15 Apps and Websites to Help you Survive your Experience Abroad


1. Offline dictionary

I’d say this has been even more important than Google Translate for me this semester. Hungarian is a very tough language to learn. It doesn’t share common roots with any other popular languages. I downloaded an English-Hungarian dictionary app that I could use offline. That helped immensely when I was without Internet and tried to see if what I was purchasing was yogurt or sour cream.

2. Google Translate

Google Translate is an ideal app to use when you have Internet access. What’s especially beneficial is that you can upload photos and have the text in the photo translated to English, so you can better attempt to understand your Ukrainian train ticket or Hungarian cough syrup instructions.

3. White Noise

This app has been my lifesaver so far. I think it’s the only app that I’m guaranteed to use on a daily basis. My dorm this semester was built directly above a nightclub, so falling asleep before 5 am on the weekends was a struggle. Thanks to the white noise app, I was able to drown out the bumping house music with ocean waves or a crackling campfire. This also helps when you’re in a noisy hostel or trying to sleep on a rickety old train.

4. Hola Unblocker

Admit it, if you’re an American, there’s a pretty solid chance that you have a Netflix account that you love very dearly. Guess what? You won’t be able to use it while you’re abroad. You can kiss your Game of Thrones and Orange is the New Black marathons goodbye for a semester UNLESS you download Hola Unblocker, an extension for chrome that will allow you to use a VPN, free of charge, to use all of your favorite American websites. You’ll thank me later.

5. Flickr

If you’re like me, you’ll be taking a lot of photos while you’re abroad. If you’re like me, you’re probably pretty terrible about uploading said photos to your computer. Flickr allows you to upload photos both from your smartphone and your computer, and it gives you 1 TB of space for free to do so.

6. An offline converter app

In case you haven’t realized it yet, the US is one of the only places in the world that doesn’t use the metric system or the Celsius scale. Get yourself a good converter app so you won’t show up in snow gear when your friends say it’s going to be 26 degrees on Tuesday.

Four Square helped me satisfy my Matcha Latte craving in Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Four Square helped me satisfy my Matcha Latte craving in Cluj-Napoca, Romania


7. Four Square

I’ll admit, when I’m in the States, I use Yelp to find just about everything. However, when I arrived in Hungary I noticed that the app wasn’t used at all here, but I found that FourSquare seems to be pretty popular throughout Europe. It’s great for finding the best restaurants, bars, and other attractions.

Without Rome2Rio, navigating from Zagreb, Croatia to Plitvice National Park would have been a bit of a challenge

8. Rome2Rio

For anyone looking to travel Europe via bus or train, I highly recommend this app. You can put in any two cities and it will quickly show you the most time- and cost-effective ways to travel between the two places.

9. Trip Advisor

Perhaps the most popular travel app and website out there, TripAdvisor has a great reputation for a reason. The app is easy to use and helps you find the best places to eat and the best sights to see in even the remotest cities.

10. Hostel World

Arguably the best website for finding a hostel that meets your needs for a fun atmosphere, cleanliness or price, hostel world has a great rating system that makes it simple to have a great stay, no matter where you’re traveling to.

TripAdvisor reviews let me know that the Turda Salt Mines in Romania would be well-worth the journey

11. Airbnb

For the times when you don’t want to stay in a hostel, or you can’t find one that’s worth your while, Airbnb is a great resource to rent a home, apartment or villa for a few days.

12. Skyscanner

If you’re looking to save money while traveling, the Skyscanner app is an absolute necessity. You can punch in a city, search for flights to “Everywhere” and it will give you the cheapest flights for any date you decide to enter. It’s great if you are looking to see as much as possible, and aren’t too rigid with any of your plans. This app helped me book nearly all of my flights for a round trip price $100 or less, which is seriously amazing.


13. Skype

Your friends and family miss you dearly, give em a call.

14. WhatsApp or Viber

With so many international friends to keep in touch with, these apps allow you to text for free, avoiding the astronomical costs of sending texts across continents

15. Tinder

Yes, it’s just as popular abroad as it is in the states. Maybe it’s not essential, but I’m just throwin it out there…

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