Tag Archives: apps

10 Essential Apps for International Students.

Smartphones are one of the things that I cannot imagine myself without. Nowadays it is possible literally to do everything with a smartphone, from buying groceries and have them delivered to your house, to teach yourself code to program a webpage. As an international student, a cellphone is probably one of the most useful tools, regardless your career choice. Why are they so useful? The answer is quite simple: because of the apps.

They come in many colors and shapes; apps are there to help us being more productive, or to connect with other people and sometimes to distract ourselves from our duties (that goes for you Instagram – by the way have you checked our Instagram account?)

I have made a list of the 10 essential apps for international students.

Here it is:


10 Essential Apps for International Students Infographic

These are just a few of the many apps that I use as a student, if you guys have any good recommendation please feel free to write it in the comments.


7 Apps for International Students

  1. Swish | BankID


Essential for any student with a Swedish bank account. Transfer money to other Swish users bank accounts via their mobile number. Forget about cash and small change! Lots of companies, street vendors, markets also accept Swish transfers so its super handy.


BankID is required to set up a Swish account. It also allows you to change some personal details, address etc linked to your account and tax office.


  1. Linjekartor


For those living in Stockholm this is the best SL tunnelbana map app. Also includes pendeltåg and tvärbanan.


  1. Duolingo


Want to learn Swedish on the metro? This is the simplest and most user friendly interfaced app for languages. Web version also available.

Unfortunately, the app has an obsession with making you learn the Swedish for “They eat turtles” – ‘De äter sköldpaddor…’


  1. Res i Sthlm


Also for Stockholmers. Now you know what route to take on the tunnelbana with the Linjekartor app, you need to know when the next train arrives. This is essential* as it includes real-time live updates of all SL transport within the city.

*alternatively use Google Maps like everyone else.


  1. Mecenat | Studentkortet


For all your student card benefits and discounts. Also includes a digital version of your student card, valid for SL and SJ journeys, freeing up valuable space in your wallet.


  1. TransferWise


If you’re transferring money into a Swedish bank account from your home country account, then this is the cheapest way of doing so. Cutting out the bank fees and matching transfers worldwide, the process is fast and really easy to use. Highly recommended.


  1. Telia | Tele2 | Comviq


Now you’ve burnt up all your data from downloading these apps you should probably top-up. Most mobile providers have easy to use apps to check your balance, remaining data and pay for extras.

FREE online tools that can make your student life a tad Easier

One thing about studying in Sweden, no matter which university you’re studying at, is that there can be LOTS of assignments, group work and projects. In fact, students are often encouraged to work with different people in different assignments as a good way to know your classmates better and learn from each other. Of course, this is also the reality in the ‘working world’ where we can’t choose our colleagues and have to work with different people all the time.

Working in groups brings me much closer to my classmates and we learn so much from each other, especially with our diversity. On the other hand, from my experiences, one of the main challenges is that my group members and I live in different cities and some of us commute long hours which can be rather inconvenient to meet up outside the timetable, especially during longer term breaks where everyone is away. But, fret not. Working virtually with the right tools can be very efficient too!

There are many online tools out there but here are my Top 5 most-used, can’t-live-without FREE online tools that I use all the time. Why? It’s simple, efficient and free.

1. Google Docs for almost EVERYTHING

What I like is the ease of everybody working and editing on the same document at the same time where we can literally see exactly who is typing what, at a glance. Sharing is easy, it auto saves, comes in several templates and can be downloaded as Microsoft Word, PDF, Excel, and PowerPoint.  It’s very easy to use, just make sure you re-check the format/margins when you download the document to avoid slight variations.

Google Docs - create and edit documents online, for free. - Google Chrome 2015-10-18 125830.bmp Image from Google Docs.

2. Prezi for FANCIER presentations

Beautiful, ready-made templates that comes in different styles and better still, it’s fun and engaging. You can sign up for free with the public account and also add members so that the team can edit the presentation together, wherever they are. Click here for a raw sample of my group presentation.

Prezi Sample Image of my group’s presentation from Prezi.

3. Trello, everything at ONE GLANCE

The good thing about Trello is that it tells you what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in a process – at ONE glance. Basically, Trello helps to keep track the project status and allows you to stalk on each other’s tasks and progress. It organizes projects into boards, a different board for a different project. A Trello board is a list of lists, filled with cards, used by you and your team. It comes with checklists, progress status, comment and files upload features. It’s really not that complicated once you see it.

maxresdefaultTrello image from Bertranddo.

4. Dropbox, the art of SAVING & SHARING

Ok, you know this. Simple, create a folder and share the files with selected people/your group. I also store some of my personal documents and photos there. The Dropbox app allows you to access the documents readily, so you always have it on the go, wherever you are.

5. WeTransfer, go easy GO BIG

Send files of up to 2GB (free version) through WeTransfer. The shared files has to be downloaded within a certain time period but that doesn’t matter. No complains, it’s FREE. I use this quite often even for assignments and work, often for sending high resolution images.

WeTransfer - Google Chrome 2015-10-18 124410.bmpImage from WeTransfer.

With the above tools/apps, it helps to facilitate virtual group work, wherever we are. We also create our own Facebook group for group discussions and file uploads. This helps us to be more efficient and productive. Of course, we also meet up in persons to set the goals and agenda as often as we can and to check on the work progress. I hope this also works for you and your group. Feel free to share any awesome online tools out there which you use.

Featured image taken from my group’s mood-board presentation.