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The Best Apps for College Students 2020

campus life
Last updated on November 12, 2020

Campus resources and staff can help you adjust to college life, but these apps for college students in 2020 can provide extra support.

A man wearing earbuds laughs at something on his smartphone screen.

Did you know there are a lot of apps—including study apps, mindfulness apps, and productivity apps—that can help international students get the most out of college?

While campus resources and staff are there to help you adjust, for extra support, we have put together a list of the best apps for college students in 2020. Get out your phone, open the app store, and check out a few of our favorite language learning apps, study apps, communication apps, and more for international students. 

Language Learning Apps


Want to improve your language skills? DuoLingo is a free app that helps you practice different languages. Download this app to study and translate more than 20 popular languages. You will be able to communicate with people from around the world, or right across the hall.

LearnEnglish Grammar

Is it there, their, or they’re? Find out with this free English grammar learning app. LearnEnglish Grammar has thousands of questions to help you practice your grammar skills. With more than 600 questions in each level, this useful tool can help international students make sense of English grammar rules.

Memrise: Language Learning

Play games, learn languages! Memrise is a language app that makes language learning a game through interactive quizzes, chatbots, and object identification. 

Study Apps and Note-taking Apps


If you are worried about how to cite your sources when writing essays or research papers, there is now an app that can help. EasyBib converts the ISBN or barcode of a book to a perfectly formatted citation. All you have to do is email the citation to yourself and then include it in your research paper, essay, or project. 


Have you ever misplaced your notes? (No judgment, we have all done it.) If so, check out the Evernote app, which keeps your notes in order and lets you access them from anywhere. You can add checklists, links, and attachments, too. The free version lets you sync your notes across two devices, or you can get the paid version of the tool to view your notes on any device. 

Google Drive and G Suite

With G Suite you can create documents, spreadsheets, and slideshows. Then, you can use Google Drive to organize and store them all online so you can access them from anywhere. Never go to class without your homework again!


Are you a visual learner? If you learn better by looking at pictures, Quizlet could be a great resource for you. You can create your own quiz set or practice with ones that other students have made. 

Productivity Apps


It is easy to get distracted when you are supposed to be studying. But if you use Freedom, this productivity app will block you from accessing websites for a set period of time. Use it when you need to focus.


This clever productivity app silences your phone for you when you are in class, so you will not have any distractions or accidentally interrupt your professor. Just enter your class schedule and Polite will automatically silence your phone when class is in session.


Organize your entire life—or at least your assignments—with Todoist. This handy productivity app lets you make checklists for everything. (You can even make lists inside your lists.) If you are working on a group project, Todoist also lets you share your lists so everyone can collaborate and stay on track.


You can organize tasks and projects with this productivity app. Trello lets you visualize everything you need to do on cards. Move your cards from list to list and keep track of your progress. You can access it wherever you are, on either your phone or desktop. 

Meditation Apps and Mindfulness Apps


Happify, a mindfulness app, works by giving you a simple quiz to figure out your stress level and how you feel about life. Then, it selects meditations and mindfulness activities that can help you feel better. 


Headspace offers a free two-week course on the basics of meditation and mindfulness. Each day, this mindfulness app sends a new meditation exercise to help you stay focused. If you like the app, you can set up a yearly subscription.

Stop, Breathe & Think

The name of this mindfulness app tells you exactly what it does. Check in with the app every day and it will prompt you to stop, breathe, and think through your situation. It also provides sticker rewards and scoreboards so you can see your progress in real time.

Communication Apps


It is always nice to see a friendly face. Stay in touch with friends and family in your home country, or connect with new friends on Skype. This communication app lets you video chat with one person or your entire study group. It is available for almost any device, so you have no excuse not to call your parents more often.


Slack lets you instant message with one person or a whole team, so it can be a really useful communication app for coordinating group projects or study group sessions. You can also share files and set up subgroups for different topics. 


With the Viber communication app, you can call and send text messages to anyone, anywhere, for free. You can connect through audio, video, text or in a group chat.  Or, for a fee, you can call landlines and non-Viber numbers. This communication app also supports private groups with unlimited members. Set one up for the people in your dorm or everyone in your Psychology 101 class. 

These apps for college students can help you feel more organized, connected, and focused, but remember: they are meant to add to your classes and other activities, not replace real people and real-world interactions. When you have a question or need some help, start by asking a person, like a professor, teaching assistant, or Shorelight advisor. The goal is to use your favorite apps as tools to make your college experience even better. 

Learn more about how Shorelight campus transition services can help students adjust to studying in the USA >