Laura’s Study Abroad Tips

Now that her semester abroad is almost up, STAT Team member Laura will be sharing essential travel tips and apps. Check out her top 5 tips below so you are ready for your next trip abroad.

Apps Used on a Regular Basis

Available for iPhone, Android, Mac, Windows PC and phone https://www.whatsapp.com/

WhatsApp:
When it comes to necessary applications to download before heading abroad, WhatsApp is a must have. The app allows you to communicate with friends, family, professors, and classmates near and far, and it runs almost flawlessly. On the app you are able to call, text, and even Facetime. It has been a lifesaver for me!

Google Maps:

Available on all devices https://www.google.com/maps

Google Maps is an essential tool when navigating the ins-and outs of anywhere, but it comes in handy especially in an unfamiliar place such as, well, all of Europe. If it were not for his app, I would likely be anywhere but where I was supposed to be or trying to go. The app’s intuitive design allows users to figure out how to get anywhere by bus, car, or, most importantly, walking with ease. That is, if you are okay with taking an absurd amount of steps.

Google Translate:

Although I have been learning Italian while abroad, Google Translate has saved the day more times than I can count. Users are able to write, type, speak, or even take pictures of words in different languages, and they are translated immediately. Practically every language is available on the app, which is convenient if you find yourself needing the help of someone who’s language you didn’t even know existed.

Essential Travel Packing

Sim Card

Sim cards are a great buy for travel!

If you plan on traveling abroad for an extended amount of time, consider investing in a different SIM card that corresponds with the country you will be in. It is infinitely cheaper than an international phone plan through your provider, and it works better as well. To get the SIM, first you have to check with your provider to ensure that your phone is unlocked. Then, after arriving in the country you will be in primarily, find where the phone store is and buy a phone plan. You will be able to use more data for a lower cost, and it works very well. Since I have been in Italy, I have paid $20 a month for practically unlimited talk, text, and data. It’s worth it!

Check before you buy! The Apple site is a great resource for finding the correct sim card you will need. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202645

Write Everything Down

Keep a journal or blog of your experiences, big and small memories are equally important and you do not want to forget a single experience! Blogging can be personal or shared on social media for others to view and you can upload all of your pictures and videos at once. WordPress, Wix, and Medium all offer free platforms that are user friendly.

Written By: Laura Higgins

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