The beauty of Tokyo’s Cherry blossoms is staggering, the architecture of Vienna can take your breath away, and the fjords of Bergen are a view to behold. These are three of the many sufficient reasons to study abroad, not to mention the delicacy of foreign cuisine and all that many world cultures offer.
In 2023, the number of international students in the US reached pre-pandemic levels. And vice versa, many Americans travel to Europe and the far east to participate in their study programs. Meanwhile, Europeans have been enjoying the Erasmus exchange program for decades, which allows them to travel to other EU states.
But as many would agree, living abroad poses significant challenges. We’re sure you’ve read dozens of articles on how to adapt to a new country. We’ve decided to add additional value to that. Alongside helpful advice, you will also find app recommendations that could help you out in unknown land. Let’s dive in!
Nothing is free, so managing your finances is of utmost importance. The different currency rates can make your head spin. For example, one US dollar is worth 0.8 UK pounds, so things might look cheaper at first glance. Finding yourself out of money while away from home is extremely stressful, especially if you live solely on a scholarship without additional income.
There are dozens of finance management apps to help you out. Firstly, you can easily convert money and see the equivalent price in your native currency to understand better how much you are paying. You also might be tempted into an uncontrolled shopping spree for new clothing brands, food, or bar hopping. These apps will help you set the budget for the night and overview your overall financial situation.
Probably the most common issue international students encounter is a language barrier. Although many worldwide speak English at some level, the number is not as high as you might think. You will struggle to find English speakers in France, and the Middle East, and many Chinese simply do not need this language.
Use this to your advantage. Learning a second language will open up opportunities in the future, and the best way is through practice. Consider using an online language learning platform for a smooth start, and start practicing with your fellow students afterward. It will significantly help you adapt to their culture, as speaking the native tongue is highly valued. You can read our in-depth review of an excellent language-learning platform to learn more.
Safety and Security
Unfortunately, cybercrime spreads throughout, and educational institutions report a 44% increase in cyber attacks in 2022. You’re the most vulnerable away from home. Hackers will use it to their advantage infecting your device with malware to steal passwords and gain bank account access. Packing up cybersecurity software before you go is of utmost importance. Here are the essentials:
Virtual Private Network
You might’ve used a VPN to unlock worldwide Netflix libraries or access BBC iPlayer outside the UK. However, primarily it’s a privacy protection-oriented cybersecurity software. It’s a must-have if you rely on public Wi-Fi networks because it encrypts your traffic, protecting it from data snooping. Moreso, fully developed VPNs offer real-time malware protection. Check this comprehensive list with worthwhile VPN recommendations. VPNs also help bypass geographical restrictions, and you can enjoy your native movies and TV shows, helping you cure homesickness!
Secure Cloud Storage
Sharing pictures and videos with your family back home is inevitable. Many use platforms like Facebook, Dropbox, or iCloud to store their files. However, that’s not the safest option, as all these services have experienced data leaks and occasionally exposed the most intimate personal details.
Instead, we recommend NordLocker, an end-to-end encrypted file storage focused on data security. These services allow you to upload files encrypted so no third party can see what’s inside. Furthermore, they allow secure file sharing, so you can send pics and videos to your loved ones knowing the connection is as secure as possible.
Identity Theft Protection
Identity theft protection is a viral cybercrime method. Hackers target international students because they don’t know national laws and where to turn if something bad happens. They can breach your social media accounts and use them for scams, posting infectious backlinks that spread viruses. Some even put tracking software on smartphones and burglarize students’ dorms when they’re having a night out.
Identity theft protection monitors if bad actors use your personal information. It also provides smartphone security. For example, location tracking if your phone gets stolen, data backups, and even taking pictures of cyber criminals if they face the camera. Overall, it’s an especially handy tool for international students and travelers both.
Studying abroad is rewarding but challenging. However, you will have a safer and more memorable experience if you go prepared. Tech apps help solve numerous issues, and the discussed software will provide much-needed peace of mind while away from home!