Arriving in a new place can be daunting - you are not sure how things work or how to get around and you most likely have all your belongings with you. Here are a few apps you can get to make the start of your time at Utrecht happier, easier and less stressful!
7 apps you need to download as an international student at Utrecht University
Download the university app
Utrecht has a wonderfully comprehensive student starter app that includes all the activities you can do during orientation. You can sign up for different classes that give you tips on all sorts of topics such as what the cheapest shops are, how to get yourself a bike and more. This app only lasts for the time of orientation so you can delete it after that but it is really helpful to have for now.
Get the student app
The Utrecht university student app contains your student card, results, class schedule and any upcoming events you need to know about. You will not get another student card so it’s kind of important that you have this app in case you ever need to prove that you are in fact a student.
This app is the perfect planner for all bus and train travel around the Netherlands. It was the app I used the most whole studying in the Netherlands. 9292 has an English setting and it is extremely easy to use.
Just plug in the address you want to go to and your current location (you can select this) and the app gives you several route options you can take, how long each one will take, what the price is, when you need to leave by and what time you will get there.
Reisplanner is very similar to 9292, however this application is trains based. You type in the location you wish to go to and the location where you are and the app will calculate which train station you can leave from and the one you can arrive at. Each will try and get you as close as possible to your chosen destination. I also loved this app because if you buy a group ticket/ day ticket on the NS website you can save the ticket here and you do not have to print it!
This is a must have in the shops if you cannot speak Dutch. Most of the food is easily identifiable - cheese, bread, ham, pasta, chicken, pesto, cereal, milk, chocolate etc. However, if you want to read what’s in the product or if you do not recognize something then you will probably need google translate. After some time you will learn the basics and the app won’t be as essential.
If you do not already have this life saving app on your phone then please do download it! As you will know by now, your bicycle is your main mode of transport and getting to lectures, the shops, cafes and everywhere is much easier with google maps until you learn your way around Utrecht!
Your mobile provider app (Lebara, Tele2, KPN, etc.)
Uploading your phone with data and airtime is super easy in the Netherlands and it’s almost essential to have your mobile providers app on your phone. Initially, we made many a phone call confirming that things were arriving at the house at certain times, checking emails from the university and just generally using a lot of data and airtime. Before we got the app we were just buying airtime direct from the shops and not converting it to data which meant that we spent a lot of money unnecessarily! Don’t be like us, get the app and your life will be so much easier. You can also set it up to your bank account to automatically reload airtime whenever you run out of money.
Your Banking App
When we first arrived, we were constantly paying for things online - our NS subscription, airtime, data, bed, pillows etc. In the Netherlands, most payments are done through ideal and having your mobile banking app on your phone makes it so much easier as you are directed straight to the app and you don’t have to wait for any codes to come through! We used ING and ABN AMRO and both were super easy to use as a non Dutch speaker.