13 Gadgets and Apps That Can Make Studying Abroad a Breeze
Are you planning on studying abroad next semester? There’s a lot involved in studying in a brand new country, and it doesn’t all involve hitting the books. You’ll likely be traveling, exploring and meeting lots of new people. Whatever you’re doing, there’s a huge variety of apps and gadgets that can make the process of studying and adventuring abroad so much easier.
- Skype:If you’re away from home for a long time, your friends and family will probably be wanting to hear from you. This app allows you to video call them from wherever you are, or even call landline numbers at a reduced rate – around 89 cents per month. It’s perfect for when you need to find out how to do your laundry or cook a perfect dinner for the friends you’ve picked up while you’re away.
- Sandless beach mat:Beach bunnies will understand the frustration of sand getting absolutely everywhere. The sandless beach mat changes all that. Originally designed for military use, the mat repels sand, dirt and water, guaranteeing you a sand-free space on the beach.
- Solar-powered inflatable light:Great for campers, this light can stay lit for up to 16 hours while being sustainable and green. It’s solar-powered, lightweight at just 56 grams and highly portable.
- XE Currency: If you’re living or traveling in a different country, knowing the exchange rate is essential. Luckily, XE Currency uses live currency rates, so you know it’s accurate. Also, it’s a free download, so there’s no need to spend your travel budget on another app.
- Water purifier bottle:Backpackers or travelers going through several destinations will know that in many countries, it’s not safe to drink the water. This is where this great little bottle comes in. The CamelBak All Clear uses rechargeable batteries and UV light to make any tap water drinkable in just 60 seconds. Savvy travelers can save a lot of money on bottled water with one of these in their bag.
- Airbnb:Wherever you want to stay, the Airbnb app can find a place for you. It acts as a mini version of the website, so whether you want to rent a cottage for the weekend or simply crash in someone’s spare room for the night, the app has you covered.
- Whatsapp:This hugely popular app lets you contact others via voice call, text or audio message. It uses Wi-Fi, so there are no worries about international call charges, which is just another way you can study abroad on a budget. You can text new friends you met while traveling or call your parents to tell them how your study-abroad adventure is going.
- Turbo Charge:Nothing’s worse than being away from home and having your cellphone run out of battery. Luckily, this handy little gadget can save the day. Plug your device into the Turbo Charge and you’ll get an emergency boost of power, until you can back home to recharge.
- Portable solar charger:For the environmentally conscious traveler, this portable solar charger is a must. Stick the solar panel to any window, and it’ll convert the sun’s rays into power for all of your gadgets.
- Ostrich pillow:The ostrich pillow may look strange, but for the traveler on the go, it’s invaluable. Pop your head and arms in for an instant, comfortable sleeping environment. Perfect for busy airports or bus journeys.
- Sunscreen:Staying out in the sun is just one of the perks of traveling, but it can spell danger for your skin. This app will detect the UVI count of your current location, and then give you a timer to remind you to reapply your sunscreen.
- Waze:This GPS app uses user-submitted traffic reports to create an up-to-the-minute navigation report, wherever you are. It also features speech recognition, so you never have to take your hands off the wheel while using it.
- Google Translate:If you don’t speak the language, this is invaluable. This app offers a comprehensive translation service, as well as a Word Lens tool. This allows you to point your camera at any sign or writing in a foreign language, which the app will translate for you in real time.
With current technology it’s even easier to strike out into the unknown and go on an adventure. Tool yourself up, and see where your study-abroad travels can take you.
Sarah Landrum is a PSU grad, travel enthusiast, and freelance writer. She is also the blogger behind Punched Clocks, a site all about finding career happiness and success. For more from Sarah, follow her on social media and subscribe to her newsletter.