7 Must-Have Study Abroad Apps

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From figuring out how to make small talk with your Spanish host mom to calculating how much your £10 lunch actually costs, studying abroad can be hard. (No matter what your jealous friends back home say.) These apps can help. Now, it’s easier than ever to stay in touch with your family in the States, monitor your budget, or calculate currency exchanges. So you can spend more time on the important things, like booking weekend trips and studying local bar culture.

Viber
Avoid serious international cell phone fees with this Wi-Fi-based app. Viber lets you call, text, and video chat your contacts from anywhere in the world—for free. All you need is an Internet connection. Make sure your friends and family back home have the app installed, too, so they can receive your messages. Bonus: Viber also works on tablets and desktop computers.

iOS: Free
Android: Free

SayHi
Lots of apps change text from language to language, but SayHi takes things a step further by translating your voice, like a pocket interpreter. Start by choosing the languages you’d like to translate, speak into the app, and it’ll automatically interpret what you say. SayHi can recognize 43 languages in 39 different dialects. The app has a 95 percent accuracy rate—you can program it to recognize male and female voices and those of people who speak quickly or slowly.

iOS: $4.99

SkyScanner
What’s the cheapest way to get from Berlin to Budapest? And where should you stay when you get there? Ask Skyscanner. Type in where you want to go, and the app will compile a list of flights to help you find the cheapest deal. Skyscanner also lets you compare hotel and car rental prices from one day up to a year in advance.

iOS: Free
Android: Free

Word Lens
You’re starving. After much searching, you and your friends finally stumble across a funky pub in Berlin. You belly up to the bar. The waitress hands you the menu. And you can’t understand it. Instead of randomly ordering the Schwarzsauer (goose giblet stew swirled with blood and vinegar), pull up Word Lens. This augmented reality app from Quest Visual lets you scan and translate different languages without an Internet connection. The app starts by activating your phone’s camera. Just aim it at the menu, sign, or poster, choose the output language, and Word Lens will automatically display the translated message on your phone’s screen. No more wondering which restrooms are for men and women.

iOS: Free
Android: Free

Foodspotting
Craving authentic spaghetti alla carbona in Rome? Want to know where you can get your hands on the most buttery pain au chocolat in Paris? Foodspotting helps you find the best options, based on recommendations from locals. Use the app’s GPS feature or type in your current city for a list of user-generated photos and reviews of food hotspots near you. The app doesn’t limit you to restaurants, either—you can also get info on the area’s best markets and street food stalls.

iOS: Free
Android: Free

Mint
It’s easy to go a little cash-crazy abroad. (After all, those foreign currencies really do look like Monopoly money.) Mint helps you keep your finances in check. Through the app, you can sign in to all of your banks, credit unions and credit-card companies. Mint then pulls your recent transaction histories and balances for each account and combines them all into a comprehensive, easy-to-read report. Think: all the benefits of online banking in one app. And since everything is tracked in US dollars, there’s no excuse for not sticking to your budget.

iOS: Free
Android: Free

Currency
That £40-a-night hostel in London may sound like a budget-friendly choice, but how much will it set you back in American dollars? Figure it out fast with Currency. Just type the foreign amount into the app’s calculator and press “convert” to get the cost conversion for a variety of currencies. The app also provides an up-to-date list of exchange rates for more than 128 currencies in 180 countries around the world.

iOS: Free
Android: Free

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