Top Apps You Need To Survive Studying Abroad In The UK
mobile running the GoEuro App

GoEuro

Planning weekend trips around Europe and the UK? Make sure you download the GoEuro app to get great deals on all forms of transportation. The app estimates travel time and costs of taking the train or bus, renting a car, or catching a flight. It even gives you information about trips with multiple modes of transportation so you can pick an itinerary that’s most convenient for your schedule.

"[...]GoEuro is a travel platform that allows customers to find and book trains, buses and flights across Europe. Partnering with over 500 European transport operators, GoEuro is revolutionising the travel planning experience, providing customers with more choice, transparent pricing and easier booking." - Katherine Shanahan, Online Marketing Manager (UK) GoEuro

Tip: If you’re studying in London or a neighboring city, the underground railway is referred to as the Underground or the Tube.

mobile running the SaferVPN App

Safer VPN

Let’s face it, cyber-attacks and hacking incidents are becoming more of a problem in this day and age. There’s always a risk when you’re travelling and connecting to international networks. SaverVPN is an app you can use for a secure connection when you’re abroad. With Automatic Wi-Fi Security, it automatically encrypts your data on unsecured Public Wi-Fi so hackers and third parties can’t steal it.

"SaferVPN is the perfect app for students studying abroad because it allows you to instantly change your virtual location and access your favorite websites & content from back home, automatically protect your valuable data while you browse over unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots and, last but not least, bypass online price discrimination to save money on flight and rental cars." - Karen Mesoznik, Inbound Marketing Manager, SaferVPN

Tip: Price discrimination is a real thing. Prices on travel website have a higher percentage of inconsistencies. Avoid overpaying on your travels by clearing your browsing history and browsing privately or incognito.

Trip Republic

One app takes care of travel plans and activities. Trip Republic is a social travel planner that’s great for planning trips with friends. The app has preplanned trip ideas that lets you pick out certain activities and add them to your own itinerary. It’s a one-stop-shop for booking travel, reserving lodging, researching local activities, finding restaurants and adding personal notes to your vacation.

“Exchange students travel a lot, that’s a fact, and it is also a great way to make friends when you live abroad. Trip Republic helps students easily find inspiration on what to do in the UK and better organise their trip together, through an efficient and fun trip planning.”- Celia Ogna, Trip Republic

Tip: Prepacked sandwiches are huge all over the UK. Don’t travel hungry. Pick up a freshly-made sandwich at newsstands, grocery stores and even pharmacies.

mobile running the Trip Republic App
mobile running ROBOCOPP

ROBOCOPP

ROBOCOPP is the only non-app gadget to make our list for its great safety features. It’s a small, portable safety device that sets off a startling alarm when you pull its release lever. To stop the alarm, you simply push the lever back into the device. The company offers one with a 120 decibel alarm that’s engineered for the city and another that’s 130 decibels for the outdoors. Travel feeling safer and at ease when you’re away from home.

"It's the world's smallest, loudest, and lightest SOS alarm! This 120 decibel siren is a fantastic crime deterrent that can easily attach to your backpack or keychain. And since this essential travel gadget is permitted as a carry-on on airplanes, it's the perfect travel companion.” -Jill Turner, PR Director, ROBOCOPP

Tip: Leave your pepper spray at home. The UK bans any weapon that discharges noxious gas, a substance commonly found in pepper spray.

Splitwise

Chances are, you’ll be out and about with new friends while you’re abroad. Nothing’s more annoying than having to keep tabs on how much money you owe someone for last night’s drinks. Download Splitwise to keep a running tab of IOUs and to remember who owes you money.

"Splitwise is great for keeping track of shared apartments and travel costs while studying abroad. It's free for iOS and Android, and can track group expenses in any currency both online and offline, so it's easy to use on the go." - Jon Bittner, Splitwise

Tip: In the UK, it’s normal to have to ask for the bill before your waiter brings it to the table. It’s also important to tell the waiter to split the bill before you order.

mobile running the Splitwise App
mobile running the Duolingo App

Duolingo

Trying to learn a new language while you’re abroad? Make it a fun experience when you download Duolingo. The handy app gives you 34 hours’ worth of language learning for free. It uses games to improve your reading, listening and speaking abilities.

