5 Apps you need to have as an expat

Article by Marc Vervoort

Living abroad today is easier than it ever was with the help of the internet and our smartphones. In the past, long distance calls were prohibitively expensive. Skype, Facetime or WhatsApp didn’t exist. Now it’s simple and inexpensive to keep in touch with your loved ones back home. Moreover, apps also help you to navigate other aspects of your expat life. These are the 5 apps you need to have as an expat.

1. Meetup: making new friends

One of the hardest, and for many, scariest, things when moving abroad is meeting new people and making friends. Not anymore. Meetup lets people with similar interests come together. You can start your own Meetup group around any theme, or join one. From yoga on the beach to meetings about digital marketing or start-ups. Anything is possible. Meetup groups are organized in thousands of places around the world.

Moving to Malaga? Join MalagaMakers. A start-up community with a digital focus and a global mind. Everything is in English.

2. Google Translate: understanding each other

Google Translate gives you the best translations without having a personal translator. The app covers over 100 languages online and also more than 50 when you’re offline. Type texts, scan documents with your camera which it translates on the spot or talk into your mic. With the latter, you can have a basic chat in almost any language.

Due to Google’s AI Neural Machine Translation, the app keeps improving every day. Soon it will be like the universal translator on Star Trek.

3. Duolingo: learning the lingo for free

If you want to move beyond solely relying on Google Translate, then it’s time for Duolingo. It’s the most popular language learning app, and it’s free. Duolingo offers lessons in 26 languages, among which Spanish and English. You’ll learn grammar, spelling, vocabulary and the correct pronunciation.

4. Moovit: For getting around

Finding your way in a new city can be daunting. Which subway or bus to take, where and at what time? The transit app Moovit makes traveling in a new city stress-free. Just plan your trip on the app, and it shows you the fastest way from point A to Z by public transport. It’s available in 86 countries and in over 2700 cities.

5. Doctoralia: Stay healthy

Becoming sick in a new country is even worse than usual. Where do you go for a doctor or a specialist? And how do you know if they’re any good?

Doctoralia shows you doctors and specialists nearby with reviews from other users. You can then schedule an appointment directly via the app. Do be sure to check if the doctor you pick is covered by your health plan.


Ready to work in Spain? Find your digital job in here.