July 30, 2012

3 Apps Every Study Abroad Student Should Download

Choosing to enroll in a study abroad program is one of the most intelligent things an undergraduate can do—not only can it open your eyes to an entire new world, but it can also help make you become a more independent and adventurous person. Not to mention you simultaneously get to earn college credit while exploring a new exotic location. And while you may think that you can simply just travel more once you get a full time job, an opportunity to spend several months in an exotic location may not come again. That said, if you're departing to study abroad soon, congratulations. However, for those traveling to non-English speaking countries, you might want to make sure that you are equipped with the proper tools to help you in your travels. That said, to learn the most important apps you should download on your smart phone, continue reading below.

Even if you've studied a particular language for several semesters, there may be a few words that just stump you every time you try to say it out loud. Instead of feeling embarrassed because you don't know how to say it properly, use iPronunciation to help you out.  What makes this app so special is that it uses the power of two of the biggest search engines—Google and Bing—to help translate more than 50 languages. Of course it shows you the phonetic pronunciation when scrolling as well as lets you physically type in the word you need to know how to say. While the app is free to use and download, unfortunately it is only available for iPhone users. However a good alternative is BUSUU. 

Word Lens
This innovative app is like using a travel size dictionary on steroids. What it does it allow users to take photos of words or phrases they don't know how to translate into English and the app will automatically do it for them. That means if you get lost and can't read a street sign, all you need to do it take a photo of it. If you don't know what you're ordering off a menu, you can take a picture of that too. We're not sure what algorithms we're used to create this nifty app, but it works wonder. Unfortunately, it can only translate Spanish, Italian, and French for now. The app is free to use and is available to both iPhone and Android system users. 

Mobile City Maps
Last but certainly not least is Mobile City Maps—this handy dandy app downloads all of the most updated city maps you need to help navigate you through your foreign city—especially useful if you can't really understand a local's directions to get back to campus. The app even goes as far as leaving pins so you exactly where you came across the best lasagna you had in your entire life when you got lost. The best part?  It doesn't need data to load the maps or show you all of its features which means you don't risk acquiring any roaming charges or outrageous data fees when using your cell phone in a different country. 

About the Author. Melissa Miller is a cheerleader for online associate degree programs. Not literally, of course (since online schools don't have varsity football), but in the sense that her writings will encourage you to "B-E aggressive" about your education. Throw your questions to melissamiller831@gmail.com. 

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