“Duolingo is the perfect solution for busy students looking to learn the basics of a new language, practice skills from class or brush up on high school knowledge. The app is completely free, it feels like you're playing a game and all it takes is 10 minutes a day!.”- Gina Gotthilf, Head of Marketing and Communications, Duolingo

Tip: It may be worth learning some Polish words and phrases. Recent data shows that Polish is the second most common language in the UK, behind English.

Bon Appetour

Eat like a local with BonAppetour. Use the app to find hosts in your travel destination who will home cook you an authentic dish. You’ll get the ultimate cultural experience when you spend time with locals and dine on traditional foods.

“BonAppetour is a great way for students to have a cultural immersion while studying abroad, by having a home-dining experience with local hosts. Not only do you get a taste of authentic food, but you also can interact with local hosts there, get useful tips about the city that you may never have known, and make your time there much more enriching.” - Rinitia, Co-Founder, Bon AppeTour

Tip: It’s customary in the UK to wait until the host or hostess starts eating before guests do.

mobile running the Bon Appetour App
mobile running the Phrasebooks App

Phrasebooks

Our phrasebooks app actually covers 20 languages from around the world, rather than just focusing on languages within the EU.

"The Insight Guides Phrasebook app is packed with all the words and phrases needed to feel at home while traveling. These indispensable apps are easy to use on-the-go thanks to a quick search function, simplified phonetics and cleverly categorized content.” -Agnieszka Mizak, Publishing Director, APA Publications

Tip: Arabic is one of the top languages spoken in the UK. With over 150,000 native Arabic speakers, it wouldn’t hurt to learn a few Arabic phrases.

Travisa

Applying for visas and passports can be time-consuming and downright confusing. Travisa is a service that helps you meet travel deadlines by expediting applications, renewals and replacements of your travel documents. Spend less time stressing and more time planning activities for when you’re abroad!

Tip: Your passport must be valid for the entire duration of your time in the UK. This means it should not expire before you return to the U.S.

mobile running the Travisa App
mobile running the Skyscanner Travel App

Skyscanner

Staying within your budget couldn’t be easier with travel search engines like Skyscanner. Download the app to conveniently compare flights, hotels and even rental cars to get the best deals. Skyscanner even packages them together so you only enter your info once. If you’re still deciding where to go, use its ‘Everywhere’ search function to find destinations based on price.

“With Skyscanner's app, available for free on iOS and Android, students can save money and find destination inspiration with search tools like ‘Explore Top Deals’, which is a quick way to find flight deals for weekend getaways or cheap flight options across an entire month.” -Randi Wolfson, Head of Communications, Americas, Skyscanner

Tip: Notify your bank about your international travels before you embark on your study abroad trip. The last thing you need is a declined card.

Citymapper

You’ll navigate the city like a pro with Citymapper. The app partners with big names like Google, Apple, Yelp and Uber to give you the best routing options around town. It includes virtually all modes of transportation, including subways, buses, ferries and bike and car sharing options. Nothing beats getting real-time updates on traffic and other disruptions when you’re heading to class.

Tip: There are plenty of bike share systems across the UK. In London, Santander Cycles can be rented for a 24-hour period, or you can also buy an annual membership.

mobile running the Citymapper Travel App
mobile running the Rome2rio Travel App

Rome2rio

Plan local journeys around town, or map out an international trip with Rome2rio. The app gives you driving directions along with price options for different modes of transportation. Scan flight prices and itineraries to find one that fits your schedule and price range.

“Rome2rio will help students travelling to and in a new town figure out how to get from A to B. Our search engine instantly displays results based on price, duration of trip and mode of travel providing you with the information needed to make travel plans.” -Kirsteene Phelan, Director Of Communications

Tip: American students studying in Great Britain are allowed to drive in the country as long as they have a valid driver’s license. Don’t forget to bring your license if you plan on driving while you’re abroad.

Allergy FT

Few things are worse than having an allergic reaction while you’re abroad. Allergy FT is an app you can use to translate your allergies into French, Spanish and German. Its offline capabilities let you get translations when you don’t have Internet connection.

