work-abroad-apps

Work Abroad Apps: Download These 12 to Work Like a Boss

When I was traveling through Indonesia, I made a split decision to take a three-day trek through the jungle. It would be three days with no internet, cell service or access to the outside world.

I was working as part of a remote team, and my team only communicated via internet.

While riding on a bus to meet up with my friends at the trailhead, I got an alert on my phone. My boss had pinged me on an app called Slack to take care of something urgent.

I immediately opened up the workstation on my phone and managed to submit the necessary changes seconds before I lost data signal.

With the right work abroad apps by my side, I get to experience the excitement, freedom and extraordinary opportunities that come with working abroad.

Why Work Abroad?

There are several reasons we should work overseas.

First, it financially supports our travels. Traveling can get expensive, so it’s helpful to have a means to support that expenditure.

And traveling around the world is great for a whole host of different reasons. We get to experience new cultures, see new things, eat new foods and make new friends.

Second, working abroad lets us see what the business world is like in another country. This insight gives us a leg up if we decide to go back to our home country, because our international experience will look very attractive to potential future employers.

Finally, pushing past boundaries and gaining new experiences is a great way to become more compassionate, mentally stable and powerful in our interactions with the world.

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Why Use Work Abroad Apps?

Working abroad is no easy task. There are logistical, cultural and mental hurdles.

But using the right work abroad apps can ease our struggles in a few important ways.

  • Communicating with the locals. Having the best apps allows us to communicate well. Whether it’s a simple messaging app, translation app or language training app, knowing how to communicate in a culturally appropriate way is one of the main keys to success in a foreign land.
  • Staying in touch. It’s important to keep in touch with friends and family back home when living and working abroad. While gaining a new perspective is an important part of the experience, it’s also important to remember your roots.
  • Being productive. From needing to figure out visas to having to adjust to culture shock, foreign workers face all kinds of challenges that locals don’t. You have so many things to think about besides work! But having the right tools allows us to stay focused and productive. These work abroad apps may even be so useful that they give us a leg up over the local workforce!

Work Abroad Apps: Download These 12 to Work Like a Boss

Best Work Abroad Apps for Interacting with the Culture

FluentU

work-abroad-appsWebsite | iOS | Android

FluentU helps you learn a language in a really fun and unique way—by watching videos.

The app curates a frequently updated list of things like movies and TV shows and builds personalized courses around the things you watch.

As you watch each video, you’ll see subtitles in the language of your choice, which you can click on to get a translation. Then add those new words to a flashcard set so you’ll never forget them!

This is a smart method of learning languages because it not only helps you become conversational in a short period of time, it also teaches you about the predominant culture. You’ll instantly become a more relatable person because you’ll be hip to all the latest local movies and TV shows!

A huge advantage of FluentU is that one account gives you access to all nine of its languages. So if you’re working in Chile this year and working in China next year, FluentU still has all of your language learning needs covered.

Or if you work overseas with coworkers and clients from around the world, you’ll be able to impress all of them with your language skills!

FluentU has a 15-day free trial. After that, it’s $15 – $30 per month depending on your plan.

Tinder

work-abroad-apps

Website | iOS | Android

Working abroad doesn’t mean you have to be lonely abroad!

Tinder is one of the world’s most popular apps for meeting people. It’s a great way to find new friends, hang out with locals and expand your social network in a new location.

It has a reputation as a “hookup app,” but it’s so much more than that. When I travel, I always use Tinder to quickly find some local social interactions. I’ve met business partners, professional clients and lifelong friends, all from Tinder.

It’s easy to get started and set up a profile. Simply connect one of your social media accounts and select a few pictures.

Don’t worry about the dating reputation. Many people on Tinder are only there because they’re looking to meet some new friends. And you can always ignore, un-match and block anyone who wants something you don’t want.

Tinder is free, but there are some extra features like unlimited “Super Likes” which cost $4.59 – $9.99 per month depending on the plan.

Google Translate

work-abroad-appsWebsite | iOS | Android

Google Translate is a godsend for all people working and traveling abroad.

It’s one of the most popular translation apps in the world, and its robust features justify its popularity.

It has 103 languages for text input translations, 93 languages for handwriting translations, 38 languages for camera translations and 32 languages for instant, real-time conversation translations.

There’s also a “Tap to Translate” feature, which lets you tap on any text in another app and instantly translate it with Google Translate.

