Must-Have Apps Abroad

In one’s home country, chances are that you have your go-to apps. They may be Uber or Lyft to get home safely, you may have your food delivery apps such a Postmates or UberEats. You may even have your uni’s app that lets you know when the buses are arriving at your stops, keeps you up to date with on campus alerts, and helps you to find the buildings you’re looking for.

When you go abroad, it is no different. It helps greatly to have a set of go-to apps that will help you navigate your way around your new area. Thus, I’ve created a list of a few apps that are extremely helpful to have with you during your time abroad. They will help connect you with others, navigate through your new area safely, and even order food!

MY TAXI

Chances are Uber or Lyft (or both) are your go-to apps for rides here in the U.S. However, with Lyft nonexistent and Uber not actually being legal in many countries outside the U.S., this app is a must. MyTaxi is an affordable, reputable app with a large presence in Italy, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Austria, the UK and Ireland, Poland, and its native Germany. It is present in 40 cities, with more than 10 million downloads!

With a similar layout to Uber and Lyft, this app is very user friendly, linking you with a nearby taxi driver wherever you need to go. This app is compatible with iOS, Windows, Blackberry, and Android. From personal experience studying in Italy, this app is great and extremely reliable. Make sure to download if you find yourself studying abroad in any of the above mentioned countries!

With a similar layout to Uber and Lyft, this app is very user friendly, linking you with a nearby taxi driver wherever you need to go. This app is compatible with iOS, Windows, Blackberry, and Android. From personal experience studying in Italy, this app is great and extremely reliable. Make sure to download if you find yourself studying abroad in any of the above mentioned countries!

DELIVEROO

If you’re a student abroad, let’s be honest: you’re not going to want to cook for yourself every night, or even go out to eat either. This app is essentially the UberEats (although there are countries abroad that have this one too!), GrubHub, or Postmates of overseas countries. This app, which was actually made by two Americans but is headquartered in London, is now available in the following 14 countries/regions:   

  • UK
  • Netherlands
  • France
  • Germany
  • Belgium
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Australia
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • Kuwait
  • United Arab Emirates

    Deliveroo partners with many restaurants, eateries, and shops in the above places and always delivers on time to your door. Studying in Rome and Paris, I have never had a problem with this app and have used it numerous times as a nice change of pace when you want to stay in but just don’t feel like cooking. We all have those days, and this is the perfect app. As this app partners with a great number of places in its countries, it is also a great way to find out which restaurants are in your area that maybe you didn’t notice while you were exploring your new city! You can’t go wrong with Deliveroo. The only problem I have with this app is that it was made by two Americans yet hasn’t found its way to the U.S. I hope it gets here soon!

SNAPCHAT

The benefits of snapchat go without saying, but I’ll say them anyway. It is obviously an extremely popular and widely used app that lets you send pictures and videos quickly to friends and family. Sometimes, it’s just faster and easier to send photos and videos through this app as you can quickly select which users you want to send them to, instead of having to make a group chat on a messaging app. The video chat and messaging features are also extremely useful. Even if you don’t have data on your phone or you have limited GB at your disposal while abroad, you can always just turn the data off and take a picture with snapchat and save it to your bank of photos! Now that I am back home in the U.S., it is awesome to scroll through photos and videos from my time abroad and see the geo tags and snap stories and relive the moments!

WHATSAPP

This app (if you don’t have it already) may end up being the single most important app of your whole abroad experience. Used by over a billion people in over 180 countries, WhatsApp is a free app compatible with MAC/PC, Android, iPhone, and Windows Phones.

    When I first went abroad, I did not have WhatsApp. However, I would soon realize its immense importance within a day of being in my new city. Everyone I met was using WhatsApp. By the I came back, I didn’t know a single person who wasn’t using it! I was in many group chats with new friends and kept in contact with virtually all my friends through WhatsApp. It is truly the world’s messenger app.

With video and voice calls, photos and videos, voice messages, and document sharing, WhatsApp is convenient and easy to use. I still keep in contact with many of my friends from abroad and even the U.S. using Whatsapp, and I guarantee you will too!

There’s so many great apps to utilize when you go abroad, no matter what country. I encourage you to ask around, talk to new international friends that you meet, and browse on your phone to see if there are new apps that aren’t used in your home country.

Happy Travels!

Lloyd Pearson; Rome, Fall ‘16, Paris, Fall ‘17

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