15 Best Apps For Expats Living Abroad

Jacquelyn Vadnais
Last Edited Apr 12, 2023

If you’ve recently moved abroad permanently for work or temporarily for a short project, you will need more support than usual to ease the life-changing transition. Fortunately, smartphones have made our lives much easier and offer various tools and resources through mobile apps.

You can find an app for everything, whether it is learning and translating languages, getting around the city, meeting new people, or managing your finances. Here we share a list of the 15 best apps that global nomads and expats living abroad must have on their phones.

We haven’t covered any messaging apps like WhatsApp, Skype, or Zoom in this list, as there are so many to choose from. More importantly, most people already use more than one messaging app to stay in touch with their families, friends, bosses, and colleagues. So, we will only list other kinds of apps that expats need when living in a foreign land.

Best Apps For Personal Finance And Money Transfer

When living abroad, you need to keep track of your finances regularly. This will ensure that you stay on a budget and avoid debt and other financial problems. Here are two essential apps for expats to download to stay on top of their finances:

1. Wise:

wise new logoIf you frequently transfer funds to your homeland or other countries, download Wise (previously called TransferWise). This innovative app will help you easily manage money from abroad and send and receive money quickly and cheaply.

It also has low transfer and forex fees as it makes two different transfers between countries. For instance, if you’re sending cash from Germany to the United Kingdom, the app will first send your euros to a European Wise account. It will then transfer the equivalent amount in British pounds to a British Wise account.

So, the cash does not really cross international borders, helping you save a lot on fees.


  • Allows money transfers in 50 currencies to more than 170 countries
  • Sends money at live exchange rates
  • Has a secure two-factor authentication
  • Allows you to deposit money
  • Provides an international debit card for payments and ATM withdrawals without markups or hidden transaction fees
  • Helps track spending in different currencies

Platforms Available:

Apple iOS App Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/wise-ex-transferwise/id612261027

Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.transferwise.android&hl=en

Price: Free, but Wise levies a small fee on transactions.

2. Revolut


Revolut-LogoIf you need a bank that caters to expats, check out Revolut. This digital bank runs on a mobile app, making it easy to manage payments with the tap of a screen.


  • Provides an International Bank Account Number (IBAN) for fast and secure payments
  • Allows you to send, receive, and store different currencies in your account
  • Provides a bank card for domestic and international payments and ATM withdrawals
  • Offers interest and rewards
  • Allows stock trading
  • Offers travel insurance and zero debit card fees on paid membership plans

Platforms Available:

Apple iOS App Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/revolut-spend-save-trade/id932493382

Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.revolut.revolut&hl=en


  • Standard account: Free, but Revolut charges fees on exceeding ATM withdrawal limits.
  • Plus account: £2.99 per month and additional fees on exceeding ATM withdrawal limits.
  • Premium account: £6.99 per month and extra fees on crossing ATM withdrawal limits.
  • Metal account: £12.99 monthly and additional fees on crossing ATM withdrawal limits.

3 Best Apps for Learning Local Languages

Even if you know English, the most commonly spoken language globally, you should have a basic grasp of your host country’s language. It will help you overcome the language barrier and better converse with the locals.

Here are our top three app recommendations for learning and translating languages:

1. Duolingo


duolingo logoIf you want to learn your host country’s native language, download Duolingo. This app breaks down languages into short, fun, and easily digestible lessons. It also emphasizes reinforcing grammar and vocabulary over time while letting you practice your listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.


  • Allows you to learn more than 30 languages
  • Offers five-minute to 10-minute bite-sized lessons
  • Helps you set and track learning goals

Platforms Available:

Apple iOS App Store: https://apps.apple.com/app/duolingo-learn-spanish-french/id570060128

Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.duolingo&hl=en

Price: Free

2. Google Translate

Google_Translate_logoIf you want quick translations of the local language in a foreign land, Google Translate is an excellent option. It helps you instantly translate words and sentences into your native tongue.


