This blog post was written by Campus Ambassador, Kim Pham. She is studying Marketing and Information Systems at New York University's Stern School of Business. She is passionate about tech startups, and has been working in the field since junior year of high school. She is currently working business development at Onswipe, while juggling responsibilities at foursquare, Intern Queen, NYU VSA, NYU Restaurateur Club, and Tech@NYU. She spent this past semester studying and working at a startup incubator in Prague, Czech Republic.
All of my friends will tell you that I am an utter smartphone fiend. In New York City, you can find me running around with unlimited 3G monthly data at my fingertips, tapping away furiously nearly 24/7. I am undoubtedly reliant on this device and its’ internet access.
So this past January, when I started a semester abroad in Prague, Czech Republic, I realized to my horror that I had to cope with the possibility of slow, limited data connectivity – or (gasp) the prospect of relying only on wifi!
However, I managed to scrap a smartphone and plan together, and somehow made it through the semester with my sanity intact. Here are a handful of apps that helped me survive Spring 2012 abroad:
1. WhatsApp: allows you to send messages (BBM-style!) internationally, without any of those pesky (and expensive!) SMS charges
2. Viber: includes calling functionality – while a lower quality than a landline, it will do in a jiffy when you need to make a quick international phone call – all for free!
3. Foursquare: to track all the cool spots you check into – from hostels to historical landmarks to pubs!
4. FlightAware: track the status of your various flights, whether it’s a short domestic flight or to an exotic locale for Spring Break!
5. Airbnb: stay with locals when traveling – best way to get a true feel for the city you’re visiting, all the while staying in a comfortable home catered to your budget
6. TripIt: scrapes and manages all of your travel itineraries, tickets, etc. in your inbox
Wield these six apps and you will undoubtedly speed through that technological learning curve of living abroad, much like I did.
Let me tell you though – it is amazing to be back on American soil. With American connectivity :)