One of my favorite things about Google Translate is the phrasebook. Here you can store phrases that you come across in daily communication.

Come across a word you don’t know? Look it up, store it in the phrasebook and easily access it next time you want to look like a savvy language learner.

You can even make your phrasebook a list of business-related words to memorize. Talk about being a worker with initiative!

Google Translate is free.

OANDA fxTrade

work-abroad-apps

Website | iOS | Android

Even if you know the conversion rate between your home country and your new one, it’s often hard to gauge how much money you’re spending until you physically see that number written out.

The OANDA fxTrade app converts between 190+ currencies with live buy and sell rates. It even has live rates for four precious metals!

There are also historical rates that date back to January 1990 so you can keep up with inflation.

This app is especially useful if you’re depositing paychecks into an account in your home country or sending money back to loved ones.

It even includes percentages of typical ATM and credit card fees so you know how much you’re losing when you withdraw money with your foreign debit or credit card.

OANDA’s Currency Converter is free.

Best Work Abroad Apps for Being a Productive Worker

Evernote

work-abroad-appsWebsite | iOS | Android

Using Evernote is one of the best ways to stay productive, both at home and abroad.

It’s a powerful note-taking app with lots of amazing features.

First of all, there’s an endless number of ways to take notes. You can sketch a note, attach a web clipping, take a picture, record a voice clip, input a PDF or just type one in. Then you can organize that note into a category to make sure you don’t lose it like you probably would in a jumbled mess of a notepad.

Evernote is great for working with fellow colleagues because you can collaborate on different ideas and instantly share them back and forth. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the same room or on opposite sides of the world, Evernote instantly syncs up to all collaborators across all devices via the internet.

It even works offline and then re-syncs when you re-connect.

Evernote is free for the basic version, and the premium version costs $7.99 per month or $69.99 per year.

Dropbox

work-abroad-apps

Website | iOS | Android

Dropbox is one of the world’s leaders in cloud storage. It’s a file sharing service that saves your important files in the cloud.

This is great for securely storing pictures and travel photos, but it’s also amazing for collaborating with coworkers anywhere in the world.

Dropbox creates a special folder on your device, then syncs it up to all other devices that share that folder. This is extremely useful when you don’t have a flash drive or need to view something on your phone but can’t email a large document.

Dropbox integrates with a lot of popular apps like Gmail and Adobe Acrobat, so sharing and syncing up files between your devices and your work team is a breeze.

No more USB drives and looking for download links! Dropbox simplifies file sharing for maximum productivity.

Dropbox gives you 5GB for free and 1TB for $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year.

Slack

work-abroad-appsWebsite | iOS | Android

When you’re working with a team, either in the same office or remotely, you need to have an easy way to communicate with one another.

Slack bridges the gap between distance and lets all team members come together in a series of public and private chat rooms.

Slack gives you real-time communication with coworkers via the app, which means you can instantly talk about work specifics. Slack has a robust collaboration system that allows teams to organize conversations by topics or projects, talk via private or public channels and create tasks based on specific messages.

You can send a text message to a group or an individual on your team. Or give them a free voice call via the app!

You can share and edit documents, easily search the entire team database and customize your notifications to help you prioritize the important stuff.

Slack integrates with lots of different workflow tools like Google Drive and Dropbox so you can stay focused and productive across all platforms.

One Slack account gives you access to all the teams you’re a part of.

Many companies will ask you to download this app and join the company team. If you’re a digital nomad and/or freelancer, this is a great app to download to communicate with your clients.

Slack is free for most users, but if you’re hosting a team and you want more features and services, it’s $6.67 – $12.50 per month depending on the plan.

MindMeister

work-abroad-appsWebsite | iOS | Android

MindMeister is a great way to visually map out your ideas and share those ideas with your colleagues.

Mind mapping is helpful for organizing brainstorming sessions when you need to generate a lot of ideas really quickly.

This app is an intuitive way to organize all your thoughts in a beautiful and shareable mind map. You can add different styles of maps, throw in some colors, add icons and draw connections between different topics.

You can save maps and organize them into different topics and categories to be used for later ideation sessions.

Each map automatically syncs up to the MindMeister cloud, which then syncs up with your MindMeister account. This gives you the ability to share your maps with your colleagues, who can add onto them and make notes. The edited map then syncs up to the cloud and is accessible on all connected devices.