  • Translates up to 108 languages when online and 52 languages when offline
  • Allows you to use your phone camera to translate text instantly
  • Translates conversations between people live with voice detection and text-to-speech technology

Platforms Available:

Apple iOS App Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/google-translate/id414706506

Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.translate&hl=en

Price: Free

3. DeepL Translate

DeepL_logoAnother fantastic app for instant translations is DeepL Translate. This popular translation tool quickly gives you high-quality, accurate translations, allowing you to hold simple conversations in foreign languages easily.


  • Translates up to 28 languages from your phone
  • Helps you learn the correct pronunciations in different languages through text-to-speech technology
  • Lets you converse in foreign languages through your phone using speech-to-text technology
  • Allows you to translate text from documents and images fast and correctly
  • Allows you to scan and translate text using your camera
  • Can save translations to create a vocabulary list

Platforms Available:

Apple iOS App Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/deepl-translate/id1552407475

Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.deepl.mobiletranslator&hl=en

Price: Free

Best App To Get Online For Free

The internet has changed how we work, play, and live. In a new country, internet access becomes all the more important as it helps you do a host of things online. These include virtually finding housing, booking amenities, connecting with loved ones, emailing business peers, searching for local hangouts, and more.

If you need an app to help you get online for free, check out this one:

Wi-Fi Finder

Wi-Fi Finder logoWi-Fi Finder helps you locate the nearest free Wi-Fi network in your area. This prevents you from having to hunt far and wide for internet access and boosts productivity.


  • Connects to your phone’s network and “calls” nearby Wi-Fi networks
  • Has offline maps to help you easily find the closest Wi-Fi networks

Platforms Available:

Apple iOS App Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/wifi-finder-map/id946365975

Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=sa.soulsapp.free.wififinder&hl=en_US

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Best App To Meet People With Similar Interests

When you are in a strange and faraway land, connecting with new, like-minded people who share your tastes and interests is important. It will help keep things exciting and fun and beat boredom and stress. Here is the best app to help you socialize with people when you’re in a new country:


Meetup-LogoMeetup is an excellent app for connecting with people who share similar interests. You can use it to find people who enjoy your favourite activities and hobbies easily and to open up to new experiences.

More than 179 countries have this app available. So, wherever you are in the world, you can be sure to find communities and events near you.


  • Covers an extensive range of topics and interests
  • Helps you start a group or join an existing one
  • Helps you find local events that match your interests

Platforms Available:

Apple iOS App Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/meetup-social-events-groups/id375990038

Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.meetup&hl=en_US

Price: Free with in-app purchases

3 Best Apps To Get Around The City

As an expat, it is important to be able to get around a new city safely and easily so that you aren’t overwhelmed by the new sights and sounds.

Here are the top three apps that you must have on your smartphone to help you easily travel in a foreign city:

1. CityMaps2Go – Offline Maps

CityMaps2Go logoCityMaps2Go is one of the best apps on the market to help you safely get around the city. It provides you with offline maps of top cities worldwide so that you can access them whenever and wherever you want.


  • Offers photos, tips, and other important details of places
  • Allows you to colour-code your saved locations
  • Allows you to create lists of your favourite haunts
  • Helps you discover fun activities happening near you
  • Curates stories from leading travel magazines

Platforms Available:

Apple iOS App Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/citymaps2go-save-places-plan/id408866084

Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ulmon.android.citymaps2go

Price: Free with in-app purchases

2. Waze

Waze logoWaze is one of the best map apps to use, as it offers superior directions and road alerts. This lets you enjoy a fast, smooth, and comfortable trip, which is especially crucial when you’re driving in a new city.


  • Uses crowdsourcing technology
  • Collects real-time data on road conditions, traffic accidents, police checkpoints, and more
  • Can predict directions of one-way streets
  • Has celebrity voices like those of Morgan Freeman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Kevin Hart

Platforms Available:

Apple iOS App Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/waze-navigation-live-traffic/id323229106

Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.waze&hl=en

Price: Free

3. Moovit

Moovit logoTransit Directions by Moovit is a must-have app for expats who travel by public transport. It makes trip planning simple by sharing real-time public transportation schedules and estimated arrival times.


