29 Jun 2017

10 apps for international educators

As international educators we have our favourite, travel oriented, go-to websites and applications (henceforth referred to as ‘apps’) that we share with students and staff coming or going on exchange, as well as use for our own professional travel. Here is a list of a few of the hottest websites and apps. But, don’t stop there, add your favorite travel apps in the comments section and ‘appy traveling!
 
 

Travel planning

Google flights
Looking for an intuitive travel search engine? Google flights is a fast search engine that filters by airline, dates, roundtrip/one-way. There are many tricks you can explore on this platform, including searching a region (eg Asia) to find the lowest airfare into that area. Although you cannot book travel on this search engine, it’s a great place to begin your airfare search or inquire for a second opinion.
 
Skyscanner
Looking for budget travel options? This travel search engine not only searches for the most affordable flights, but it also searches hotels and rental cars via its travel partners. According to Skyscanner, booking seven weeks in advance and checking flights on Tuesday afternoons may help you score the best low-cost airfare. Not sure where you want to travel? Skyscanner offers ‘top deals’ from your airport of choice. Pair this search engine with Google flights and you will be sure to make an informed decision when booking your next trip.
 
Rome2Rio
Trying to figure out the best way to travel from one city to the next? Look no further, this website-turned-app will show you all your travel options (airfare, train, bus, etc.) between two cities.
 
Moovit
Looking for local public transportation routes? This website/app offers real-time local transit options. At the time of writing this blog, the platform serves over 75 countries and over 1400 cities around the world.
 
Tripcase
Would you like to organise all of your travel plans (ie airfare, trains, hotels, rental cars, etc) in one app? Look no further, this app does it for you. Simply forward your trip confirmations to this app and all of your logistics are organised in one location and easy to manage.

Language learning

Duolingo
A free evidence-based language education platform that makes language learning online fun and manageable. Although online learning is not a replacement for immersive language learning, the well-designed app takes you through the basics and is great for brushing up on grammar and vocabulary before your next trip. Not only can you learn a language with this platform, you can also volunteer and contribute to building courses in multiple languages through the Duolingo incubator.

Currency conversion

xe.com
This currency converter platform is a free and user-friendly way to keep up-to-date with live exchange rates and easily convert world currencies while traveling. You can also view historical rates, receive email updates on specific currencies, and track travel expenses.

Personal safety

With recent world events, free personal safety apps give you a peace of mind when traveling. There are a variety of In Case of Emergency (ICE) apps that store important information (eg personal profile and emergency contacts, etc.) if you find yourself in an emergency situation. Many of the ICE apps display the ICE notification on the lock screen, so first responders can access the information. Simply do a search in the app store to select your app of choice.
 
This safety app, ICE contact, will send messages to your selected family and/or friends in an emergency situation.

Travel maps

CityMaps2Go by Ulmon
Looking for an online map that is user-friendly and customisable? Downloadable maps are available for offline use. This app allows you to pin drop at specific locations and gives you insider tips and reviews for restaurants and points of interest.

Weather

WeatherPro
Hosted by Europe’s weather specialists, MeteoGroup, this free app provides seven-day forecasts and special weather reports for more than two million locations worldwide. They are continually updating the app and seeking feedback from users to improve usability.
 
With technology at our fingertips, having useful apps at hand can help our own work as professionals in the field and serve as resources for the students and staff we work with.  Hopefully these apps make your travels a bit more organised with useful information at your fingertips.
 
Leasa Weimer is Knowledge Development Adviser at the EAIE.