These innovative and resourceful apps can help international students with everything from speaking English to getting great deals on local experiences

international-students-appsAs most of you know, and likely even remember yourselves, making the transition to the college lifestyle can be a major adjustment. That’s why we’ve compiled the 10 best Apple and Android apps for international students—a population that’s quickly accounting for a large group within incoming and transfer students.

For more than 800,000 international students who attend college in the U.S. every year, the transition to both college and to the country are one in the same. Adjusting to an entirely new culture, learning a new language, and getting the feel for a new area can always be difficult, but when you add taking a full course load and learning to live on your own for the first time, you’d likely be hard pressed to find an international student who wouldn’t mind some help managing his or her experiences once in a while.

Luckily, there are a multitude of apps that can make life easier for international students, and whether they’re an international student hailing from from Korea or Portugal, or if they simply want to learn about some great apps, here are some of the top 10 apps for international students.

Do you know of any apps that you think would prove useful to international students adjusting to college life in the U.S.? Have you tried out any of these apps before? Leave your comments in the section below, or feel free to reach out to me @eCN_RonB on Twitter!

(Next page: Apps 1-5 for international students)

[Listed in alphabetical order]

1. City Maps 2Go – Travel Guide and Offline Map  (Apple, Free); City Maps 2Go (Android, Free)

Particularly useful for students attending institutions near major cities, City Maps 2Go is a maps app for someone interested in finding out more about a city than the names of the streets. Aside from highly detailed maps, City Maps 2Go contains comprehensive information on major points of interest, and helps users to discover new attractions without needing to be connected to the internet. Moreover, the app is very social, as it includes tips from fellow travelers and the ability to share favorite places with friends.

2. Google Translate (Apple, Free); Google Translate (Android, Free)

Supporting 80 languages and the familiar functionality of Google, Google Translate allows users to directly translate their text, speech, or even personal handwriting and have it read back to them in whatever language they want. Users can favorite certain translations that they may need again which can be quickly accessed even when offline.

3. Grammar Up (Apple, Free); GrammarUp (Android, $2.99)

Grammar Up is a resource for international students committed to mastering the English language. With this app, users take multiple-choice quizzes on 20 major grammar categories and receive real-time feedback explaining why every answer is correct.

4. Living Social (Apple, Free) and Groupon (Apple, Free); Living Social (Android, Free), Groupon (Android, Free)

Apps like Living Social and Groupon may be useful for international students who want to experience exciting activities in the U.S. Living Social and Groupon both similarly provide up-to-the-minute information on local events, give deals for eating and shopping, and introduce users to a host of new activities to try.

5. Stay connected to home with Social Media (various)

Though it is extremely important that international students enjoy their time studying in the U.S., nobody wants to see them lose their connections to home. Social Media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, and Skype present today’s student with the opportunity to stay in touch and share their experiences with their family and friends back home, and feel the support of their loved ones as they work towards their degrees abroad, which often can make all the difference in helping international students feel comfortable in their new location.

(Next page: Apps 6-10 for international students)

6. Study in USA Guide with Voices&Script  (Apple, Free)

Study in USA is a comprehensive app that is available in a variety of languages. This app contains a total of 41 four-minute programs covering a host of informative topics related to international students, taking them through the process of looking for a college, applying for a U.S. Visa, and more. Additionally, the roughly three hours of listening time is fully transcribed, which can be helpful for new English learners who want to read along while listening.

7.University-specific apps

While this list item technically isn’t any one app in itself, these apps are worth noting for incoming students, since university apps will likely contain a large amount of useful information encompassing everything from campus maps, bus routes, news updates, event information, multimedia, and even information on university traditions.

8. USA Study Guide  (Apple, Free)

USA Study Guide is an app designed by to bring the information on their website to mobile devices. The app posts blog posts and advice, often features specific schools, and even has a state-by-state guide with information about the areas students will be studying in. Perhaps the most useful aspect of this app, though, is the “Concierge Service” section, where users can ask specific questions that the team will then work with colleges to answer. Similar Android app: U.S. Citizenship Study Guide (Android, $1.99)

9. U.S. Citizenship 2014 Free (Apple, Free); U.S. Citizenship Practice Free (Android, Free)

Many international students may be interested in learning more about the USA or even consider staying here and becoming citizens. U.S. Citizenship 2014, and Citizenship Practice Free are apps for learning more about the country, including U.S. Citizenship test questions and flash cards for helping users to study on a host of American History, American Government, and Integrated Civics.

10. Words With Friends (Apple, Free); Words With Friends (Android, Free)

International or not, most students already have their fill of quizzes when they’re taking them in class, but luckily there are some fun alternatives to improving vocabulary! One such app is Words With Friends, the top free game in iPhone history which is a crossword puzzle game similar to Scrabble that pits users from around the world in a battle of wits to see who can come up with the best possible words in the space available. Beyond that, though, users have the opportunity to play with friends or make new ones, chat with opponents, and push their mastery of the English language to new heights.

Ron Bethke is an editorial intern with eCampus News

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