Apps to make your life easier

Hello Freshers,

Welcome to the University of Ottawa! Are you excited to start your first year of university? Are you new to the Ottawa region? Do you need a little help to make things easier for you? 

We know that after you have travelled all that way and to a new city or country, there are a lot of things on your plate. We want to help you sort things out, so we have compiled a list of the top 10 useful apps for international students that are new to Canada as well as for students that are new to the city.

So what are you waiting for? Pick up your phones and download the following apps:

1. BusBuddy Ottawa

“See all bus routes, all bus stops, and bus arrival times. Real-time bus arrivals made possible by OCTranspo real-time data feed based on GPS location of the buses.”
Missing a bus can be a horrible feeling especially when the next bus will arrive 15-20 minutes later. Hence, this app is necessary in order to keep track of bus schedules and manage your timing accordingly.

2. Uber

“Get a reliable ride in minutes with the Uber app—no reservations or waiting in taxi lines. From low-cost to premium, every ride option feels like an upgrade to the everyday.”
If you have an important meeting or class and the bus will take a long time for you to reach then just order Uber. Uber is fast, cheap, and always available.

3. Mobile Learn™ (BlackBoard)                         

“Mobile Learn™ makes it easier for you to keep up with your courses by letting you access them whenever and wherever you want.”
As a lot of professors use BlackBoard Learn as a virtual campus, you can have this app directly on your phone when you need to check something quickly. This App will help you keep track of your courses whenever you want to check them. If you want to pull out an important document posted by your professor, then just open the app and within a few clicks you are there. 

4. Tapingo

"Tapingo lets you take control of your day by allowing you to order your food straight from your smartphone and get it when you want it. No waiting around and carrying your wallet because the app links to either your Flex$ on your uOttawa Card, Visa or Mastercard. Everything is taken care of all in the app!”

As students, we don’t always have time to stay in long lines. This app is very useful because if you need to order food immediately or if you forgot your wallet, then just click on Tapingo and skip the line.

5. Stop Breathe & Think: Meditate

“The Stop, Breathe and Think app is a free mindfulness, meditation and compassion-building tool that is simple, fun and easy to use.”
As students, there will be some stressful moments during your university studies. In order to manage your stress, this App will give you tips and guidance to relieve your stress and meditate peacefully.

6. Stocard - Rewards Cards Wallet

“With Stocard, you can store all your rewards cards in one elegant app in your phone. Get rid of all the plastic cards in your wallet!”
Most students need to budget correctly in order to study at university. Rewards cards are always a great way to save a bit of money. However, carrying a lot of them can be a hassle. Through this app, you can save all your cards in it and when you are shopping just click on the app and retrieve your card.  

7. Evernote

“Evernote gives you the tools you need to keep your work effortlessly organized.”
Organization is key at university. Through this app, you can take notes, capture photos, create reminders, record lectures and improve productivity.

8. OrbitPlay

“Find activity partners for Tennis, Squash, Running, Parkour, Board Games and more! OrbitPlay connects you to local activity partners and places to play.”
As a new student, this is an easy way to meet people by doing something that you both love. Playing sports with a partner is always fun.

9. Street Food Ottawa

“This App is the best way to find Ottawa's amazing food trucks.”
Eating out in Canada is a lot more expensive than in most countries. Food trucks are a good alternative as the food is cheap, but delicious. Through this app, you can check the available food trucks, and enjoy a fantastic lunch.

10. Weather App (Yahoo Weather, The Weather Network, AccuWeather etc.)

In Canada, the weather is always unpredictable. On the same day, it can be sunny and rainy as well. Therefore, make sure to check the weather before leaving your place.

I am an international mentor at the International Office as well as an international student studying in mechanical engineering. We offer a variety of useful services to all international, sponsored and exchange students registered at the University of Ottawa.

International mentors are also international students who have faced similar challenges and have succeeded. We are always available to answer questions regarding Canadian Culture, Academic Life, Learning Strategies and the Challenges one could face in their transition period. To meet with an international mentor, you may go directly to the International Office (Tabaret Hall, room M386) during its hours of operation or you may also make an appointment by emailing us at

Good luck for your first semester and I hope you these apps are of a great help to you!

Sifat Bayes
International Mentor
International Office



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