Whether you're an international jetsetter or a travel newbie, staying connected is one of the most important ways to help fight off homesickness and learn about the local culture. Before you study abroad, prep your cell phone and learn some other ways mobile tech can enhance your journey.
Before you head overseas
Prior to any trip abroad, whether it’s for school or for vacation, make yourself a handy international travel checklist to make sure you’ve dotted your I’s and crossed your T’s.
Research the country before you get there and make yourself at home. What are the customs? Do you need to learn a new language? How should you tip? Find answers to those questions—and ease your nerves—in e-books. Then, you can take the info with you and access it by downloading the Google Play™ Books app or Amazon Kindle app—you won’t have to worry about heavy books and luggage weight limits.
Use travel apps to find travel ideas and advice. The TripAdvisor app is full of user reviews, so you get an unbiased view on the top destinations and sights to see. Check out other top travel apps that will help you explore.
See if you’re eligible for any scholarships or grants, and check in with your advisor to explore other funding options. Scholarship or not, it doesn’t hurt to save up some cash before you go. Create budgets and monitor your finances with budgeting apps, and check out GoFundMe to raise money for your travels. Just don’t forget to thank those who helped your cause—perhaps with some souvenirs?
Prep your travel gear
If you want to use a cell phone while abroad, make sure it’s a World Device. To help determine the International Travel Plan you’ll need, use the Verizon Trip Planner.
It’s more important than ever to protect your device from tumbles with a rugged OtterBox® case. For a little extra power, consider a mophie pack such as the mophie® juice pack® for the LG G4™. Not only will a mophie pack extend battery life, but it also protects the phone from wear and tear, so it’s ideal for backpacking.
Stay entertained during plane, train and automobile rides. Bring along the lightweight Samsung Galaxy Tab E for powerful entertainment.
When studying abroad with your cell phone, it’s important to keep it close by, to avoid pickpockets. A smart watch like the Moto 360 will allow you to check messages and notifications while keeping your device safely out of sight.
While you’re there
Sure, your study abroad trip will be filled with interesting lectures, classes and other educational activities. But when it’s time for the weekend, make sure you take advantage of the places around you. Check out the Hostelworld or HostelBookers apps to help you find affordable places to stay for weekend trips.
You’ll want to capture your memories with photos. But it can get tricky carrying around a clunky digital camera. A smartphone with a powerful camera—such as the Samsung Galaxy S® 6 or LG G4—will help you save space and avoid skimping on picture quality. Or, check out a GoPro®. Strap it on to your chest or head so you can relive all your adventures for years to come.
Upload your pictures to Snapfish. When you return home, it’ll be easy to get prints, create photo albums or personalize memorabilia and gifts. And when you want to say hi to Mom and Dad, turn your photos into postcards with the Postcard on the Run app.
Even if you swear you’ll never forget a thing, keeping a daily blog will help you remember every detail and share your experiences with the folks back home. The WordPress app makes it easy to update and create new posts, complete with photos, on the go.
No matter how you decide to prepare for your study abroad, keep reminding yourself that you're embarking on the chance of a lifetime. Soak up every minute of it!