You can also export the map as an image file, PDF, RTF, PPT or Word document and send that file to another collaborator who doesn’t have a MindMeister account.

MindMeister is free for three maps, and then it’s $4.99 – $12.99 per month depending on the plan.

Best Work Abroad Apps for Staying Connected with Your Home Country

BBC News

work-abroad-apps

Website | iOS | Android

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a highly-rated network of international journalists. It’s one of the most trusted sources of unbiased reporting in the world.

When living and working abroad, staying updated with the news can be challenging. You spend so much time focusing on your new country’s news and the goings-on in your office that you can forget what’s happening in your home country. But the BBC News app allows you to personalize your news feed while also sending push notifications for important and breaking news.

The app has easy-to-search sections, and you can browse through different categories like World News, Political News, Sports News, etc. There are also video streams and photo galleries to give you a firsthand experience of what’s happening.

One great thing about this app is that it contains a live radio stream of the BBC World Service.

BBC News is free.

Adobe Lightroom CC

work-abroad-appsWebsite | iOS | Android

Adobe is a household name in photo editing thanks to the company’s main photo editing app, Adobe Photoshop.

Adobe Lightroom CC is sort of like a subset of Photoshop, having all of the functionality of Photoshop but specifically designed to keep everything a little more organized. Using this app is a great way to keep all your edited travel photos together so that you can quickly share them with your friends and family.

With Lightroom, you can change a picture’s exposure, tint, color, contrast and curves. You can apply any number of filters, adjust the sharpness, heighten the white balance and apply different kinds of editing effects.

One of the best things about Lightroom is its ability to straighten out the horizon with one touch. All photographers will tell you to keep your horizons straight!

Lightroom is a powerhouse app that brings you the magic of Photoshop in an easy-to-use and intuitive way.

Adobe Lightroom is free for the basic version, and you can unlock the premium features for $4.99 per month.

WhatsApp Messenger

work-abroad-appsWebsite | iOS | Android

Most people in the world use WhatsApp to communicate. And for good reason.

WhatsApp is an instant messaging service that sends instant text messages, photos, videos, GIFs, emojis, audio messages and documents. You can also use WhatsApp to make free voice and video calls to contacts who also have the app.

WhatsApp works via the internet, so there’s never any long distance or international fees when sending and receiving texts.

My favorite thing about WhatsApp is the group chat feature. Add contacts into a group chat and communicate with all of them at once. This is a great way to instantly share photos and videos with friends and family back home.

All the messages on WhatsApp are secured with end-to-end encryption, so your messages are always safe, all the time.

WhatsApp is free.

NordVPN

work-abroad-appsWebsite | iOS | Android

Public Wi-Fi spots are notorious for being unsafe.

When working abroad, you’ll need to connect to some less-than-secure Wi-Fi connections. Especially if you take a business meeting outside of the office! And the administrators of these networks are fully capable of viewing everything you do online, from inputting passwords to entering credit card information.

That’s why you need to protect yourself with a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

VPNs reroute your internet traffic and connect you to another data server elsewhere in the world, so your browsing stays anonymous.

Using a VPN is helpful for bypassing any government filters on a web page that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to view in a certain country. This way, you can access the Netflix, Facebook or Google account you created in your home country, even if you work in a place that bans these sites.

But many VPNs store your data and sell it to advertisers, or worse, thieves. That’s why you should never use a free VPN—they make their money by selling your data.

NordVPN is a secure, reliable and relatively cheap VPN provider that doesn’t store any user logs. The service also offers a lot of advanced protection that other VPNs don’t have, ensuring that you’re safe and secure when using the internet.

NordVPN costs $2.75 – $11.95 per month depending on the plan.

 

Working abroad can be the adventure of a lifetime. That’s why it’s important to maximize your potential so you can have a positive working and cultural experience.

Whether you’re a digital nomad working remotely or part of a fixed-position international team, these 12 work abroad apps will guarantee that your time spent away from home is safe, educational and productive.

But be sure to check your phone for any messages before you head out into the jungle!

 


Eric Michelson is a nomadic, philosophizing, peace-minded pluralist. He hopes to help bridge the divide between the diverse factions of the world by exploring various perspectives brought on by personal experience. You can follow Perspective Earth to learn more about him and his work.

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