London is a vast city that can be quite daunting for international students coming here for the first time, so here are a few essential apps to download to help you find your feet in London and make life a little easier.
1. NUS extra: NUS (National Union Students) is a voluntary organisation that tries to make student life easier. NUS offer plenty of student discounts from more than 170 well-known brands in-store and online. For further details, have a look at their website. To be able to benefit from their discounts, you need to buy the NUS extra card which costs £12. You can then download the NUS app to see all the discounts you can benefit from nearby.
NUS is not just about offering discounts to students, its aim is to make student life easier by promoting student rights and developing a strong student union. The following link will give you a better understanding of what they do.
2. Kabbee: Just missed the last tube to go home and you’re stuck in the middle of London not knowing where to go? Kabbee will help you solve this problem. Input two destinations and Kabbee will fetch the best prices from over 60 minicabs providers finding the cheapest ride to bring you back home.
3. Your University app: Most universities have created apps that provide campus maps, useful telephone numbers and the latest university news. Some of the best apps will even let you find your friends on campus so you can meet up after lectures. Visit your university’s website to download your app.
4. London official city map: If it’s your first time in London, this app will be very useful. It will help you find the best events and attractions in the city and also has a series of walking tours and an interactive map to help you plan your journey.
- Offline maps and GPS that avoid data roaming charges
- Personalised offline itineraries
- Find the top ten things to do in London and choose by category or by your actual location
- Step by step travel directions from A to B using public transport (tube, bus and on foot)
- All the sights and tourist attractions
- Restaurant, cafe & bar guide including reviews from local sources such as Yelp and Foursquare
- Recommendations based on things like weather and time of day
- Background information and history of London
- Find what’s near you
- All amenities (police station, pharmacy, bureau de change etc)
Download London official city map on ITunes.
5. Skype/WhatsApp: If you are an international student coming to London, you might want to download these apps so that way, you can contact your family and friends for free. You will end up saving a lot of money. These apps also let you to make video calls, a much nicer way to chat with your friends and family.
6. MeetUp: If you are a student wanting to meet new people, to make friends or start a relationship, the MeetUp app will fit your needs perfectly. The app filters by location and interests so that you can meet like-minded people. You can even start-up your own Meet up group or join one that has already been set up.
7. Skyscanner: If you are an international student who would like to go back home to see your family and friends from time to time, Skyscanner will be of very useful use as it compares millions of flights from hundreds of companies and picks the cheapest one.
8. Tickety Split: You are in London and you would like to take the train to go and visit a friend or go on holiday somewhere in the U.K, but the train ticket is too expensive? Well sometimes, it is actually cheaper to buy two tickets from different parts of the journey instead of one for the entire trip. Tickety Split searches for these split tickets in advance and can yield impressive savings.
Download Tickety Split on ITunes.
9. Dinner Spinner: As a student, it is always a good thing to have a cooking guide so that you can learn how to cook and become more independent. Dinner Spinner allows you to choose a variety of meals by different criteria, for example the type of diet, the cooking time and the ingredients. Dinner Spinner also includes a step by step video guide on how to prepare each meal to help you get it right the first time. Finally, it also incorporates a scanner which informs you of all the potential recipes you can make using the ingredients you have selected at the supermarket.
10. Wunderlist: If you are a student struggling to organize yourself and get stuff done, Wunderlist might be the perfect “things to do list” on your Smartphone. Wunderlist helps you plan your day and reminds you to get stuff done. You can also collaborate with colleagues, friends and family by creating a group that makes teamwork much easier.
About HFS London
We are a homestay accommodation agency for overseas students, interns, professionals and tourists looking for accommodation with a British “host family”. If we can help you in any way, please do not hesitate to get in touch.