5 Must-Have App Types for Anyone Working or Studying Abroad

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If you’re living abroad, your phone is your lifeline to the outside world.

This rings true whether you’re keeping in touch with family, friends or folks at the office.

And thanks to the slew of apps out there today, you can turn your phone into anything from a mini-office to a full-blown photo studio for next to nothing.

In this guide, we’re going to break down the exact types of apps you need to stay organized, productive and happy while living abroad. Whether you’re working abroad or studying as a student, any combination of these apps is totally fair game.

Finance Apps

Minding your money is a must-do, and having the right stack of apps on deck can keep cash in your pocket and then some. For example, Mint has become a staple of tracking your week-to-week spending. Meanwhile, apps like Acorns and Robinhood represent easy tools to ease you into the worlds of saving and investing.

Also, expats sending money home to their families via remittance should look into apps like Remitly, boasting crystal clear rates and low transfer fees for those payments.

Photo Editing Apps

There’s a non-zero chance you’re glued to social media if you’re in a new land, especially considering that the likes of Instagram make it a breeze to document your journey abroad.

Image-editing apps like VSCO and Adobe Spark are worthwhile investments for taking your snapshots to the next level. From epic filters to specific landscape editing, you can give your amateur photos a more professional vibe in just a few taps. You can also use built-in Instagram apps like Boomerang and Hyperlapse to breathe some life into your photos.

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And although apps can do a lot of legwork for you, also take the time to learn how to take a stunning phone photo to ensure that your pictures pop.

Note-Taking Apps

Organization is important in our day-to-day lives, but this is especially true for expats. Apps like Evernote are great for both business and personal note-taking, allowing you to jot down quick thoughts and save screenshots alike. Meanwhile, competing iOS app Bear is a smart alternative boasting similar features and robust syncing between devices.

Project and Work Apps

For those on the daily grind away from home, your phone is invaluable in terms of staying productive. Consider the following apps at staples of a professional app suite including…

  • Trello, for project management and accountability when working with a team
  • Slack, for real-time chat and picking the brains of co-workers (plus there are tons of extra Slack apps and plugins to try)
  • Dropbox, for file-sharing when you’re away from your desktop or laptop

Health Apps

It’s easy to overlook your health when you’re abroad, but focusing on fitness is essential to keeping your spirits up. Most phones these days have built-in fitness trackers, but also look into apps like MyFitnessPal to track your calories. While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying food in a new land, you don’t want it to catch up to you health-wise.

Don’t forget about your mental fitness as well. Apps like Headspace can help ease you into the world of guided meditation from the comfort of your own home.

Regardless of where your new home might be, these types of apps are must-haves to making the most of your expat journey. The good news is that many of these apps are free and have a low learning curve, meaning that supercharging your smartphone is a cinch.

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