Google Maps is great for finding directions to drive, walk, or use public transportation in America. It can also help you find the nearby grocery stores, markets, gas stations, or restaurants. From Google Maps you can even look at reviews of local businesses, reserve a table for dinner, or save locations you might be interested in visiting in the future! There are tons of amazing features, but most importantly, it will keep you from getting lost!
Venmo or Paypal
Venmo and Paypal are apps that allow you to securely transfer money from your bank account or debit card to another user. This is great for splitting bills with roommates or splitting checks when you are out to dinner with friends. It also eliminates the need to withdraw cash! Using these apps may even cut down on fees from your bank for foreign transactions.
Lyft or Uber
Lyft and Uber essentially do the same thing. From your smartphone, you can find someone who will pick you up and drop you off almost anywhere! For as little as $5, you can get where you need to go more quickly than waiting for those slow American buses. The cost of your ride depends on the distance you travel and the busyness of the service, but it is usually cheaper and more convenient than taking a taxi.
Yelp is an excellent app when you want to make sure the business you are using is reliable. Users leave reviews for local businesses and restaurants to help you decide which is the best before you use them. This is good for finding the best places to eat, get a haircut, shop, or even which doctors to visit!
Using wifi or cellular data you can use WhatsApp to call, text, or video message anyone in the world! This is a great way to keep connected to friends and family back home without worrying about your phone bill costing you more than tuition.
What apps have you found helpful during your time in America? Leave some tips in a comment below to help out new students!