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10 Apps to Help International Students Adjust to Life in USA

For international students, a smartphone can be more than a communication device. With the right apps, college students from around the globe can make their lives in the U.S. a bit easier.

By Sarah Wright

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Grammar Up

Grammar Up helps users learn English grammar through multiple-choice quizzes. The quizzes provide what's referred to as 'real-time error feedback,' which can help users learn from their mistakes more immediately than if they had to refer to a set of answers when the quiz is over. The app covers a wide variety of grammar topics and is designed with a business focus geared toward questions found on an English proficiency test. Grammar Up is available for iOS devices, and is $4.99 through the iTunes app store.

Scrabble

OK, so, Scrabble is more of a game than an educational tool, but it's a game that makes you exercise your vocabulary. This app may be a fun solution for competitive non-native English speakers who want to get to know more words and challenge their ability to spell properly. It's also a good way to interact with friends, making acquiring language a bit more fun. This iOS app is $3.99.

Dragon Dictation

This isn't an official 'learn how to speak English' app - its stated purpose is to allow users to use text-to-speech to do things like write e-mails, text messages and social network updates. But for those who are practicing English pronunciation, it's a great way to make sure your mouth is actually forming the words you want to say. Of course, text-to-speech recognition isn't perfect, but this is still a handy tool to use for practice. It's worth a shot, especially since the app is free for iOS.

U.S. Citizenship Test Prep Apps

Not every international student intends to become a U.S. citizen, but some do. Even for those who don't, the U.S. law and history lessons included in a U.S. citizenship test app will be helpful and informative. You can get a $.99 app for iOS and a free app for Android

Grammar Tests

Like Grammar Up, these grammar tests use quizzes to help users understand and retain knowledge of English grammar. This particular app is free for Android.

The International Student App

Available for free for both iOS and Android, this app helps users read content from The International Student blog while on the go. With news and updates relevant to international students studying in the U.S., this app can make an interesting and informative read.

English Translator

A translator app that supports English, Italian, French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese and Swedish, users with phones that support text-to-speech can listen to translations. This can be helpful for international students who are having trouble pronouncing English words, or those in a pinch who forget how to say something specific. There are plenty of other translator apps available, but this one is free for Android.

English Grammar in Use

Yet another grammar testing app, this one carries the prestige of the Cambridge University Press. Users can randomize the questions they get, or they can narrow their focus on one of 16 specific areas of grammar, meaning that you could generally work on improving your English skills, or you could focus on a particular problem area. The app is $4.99 for iOS devices.

If you haven't already decided on a school, these colleges are great for international students.

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