Daniel Lee, currently on his Erasmus year in Spain
It’s rare to see a student without some kind of smartphone. Apps are inescapable - but which are the best?
Handy student apps
Personally I love apps and use them daily. With over two million apps to choose from, I’m not stuck for choice.
Remembering my timetable off by heart has always been a struggle, not to mention deadline dates. As a result, I’ve found Timetable, a really helpful app as it allows you to easily create your own schedule. This is handy as not only does it tell you where and when your classes are, it also reminds you of any outstanding work you have, definitely one for forgetful people.
2 Audio Memos Free
Another problem I often find is not being able to write whatever the professor is saying quickly enough. Thankfully, someone told me about Audio Memos Free – a voice recorder app that allows you to record your classes so that when it comes to writing your notes, you have something to refer to. Also takes the pressure off frantically writing notes you won’t even understand later.
Something all students struggle with is revision. I found it really hard to find a style that suited my way of taking information in when revising. If you happen to be a fan of flashcards though, I’d recommend StudyBlue, an app which uses your course information to generate a range of card sets for effective revision.
Apps for abroad
Apps have been very useful in my daily routine in the UK and that certainly hasn’t change while in Spain. If anything, I’ve learnt more than ever how handy they can be for a variety of uses.
Living in Spain as a non-native speaker, I found that SpanishDict, available on all devices, really helps you out with basic phrases and also allows you to get various colloquialisms into the local lingo too!
5 Google Maps
Finding myself a newbie in a city that I didn’t know very well, I struggled to feel confident moving around the city freely. Simple as it may sound Google Maps has been a lifesaver and avoids having to constantly rely on others.
Eating out is a great means of getting to know a city and is always fun abroad - finding a good restaurant is the issue. For me, I’ve come to rely on Tripadvisor for other people’s reviews of literally every restaurant, bar, pub and club anywhere. On the app you can filter your preferences dependant on cuisine, price, location and more. While some of the reviews are questionable, it’s an easy way to help you explore.
Travelling while on your year abroad for me is a must to make the most of the time you have out there. Skyscanner is perfect for those on a budget as it’s purpose is to find cheap flights. You can also search the best days to travel pricewise and the cheapest destinations throughout the year.
Day to day apps
On a personal level, apps have made my life slightly easier. In particular, financial and social apps have helped me more than anything else.
For my finances, the TransferWise app allows me to send money abroad with the real exchange rate when sending money from a Spanish to a UK bank account. Their rate is really cheap and i don’t have to worry about the high fees normally added on to international transfers.
9 Facebook / Snapchat
Apps such as Facebook and Snapchat are consistently helpful for keeping in touch with people both here on my year abroad and back home in the UK. Both have also become a necessity for arranging social events and sorting out plans for nights out.
10 7 Minute Workout
If you’re like me, keeping fit and staying active is an important part of my daily life. I don’t get a lot of time to fit sports into my daily routine, but luckily there are apps that can help. For example 7 Minute Workout (Seven) is a fitness app designed to use at home. Perfect for students as it keeps you feeling somewhat productive for just seven minutes of your time, without even leaving your room.
Evidently, apps are an integral part of my day to day life and I’m totally unashamed to say so - they have made my study abroad year that bit easier.
Daniel Lee is a British student, currently studying in A Coruña, Spain on his Erasmus year.