- - -
It’s no surprise that technology is becoming more prevalent each and every day, and even though some students like to disconnect while they’re overseas, the truth of the matter is that millennials still spend way too much time on their phones and social media. However, while you’re abroad in Florence, there are quite a few scenarios when being on your phone can be very useful, especially since not everybody speaks English in the city. Here are 10 apps that I suggest downloading before you head there:
1. Firenze Up!
This app allows you to find events going on in and around the city of Florence. Going to events and any cultural celebrations in Florence will help you integrate into and learn more about this historic city, so Firenze Up! will be a great resource for you while you’re abroad.
These messaging apps will make it easy to stay in touch with your friends and family back home, especially since you can use them with just wifi. I used these all the time and they have a lot of great features. You can text, call, and even video-chat all without using data!
This app will help you find the best times/days to book your flights. If you’re a bit more flexible with your trip planning, this will be great for you. You essentially plug in where and when you’re looking to fly and you can “watch” specific flights to see if/when the prices will go up or down. I recommend this specifically for Florence since there are so many airports that are in close proximity, so you can “watch” flights from Florence, Pisa, Rome, etc. to see what your best option would be!
Since splitting the check in restaurants is not as common in Italy as it is in the US, Venmo will definitely come in handy while you’re in Florence. If you go out to eat with a group and not everyone has euros on hand, there’s still an easy way for you and your friends to pay each other back!
I never used this while abroad but looking back I think it would have been very useful! It allows you to find out more about your surroundings in an instant. Especially in Florence where there are so many little streets with hidden restaurants and shops, AroundMe would help you find whatever you need. You can find banks, coffee shops, bars, etc. right around you. Aside from the fun stuff, you can also find the closest hospitals and pharmacies in the event of an emergency.
When you’re studying abroad, you’ll most likely need to be on some type of budget. Mint makes it easy for you and is a great way to manage your money and keep track of all your expenses without having to think about it. You can hook up your bank accounts to the app and it will categorize your expenses so you can see where you’re spending the most money (let’s be real- if you’re in Florence, you’re probably spending the most on all the yummy food)!
I grouped these together since they’re both apps that come programed on the iPhone. iBooks is great if you have a long flight, a bus/train ride, or even just a commute to classes/your internship. You can purchase books and download them to your phone to read on-the-go. The Podcasts app is also great for the same reasons, except most of the podcasts are free (and you can download them to your phone so you don’t have to use data)! There are so many to choose from and you’re bound to find some that spark your interest. I recommend the “Coffee Break Italian” podcast if you’re looking to learn Italian!
9. 1 Second Everyday
This is an app that I really wish I used when I was abroad. You record a quick one second video of your exciting adventures every day and at the end of your semester you can compile them all into one video. This is a great way to document your time abroad in a creative way, while only using one second of your time each day!
Last but certainly not least- if you're going abroad with CAPA, this app is required and is one of CAPA’s awesome ways of ensuring all students are safe in the event of an emergency. If an overseas emergency occurs, students are sent a push notification and are prompted to “check-in” as safe in the app.
This list is nowhere near extensive, but you’ll be off to a great start if you download these before you hop on the plane to Firenze!