  • Offers live updates for bus and train schedules
  • Works in more than 800 cities
  • Helps you select the best route for your trip

Platforms Available:

Apple iOS App Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/moovit-your-local-transit/id498477945

Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tranzmate

Price: Free

3 Best Apps to Discover the City Like a Local

Can’t wait to explore the new city’s hotspots and lesser-known travel gems? These three apps will help you stumble upon fun places when you’re an expat living abroad:

1. Spotted by Locals

Spotted by Locals logoIf you want to get to know your new host city inside out and make the most out of your move, Spotted by Locals is your best bet. This city guide app features trusted tips from handpicked locals who offer recommendations and write in detail about their favourite haunts in a city.


  • Insider tips from locals
  • Works offline
  • Committed to sustainable travel

Platforms Available:

Apple iOS App Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/spotted-by-locals-travel-guide/id470967003

Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.spottedbylocals.guide

Price: Free with in-app purchases

2. TripAdvisor

tripadvisor logoTripAdvisor is one of the most popular travel apps that lets you discover the best places to wine, dine, party, go sightseeing, and more. This makes it an excellent city guide for newbie expats who want to explore their new host city.


  • Helps you discover local businesses and hotspots in new cities
  • Offers over a billion user reviews

Platforms Available:

Apple iOS App Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/tripadvisor-plan-book-trips/id284876795

Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tripadvisor.tripadvisor&hl=en

Price: Free with in-app purchases

3. Wheelmap

Wheelmap logoExpats with mobility issues will find Wheelmap highly useful. It helps you find wheelchair-friendly places, including cafés, restaurants, cinemas, shops, parking lots, bus stops, toilets, and entrances.

It uses a unique traffic light system to rate places based on their wheelchair accessibility. Green means fully wheelchair-accessible, orange means partially wheelchair-friendly, and red means not wheelchair-friendly. It also has a grey sign, which means that the accessibility of a place is unknown.

Wheelmap also shares updates on functional and out-of-service elevators and escalators in a particular area. This makes it all the more helpful for people with mobility issues.


  • Helps you discover and rate wheelchair-accessible locations
  • Uses crowdsourced ratings for places
  • Offers millions of ratings
  • Color-codes places depending on wheelchair accessibility
  • Lets you see and upload images of public places for a better understanding of wheelchair accessibility

Platforms Available:

Apple iOS App Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/wheelmap/id399239476

Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.wheelmap.android.online

Price: Free

Best App To Protect Your Digital Privacy

As an expat or global nomad living in a new country, you should protect your online privacy from hackers and spies.

This app below will help you safeguard your digital privacy:


NordVPN_LogoNordVPN is our best recommendation for digital privacy protection for expats and travellers. Its robust security features and vast server network make it highly recommended for new expats living abroad. The app also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re unhappy with its service.


  • Fast speeds
  • Has more than 5,000 servers in over 60 countries
  • Encrypts your connection two times for improved security with the Double VPN feature
  • Provides you with excellent customer support

Platforms Available:

Apple iOS App Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/nordvpn-vpn-fast-secure/id905953485

Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nordvpn.android

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Best App For Professional Help To Ease The Transition

Living away from home for a long time can be exciting yet stressful. You need to manage a lot of things on your own and get accustomed to your new routine and a new city. In such a situation, it is only natural to feel stressed or anxious.

If you need some psychological support when living abroad, make sure that you check out this app:


betterhelp-logoBetterHelp is a popular online therapy app that helps people deal with mental health issues and find the support they need. This makes it great for expats who may feel overwhelmed, anxious, confused, or even fearful of the new city and lifestyle in which they find themselves.


  • Matches you with therapists who may identify with your values, background, and circumstances
  • Allows you to schedule telephonic, video, or live sessions with therapists

Platforms Available:

Apple iOS App Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/betterhelp-therapy/id995252384

Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.betterhelp

Price: Free


Moving abroad is fraught with countless new experiences and challenges. So, a little help from mobile apps can help you deal with this massive change more effectively and easily. They can guide and support you like a constant companion as you navigate and familiarize yourself with new terrain.

You can discover new and vital information, form new relationships, level up your expat game, and live your best life ever. We hope you find the above apps useful and use them to ease your transition to your new host country.



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