you will be able to find a potty nearest you!  Whether it is a squatty potty in rural China or a heated toilet that plays music in the bustling city of Tokyo, Japan, Sit or Squat can help you locate a toilet when you most need it.


Your Travel Health

  • Ever heard of Japanese Encephalitis, Malaria, or Yellow Fever? These are just a few real and serious risks for students going abroad in certain locations, but with the right precautionary measures taken students will come home as healthy as they left!  Use Your Travel Health to get all information needed associated with endemic diseases in all 196 countries.



  • Don’t know what to do when you are finished studying? Use Around Me to find restaurants, movie theaters, banks, supermarkets and much more at a location nearest you.  You can see each site on a map and request to view a route to the place from your current location.  Pretty cool if you ask me!


Trip Journal

  • Your time abroad is going to be one of if not the best times of your life, so why not journal and keep note of some of your fondest memories?! Trip Journal allows you to track, document, record, and share your travels with your friends and family both abroad and back home. Since I know you will have your phone glued to your body while abroad, this app will give you no excuse to not document your experience abroad.



  • You are bound to make MANY new friends abroad and will spend many meals together. Be cautious that not all countries have a concept of “splitting a bill” and there are times where you will have to owe money to a friend who paid for you or vice versa.  Share-a-Bill keeps track of how much is owed and by whom and makes going out to eat with friends a breeze!


The Weather Channel

  • Do I wear my super cute rain coat today or my cute v-neck tee and shorts? These are questions that you are going to ask yourself every day, so why not have an app that will tell you?  Download this app and check it daily to plan for the day based on the predicted weather.


Guides by Lonely Planet

  • Lonely Planet’s guides cover a massive range of cities worldwide and has dozens of free guides crammed full of tips and tricks for travelling in a certain location. Use this app to help you on your free weekends or to aid in evening events around town after classes let out.


 Don’t let technology hinder your experience abroad, let it help make your program the best time of your life! 

**Photos from and the Apple App store**


Courtney Smith is a senior at Transylvania University studying Psychology.  She participated in a Semester at Sea Program and the KIIS Poland Consortia program.