Friday, June 2, 2017

Six Free Must-Have Apps for International Students in the U.S.

By: Mehran Tehrani

Your academic achievements in the U.S. play a significant role when you are applying for internships, summer jobs, and student-run organizations. Aside from maintaining good grades, it can be difficult to transition to a new life in the U.S.

Luckily, your smartphone can help you cover various needs. Here are six must-have mobile apps international students in the U.S. should have:


Airbnb is an online hospitality service that allows you rent accommodations in over 65,000 cities. This service is especially useful when you want to explore different cities. Creating an account is free, and Airbnb has many filters you can use to narrow down your search to listings that best fit your needs.

Amazon first started as an online bookstore and is now one of the largest e-commerce retailers in the world with a vast number of items for sale.

The first thing you will need for class is a textbook, and you can find almost any book on Amazon. My favorite part about Amazon is that you can find highly discounted used books in good condition or you can rent books at a considerably lower price. This is incredibly helpful when bookstores on campus run out of a particular textbook. In addition, Amazon’s customer service and shipping speed are both excellent.

If you want your books delivered to you quickly, you can become a member of Amazon Prime and receive Prime-eligible items in two days.

Edx was founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012. Their mission is to provide high-quality education for everyone by offering free online courses in over 30 fields.

You can take the courses at your own pace, connect with other students, and receive certification after you complete a course. The best part about Edx is that the courses are taught by professors from well-known universities.

Google Drive offers secure cloud storage for any files you create in your Google (Gmail) account. Google Drive is free and helps you share files with anyone, anywhere, and at any time.

In college, you will need to do many group projects with your classmates, and these projects play a huge role in your final grade. By using Google Drive you can share files with your classmates or professor and they can make their own changes and make comments. For example, you can record notes during class (if electronics are allowed) and share them with your classmates. With Google Drive, you can manage your projects, assignments, and homework more effectively.

Skype provides you with an easy way to make a video or voice call with anyone in the world for free. All you need is an account and Internet access (a video camera is optional).

You even can create a group call with Skype to spend quality time with your family and friends abroad. You can also share your desktop screen with people you are talking to on Skype. This feature is useful when you have a question for a tutor or when are you explaining something to a friend.

It is important for international students who live outside of the campus to arrive on time for their classes. Many college professors care about your attendance and it can affect your final grade. This app helps you find the fastest way to get to school and provides exact locations of bus stops and subway stations; it even includes the schedule for nearby lines. This app can be used in over 125 cities which is beneficial when traveling to a city where you are unfamiliar with the transportation system.

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Mehran A. Tehrani is pursuing his associate's degree in economics at the City University of New York.

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