We live in a such a tech-dependent culture that items like mobile phones, computers, e-readers and tablets are considered just as essential for a semester overseas as a study abroad insurance policy and a valid passport. This prioritizing of digital devices isn’t without reason. There are plenty of very useful ways to use your tech devices during your trip to make your experience more rewarding and to keep in touch with the ones you love back home. To get an idea of how to maximize the digital world in a whole new country, read on for some helpful tips.
Staying in Touch
Even though you might feel like a real hotshot after being away at college for a couple of years, you’re bound to get a little homesick overseas. It’s important to keep up with friends and family during your trip since doing so can help you maintain a support system despite being so far from home. International phone calls definitely don’t come cheap, so utilize Skype for cost-free video chatting
Social media like Facebook and Twitter are also crucial for keeping up with how everyone’s doing back home and sharing your travel experiences in both word and image form.To further document your experience and share some tips, consider starting your own travel blog as well, which can help you connect with those back home and communicate with new readers all over the world. WhatsApp is an awesome app for texting others at no cost. Simply obtain an Internet connection and you can send messages, photos, videos and even your location info for on-the-go communication.
Exploring the Area
For finding fun activities around a given city or area, Frommer’s is an excellent resource to search for events taking place around the world. From festivals and parties to sporting events and concerts, you’re guaranteed to find a fun activity to add to your itinerary. Just type in your destination city to find listings of events, attractions, shopping destinations, restaurants and more.
Hostelworld is another helpful online resource for lodging on the cheap. Each hostel features an overall rating that can be broken down by characteristics like security, location, atmosphere, cleanliness and staff. Read detailed reviews from experienced guests and explore some of the site’s published reports on local tours and attractions. As an added bonus, groups of nine or more can receive a discounted hostel rate when booking through the site.
Keeping Up with Schoolwork
Everyone who’s ever studied abroad knows the real learning comes from your experience in a foreign country. However, you still have to keep up with your schoolwork no matter how much fun you’re having at art museums and world-famous food joints. Evernote is a helpful app for keeping all your notes organized and accessible without carrying tattered notebooks with you everywhere you go. Since you’ll be spending a lot of time traveling and seeing the sites, bring iStudiez Pro along to keep you on schedule and in constant contact with instructors.
An e-reader or tablet is another essential digital study tool for your time abroad, since these lightweight devices make it easy to read on the train ride over to the nearest town, take notes while lounging in the cafe and finish an assignment last-minute before going out with that ultra-hot French guy.
The growth of technology is one of the reasons study abroad programs have become more accessible over the years, so it only makes sense that students would take advantage of these resources while participating in this once-in-a-lifetime experience. By equipping yourself with technological tools, you can not only make your experience safer and more efficient, but also lighten your load by transferring most of your essentials to a lightweight digital format.