Guest Blogger: Apps That Make Off-Campus Living Easier

Today's Guest Blogger is Brian Manalac. Brian is currently an off-campus housing assistant in our office, assisting exchange students as they search for housing near BC. Brian is an MBA/MSF dual degree at the Carroll School of Management. He has lived in Boston for over a year and in his spare time likes to play PC games and watch old movies from the 80's and 90's. 
Living in a new city can be a challenge: navigating unfamiliar locales, and settling into a daily routine require a considerable investment in time and other resources. Fortunately, there are apps to make the experience more pleasant. Below are 6 apps that have made my transition to living in Boston a whole lot easier:

GETTING AROUND

Uber – The popular ridesharing app is a great to have when you’re running late or when you want to get to an area not accessible by public transportation. While prices are typically better than those of competitor, Lyft, sudden price surges can make the cost of using Uber prohibitively expensive. This is where the next app comes in. (Free, iOS and Android) 

Fasten – Another rideshare service, Fasten’s key feature is the total absence of surge pricing. While regular prices are typically 30-40% higher than Uber’s, the fact that there is no surge pricing whatsoever makes Fasten a great hedge against significant price surges on Uber. (Free, iOS and Android) 

Transit BOS – Sometimes, knowing when your bus or train will be there can be an exercise in guesswork. Transit BOS removes the uncertainty of taking public transportation by providing real-time info on when your bus or train is set to arrive at your stop. (Free, iOS) 

LIVING CONVENIENCES

Instacart – Sometimes, you just don’t have time to go to the grocery (or else the grocery is more than a few T-stops away). Thankfully, for Instacart offers grocery right to your door, often on the same day, for only $5.99 ($35 minimum). Instacart offers an extra service that gives you free scheduled deliveries for $149/year. Assuming you order groceries weekly and stay in Boston for the duration of the school year, that’s a $30 savings over paying weekly for delivery. (Free, iOS and Android)

Amazon – You can find almost everything you’ll need as a student, from school supplies to toasters, on Amazon. Subscribing to Amazon’s Prime service is highly recommended as this gets you free two-day delivery on most items as well as access to free video streaming from Amazon’s Prime Video library. As a student, you’re also eligible to get the service at $4.99 a month instead of the normal $9.99 monthly fee. (Free, iOS and Android).

Boston 311 - This is a great app that allows you to report issues in your neighborhood, request city services, or look up important information, such as your local area trash collection schedule. This free app is super easy and convenient to use. You can also simply dial 311 on your cell phone to be connected to a city representative 24/7.

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