Posted by Sophie Grosvenor on January 30th, 2023.
Living abroad can be pretty lonely to start with, if you’re moving somewhere without a ready-made social network. Particularly in the aftermath of the pandemic, we’ve all realised how important contact and communication can be in terms of our mental health and wellbeing.
Whatsapp is ideal for keeping in touch with friends and family overseas, as it works via WiFi or mobile data, meaning you won’t be clocking up hours on international call charges. It also has a video option so you can see your loved ones face-to-face in the digital realm.
Spotted By Locals
A navigation app and venue-finder all in one, Spotted by Locals is a favourite amongst the expat community on account of its ability to help newcomers access a more authentic version of towns and cities.
Instead of picking out and suggesting tourist hotspots, as many apps do, ‘Spotted by Locals’ relies on recommendations from local residents. If you’re looking for a bar or café with a chilled, unpretentious vibe, ‘SBL’ has your back.
InterNations is the largest online network for people living and working abroad, and helps to connect expats in 420 cities around the world.
From hosting events and facilitating connections between expats living in the same area, InterNations has 4.8 million members and over 200 city guides, making it one of the most comprehensive services of its kind.
For anyone planning on moving without a sound knowledge of the local language of their new host country, Duolingo can help to build up a repertory of useful words and phrases while you get a grasp on local customs. Proper language lessons are always advisable to help facilitate integration in a foreign-speaking community – but Duolingo is a great starting point.
The app was created by American developers and follows a game-like structure with daily challenges and targets. It’s easy to use and entertaining for children and adults alike.
One of the worst things that can happen to anyone moving to – or even visiting – a foreign country is getting sick before they’re familiar with any of the local healthcare services.
Nevertheless, travel can be exhausting and stuffy planes and ferries aren’t exactly an ideal environment for avoiding the spread of disease. This is where Doctoralia comes in. Not only does the app provide a map of all the local facilities, but it provides information on the languages the doctors speak and allows users to book appointments online.
Working seamlessly with our existing online services, the TorFX app is ideal for those who have an account with us, allowing them to log in and transfer money on the go. The app also allows users to check live exchange rates, track the status of transfers and store funds in a secure multi-currency wallet.
Furthermore, it’s an incentive for anyone without a currency exchange provider who may be looking to acquire one. Our app makes our services even more accessible – just what you’d expect from the winner of the Moneyfacts consumer award 6 years running.
While perhaps not so integral to the integration process, there are a wealth of extra ‘good to have’ apps which may just enrich your new life abroad. Amongst these are Express VPN, WiFi Finder and Uber.
Express VPN allows TV-addicts to catch up on their favourite shows from back home, helping to recreate a sense of familiarity in a foreign place where things may at first seem very different.
A little more self-explanatory, WiFi Finder supplies information about thousands of public and private wireless networks in over 100 countries, helping you to stay connected when it’s most important.
Lastly, Uber could help get you out of a jam when local public transport routes appear indecipherable.
There are plenty more apps recommended by travellers and expats, but our selection picks out a handful of the best for the budding expat.
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