As the new semester approaches, your anxiety levels get higher and higher. How will you handle the culture shock? Will the language barrier make studying and writing impossible? Will your classmates accept you in their circle of friends? What about managing finances? The first thing you need to do is relax! You are not the only international student in this country. Everyone manages to find their way around the system sooner or later.
Get acquainted with the following websites and apps before the new semester starts. They will certainly make your studies (and your life!) easier.
Why would you pay full price for food, clothes, traveling, electronics, leisure, and everything else you need? Thanks to VoucherCloud, you get a discount on everything! The service is available in several countries, including USA, Australia, France, UK, Germany, South Africa, etc. You’ll find awesome coupons for discounts and free meals. The popular brands in the list include Best Buy, Dell, ASOS, Sephora, Target, British Airways and Amazon.
You’ll be surprised to learn that effortless communication can consume a huge chunk of your budget. Paying hefty overages on talk minutes or data is out of the question when you’re an international student, so you should definitely install this app on your iOS device. DataMan Next will track your activities in real time and pop notifications when you’re close to achieving the usage limits. It gets even better: DataMan will also show you which apps are wasting your data!
The best way to lose friends is to owe them some money. When you’re going out in a bar or a restaurant, usually one person covers the bill and everyone else pays back. It’s much simpler than the messy situation of analyzing the bill and waiting for everyone to put the correct amount of money into a pile. Venmo enables you to pay the money back in the simplest way. Just provide your payment information, select the friend you want to send the transaction to, add a short description and voila – you no longer owe money.
This online tool will help you sound like a native English speaker. If you don’t feel comfortable practicing pronunciation in front of the mirror, Sounds will make you feel less weird. You can learn how to pronounce a huge base of English words, starting from the most basic ones and progressing to more complex terms. With time, you’ll master the American accent like a pro.
This Android app will help you organize your time as effectively as possible. It will keep your class schedule, project deadlines, and exam dates in one place. You’ll receive reminders when a due date is close, so you’ll never forget an important academic task. You can adjust the time of day when you want to receive alerts, so the app won’t disturb you during classes.
Finances are a huge part of your success as an international student. They will be limited, but the things you want to buy will be countless. Mint will help you achieve the perfect balance between your needs and capacity. It’s a tool that helps you manage your cash flow, budget and bills in the most effective manner. You will receive alerts for unusual account charges, as well as tips on how to save money and reduce the bills. You can use Mint on your computer, tablet and phone, so you’ll always be in charge of your finances. The Tools & Tips section at the website offers advice on how to be a smart spender.
If you don’t master the English language as well as possible, you’ll face lots of trouble with written projects and exams. When you are unable to communicate your ideas clearly, it’s hard to succeed in this educational system. This app enables you to build a solid foundation of English grammar through insightful quizzes.
Writing assignments may seem overwhelming, but your professors won’t accept any excuses. This website, launched by Australian educators, offers writing assistance in all subject areas. You can get online help from professional tutors and writers for any academic project you are struggling with. When you become a user of the website, you’ll be connected with your writer, who will answer questions and offer great tips that will make academic writing more accessible for you. After a while, you’ll be able to handle these projects with ease.
When your mind functions in another language, it’s hard to express yourself when a professor asks you a question. Ultralingua is a collection of apps that will make class discussions easier for you. You’ll find dictionaries for iOS, Android, Mac and Windows, as well as a word association game (Psychobabble) that will help you memorize the new words you learn.
You still haven’t located a suitable scholarship? That’s a bit difficult for an international student. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t give up. At this website, you’ll find an extensive database of grants, scholarships and fellowships maintained by the IIE (Institute of International Education). You can search by state, program name, sponsoring organization, country of origin, state location, and area of study.
Life is never easy for international students. However, you shouldn’t forget that the new environment offers tons of opportunities, so you should not hesitate to benefit from them! As soon as you are over the adaptation period, you’ll start loving the freedom you have. Try the 10 tools listed above; they will certainly enable you to go through the initial shock with no consequences.
By Julie Peterson