Being a new student in a new environment is already challenging, it can even become more challenging if it happens in a country where you barely speak the local language and everything is different from what you are used to. From not knowing how to read the ingredients of foods that you want to try to getting lost in Tokyo because you don’t know which train to take, these experiences can drive you a little insane.

Here are several free applications that you should have to help you settle in better in Japan.

1. Japan Travel

Available for iOS and Android

Japan Travel is the first multi-purpose app that should be downloaded during your stay. Not only does it provide useful articles about life in Japan, such as information about medicine and money exchange, it also gives you recommendations of what to do when you need a break from your daily life.

Moreover, the route feature can be used to help you find your way around Japan by train. You have the option to choose your route search based on least transfers, cheapest fare or fastest route, which makes it convenient. Whether you are on a tight budget or need to get there as soon as possible, the application will suggest to you the suitable route. It also tells you the details such as total fare and platforms, so you are unlikely to get into the wrong train. Other features such as ‘Spot Search’ can help you find free wi-fi nearby, ATMs or tourist information.

2. Google Translate

Available for iOS and Android

Sometimes when you look up at the station or when you go to the supermarket, some information is written in Japanese and there is no way you can understand it when reading it. Of course, there is often not enough time for you to type all of the words one by one into your online dictionary. Thanks to Google Translate, you do not need to be concerned if you ever need to understand something in such a short time.

Google Translate lets you take a picture of anything that has Japanese written on it, and will translate it to your preferred language straight away. If you have allergies and your Japanese is still very basic, then this application will help you check the food ingredients before buying them.

3. Safety Tips

Available for iOS and Android

According to JNTO (Japan National Tourism Organisation), Japan is known for its vulnerability to natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons. For some people, it can be their first experience to live in such a condition.

Safety Tips provide disaster information, for instance, areas where earthquakes will occur and weather warnings. In addition to this, it also provides the emergency contact numbers in Japan, useful links, and communication cards in case of emergency. This application is currently available in four languages: Japanese, English, Korean and Chinese.

4. Halal Navi

Available for iOS and Android

It is often a daily struggle for Muslims to find places to eat and to pray while being away. This application can get rid of these struggles that you might face if you are a Muslim. Wherever you are, it locates your current location and will suggest the nearest halal restaurant or places to pray. the application also comes with the prayer time which will notify you when it is the time to pray.

These next several applications below are to help you with your life as a student. From learning Japanese to managing schedules, you will find them practical and handy.

1. Japanese

Available for iOS and Android

This application is great if you are learning Japanese at any level. Not only does it provide a dictionary, it also offers features to help you study Japanese, such as stroke order of kanji, radicals, and even a JLPT list of words from N5 to N1. You can also personalize your own list if you have certain words to learn as a homework or for a test.

Another thing you will find fascinating is how they give the ancient form of some kanji characters. Not only by learning how to write kanji, sometimes by seeing the ancient form you will remember it much faster as you know how the character evolves through time.

2. My Study Life

Available for iOS and Android

My Study Life will help you arrange your academic year. You can input a new academic year and it will let you modify the holidays and the semester that you will enroll. For every semester, then you can insert your timetable and details of every lesson such as lecturers’ names, buildings, and classrooms.

This application will also remind you on a daily basis the classes you have, the deadlines for homework and the date of your exams; you can forget about worrying when your tasks are due. It is also compatible with its website that you can add as a bookmark in your browser. This will let you access all of the information from your personal computer as well.

3. Money Lover

Available for iOS and Android

Budgeting around money can be difficult from time to time; you need to track how much you spend and see what is your normal spending so that you can adjust it to your monthly budget. This has frustrated many people, but this application will let you manage it just fine. After every transaction, you can just reach your phone inside your pocket and add it here. It will let you categorize your spending and put your budget around it, entry any recurring bills (such as apartment and internet payment) and give a visual report to see how much have you spent for each category.

These are all some applications that you might find useful during your stay in Japan and hopefully, this article has helped you settling in better. Thank you so much for reading this article.