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Top Digital Tools for Expats

Challenges are there to be overcome! But that doesn’t mean you can’t look for ways to make your adventure abroad a little easier — whether you’re traveling or moving to a new place far from home. From mastering the local language and staying connected to ensuring your safety, finding accommodation, and more, these digital tools have you covered. So, let’s have a look!

1. Learn the local language

Apps like Duolingo, Babbel, or Rosetta Stone can help you learn essential linguistic skills through interactive lessons. Engaging exercises make it easy to practice the language. Just try them out and choose the app that suits your goals and style of learning.

If you want to learn the everyday language as the locals use it, give Tandem or HelloTalk a try. Apps like this connect you with native speakers, promote authentic daily conversations, and increase your experience through cultural exchange. For example, with Tandem, you will match with native speakers of your target language based on shared interests, language goals, and proficiency levels. Through the exchange, you’ll also teach your native language to your partner and can find a lifelong friend — who knows!

Another tip is listening to podcasts in your target language! You can find endless options using Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts, for example. I personally use Spotify to listen to German podcasts like Slow German, CoffeeBreak German, and many more. You should definitely give podcasts a change when it comes to language learning!

2. Keep connected with eSIM options

Relocation is not always easy, as you need to deal with a lot of things at the same time. Getting a local SIM card and finding the best provider in a new country can be hard while you’re dealing with other important tasks such as the local bureaucracy, finding a home, arranging the move itself, and getting your local bank account. Worldwide eSIM providers like Airalo and Holafly support people who occasionally travel. But this service can be a blessing for expats as well while they’re dealing with getting settled.

These apps solve the pain of high roaming bills by giving you access to 200+ eSIMs (digital SIM cards) globally at affordable prices. You can activate it via the app using your own SIM card that you brought with you. Getting a new SIM card can take time (even pre-paid ones), but with these apps, you can activate it the second you land in your new country!

3. Stay safe abroad

It’s always a good idea to be cautious in new surroundings. Many countries have some form of official (disaster) warning app (e.g. NINA or Katwarn in Germany). I recommend looking into this topic and downloading them once you move to your new home abroad.

Another application that can be useful is International SOS. It provides health and security services for expats, including medical assistance, travel advice, and emergency responses. Your healthcare insurance provider may offer something similar, like the Cigna Wellbeing app, for example.

4. Find short-term accommodations

For finding short-term accommodation worldwide, there are many popular websites and applications for every budget. You can consider using Airbnb,, VRBO, or, for example.

Couchsurfing may not be an option for families, but it can help solo travelers or expats while they are searching for long-term accommodation. Even though these apps are trusted and have great customer service, always be cautious when you’re choosing a place to stay. A good rule of thumb (also for the housing search): if an offer sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

5. Convert currency and bank easily

Currency conversion, money transfers, and international banking can be a big topic for expats. Luckily, digital tools and online banks such as Wise (formerly TransferWise), Revolut, and PayPal have you covered.

Wise provides cost-effective currency exchange rates and low transfer fees, making it an efficient choice for sending money globally. Revolut offers a multi-currency account with features such as real exchange rates and fee-free international spending. And PayPal, meanwhile, is a widely used platform for online transactions and money transfers across borders around the world.

6. Follow the news and receive information

If you would like to follow the news in your native language or in English while living abroad, digital tools and applications are a big help.

Upday keeps you updated with local and worldwide headlines and is Europe’s most popular free news app, as they claim. Worldcrunch similarly curates news stories and reportages from over 40 different countries and translates them into English.

Bundle, on the other hand, is my personal favorite news app that always keeps me up to date on the most important news and headlines. The application sends breaking news according to your preferences as instant notifications to your phone, but you can also read the news through the app. It offers content from 18 different countries that can keep you connected to the world.

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