Top Apps for Your Student Performance Trip (Part 2 – International Travel)
This is the second in a three-part series highlighting the best apps for student performance travel. Read part one.
For the second part in our series on mobile apps for student performance travel, we look at apps that can be helpful to you and your students while overseas. From navigating, to translating a foreign language, to even help beating jet lag, the apps below are sure to be a worthwhile download for you and your students. Furthermore, all of these apps have the ability to function without an internet connection, which can eliminate the need for students or chaperones to purchase an international data package.
Google Maps has become the essential app for international travel. It gives spot-on directions and is constantly updated, ensuring your students won’t get lost when they are out and about during scheduled free time. Best of all, the app allows you to download maps for use off-line, allowing students and chaperones to download the maps they need at home before they leave and eliminating expensive international data charges.
WordLens can help take the worry out of the language barrier (and it’s free for a limited time). The app uses your phone’s camera to translate written text like signs and menus instantly! Your phone doesn’t need an internet connection for the app to work, just download the language packs ahead of time. Currently the app only works with European languages, but now that the company has been bought by Google we can hope to see many more languages to come.
Jetlag can be one of the most difficult challenges of long distance travel. The best way to cope with jet lag is to seek bright, natural light at specified times, to reset the body’s natural circadian rhythm. The problem is figuring out when to seek this light, which is where Jetlag Rooster comes in. Just enter some basic information about your flights and follow the app’s recommendations on when to seek light and dark. You, and your students, will be adjusted to your new time zone in just a few days.
Skype is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to stay in touch with home while traveling abroad. Through the Skype app, students can use video or voice calling to other skype users for free over Wi-Fi. Should they need to call a landline or cell phone in the U.S., it only costs 2.3¢ per minute over WI-FI, making it one of the least expensive ways to stay in touch.
OANDA Currency Converter
Most currency converters simply give you the conversion at the current market rate, which is not the rate tourists are able to secure. The OANDA currency converter allows you to adjust the rate, to better reflect the rate offered by banks, ATMs, and credit cards. This conversion will most accurately reflect what you are paying for items in USD while traveling abroad.
There are hundreds of translation apps available, but most of them require a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection to function. Translate Professional comes with a phrase book in many of the most common foreign languages which works while the user is offline. Students can easily find common phrases for things like shopping and ordering in a restaurant, even when they are not connected to WI-FI.
TripAdvisor City Guides
The largest travel site in the world has released their own free travel guide app. Users can download any of the over 90 city guides while on WI-FI, which can then be used without an internet connection. Each guide includes an offline map of the city which can give directions to popular attractions, restaurants, and hotels. The app also includes TripAdvisor reviews and rankings for each location, to help students find the best places to go shopping or sightseeing during their free time.
Have your own apps you like to use while abroad? Let us know what they are in the comments. Watch for our final installment in this series, focusing on apps for domestic travel, next month.
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