"If you have food allergies and are about to study abroad downloading the Allergy FT iPhone app is a must. Translations of 86 of the most common food allergies will help you communicate with the natives." -Gregg Greenberg, Creator, Allergy FT

Tip: Food businesses in the UK are required by law to provide information on foods containing 14 different allergens. You can check for these ingredients on packaging and ask restaurants if their foods contain them. Visit the UK’s government website for a full list of these allergens.

mobile running the Allergy FT App
mobile running the Triposo Travel App

Triposo

Never stop exploring when you download the Triposo app. The travel app has maps and local recommendations for over 50,000 destinations. Once you find something you like, you can book a reservation on the app. Perhaps, its best feature is the ability to use it offline. Yup, that means no Wi-Fi needed to access your saved info. Now there’s no excuse to get lost.

“Triposo is the ideal app for new and experienced young travelers. All our guides are available to download for offline use. This means you have access to detailed maps, city walks and other valuable travel information no matter where you go.” -Jade Goldsmith, Senior Marketing Manager & Content Specialist, Triposo

Tip: In the UK, zebra crossings - road surfaces with alternating dark and light colored longitudinal lines - usually mean pedestrians have the right of way.

inClass

Scrap your planner, and download inClass instead. The app keeps track of your classes and assignment due dates so you won’t miss another homework submission. Take photo, video and audio notes and share them with your classmates for a better studying experience. Stay organized while you’re abroad.

Tip: College is commonly referred to as “uni”, and your class grade is called a “mark” in the UK.

mobile running the inClass App
mobile running the Trail Wallet App

Trail Wallet

Travel while staying budget conscious when you download the Trail Wallet app. You can track your expenses by trip or by month and categorize receipts so you know exactly where you’re spending your money. The app was designed by travelers to be easy, quick and user-friendly.

“Trail Wallet is an easy travel expense tracker that will help you stay on budget. You can enter expenses in your local currency, see how much you’re spending in your home currency, and see which category is eating up most of your cash.” -Simon Fairbairn, The App Drawer and Builder Guy at Voyage Travel Apps

Tip: The British pound is used throughout the UK. Your best bet on getting a good currency exchange rate is using a credit card that has no foreign transaction fees. Otherwise, another good option is using your debit card for ATM withdrawals there.

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is one of the most popular travel apps around that offers user-generated content. Download the app to read traveler reviews on local attractions, hotels, activities, restaurants and more. The free app also offers booking options so if you find something you like, you can book it instantly.

Tip: Don’t let the weather stop you from visiting the area’s top attractions. Since the UK has a reputation for being rainy, be sure to pack a rain jacket and umbrella.

mobile running the TripAdvisor Travel App
mobile running the Monefy Travel App

Monefy

Splurge here, save there. Stay on top of your finances so you don’t break the bank with the Monefy app. This money management tool is a quick way to keep tabs on where your money’s going. You can sync your data with compatible devices to make tracking expenses even more convenient.

“Monefy is efficient and easy to use app for personal expense tracking. It has highly intuitive user interface which allows to see all the data at one screen. Adding a new record is extremely easy as well and takes only a couple of seconds. Due to multi-currency support Monefy also fits perfectly for students studying abroad.” -Daria, Monefy Team

Tip: On a budget, but still want to travel? It may be worth your money to buy a BritRail Pass. It allows you unlimited travel in Great Britain during select periods. Note: you must buy these passes before arriving in the UK.

LiveTrekker

Studying abroad is a trip you’ll want to remember forever. With Livetrekker, you’re able to capture and share all your favorite moments. Remember exactly where you’ve been with its GPS tracker and pin photos to your travel destinations. Then make all your friends jealous when you share live updates on social media.

“LiveTrekker brings your travels to life with rich media, beautiful maps tracing your trips around the world and Live broadcasting to your family & friends who can follow you in Real-Time! All this and more makes LiveTrekker the perfect companion for your new adventures studying abroad!” –Jean-Marc, Co-Founder, LiveTrekker

Tip: A dead phone does you no good for taking photos. Don’t forget a travel adapter for outlet Type G, the kind used across the UK, so you can properly charge your phone.

mobile running the LiveTrekker App
mobile running the Whatsapp App

Whatsapp

This mobile messaging app is great for keeping in touch with the friends you make while you’re abroad. Whatsapp lets you create group chats, send photos, record messages and share your location. The app uses the same data as emails and web browsing so you’re not using up your data. The best part may be the fact that Whatsapp encrypts your messages so no one except you and the recipient are able to read them.

Tip: Using messaging apps while you’re abroad may result in international roaming charges. Consider switching to an international mobile plan or simply turn your phone on airplane mode when you’re out and about. Airplane mode is also a good way to conserve your cell phone battery.