Apps to download before you get to campus

By Brooke Eberle, Brand Manager

Navigating life on campus can be a challenge for new students. Luckily, there are many different apps you can download on your phone to make life a little bit easier.

Illini Bus for CUMTD

This app is essential for figuring out the bus system at the University. Illini Bus will use location services to find the nearest bus stop and tell you when different buses are arriving. The app will also show you all of the different bus routes so that you can figure out which one you need to take.

Even if you are set on walking everywhere (either for the exercise or just to get to know campus better), you’ll probably need to use the bus during the winter. Figure out the bus system early on so that you aren’t confused when you need to hop on one during a snowstorm.

UI Dining — University of Illinois Dining

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If you’re on the University dining plan, you don’t have to only eat in your dorm’s dining hall; you can visit any public housing dining hall and eat there. The UI Dining app will allow you to see what each hall is serving. For example, you may see that FAR is getting ready for Soul Food night and that Ikenberry Commons is serving tacos the same night. Checking the app will save you hassle of traveling, especially if you have dietary restrictions that you need to plan around.

The UI Dining app also allows you to track how many swipes and credits you have used. Part of being in college is learning when to feed yourself before/in between/after classes. By viewing your swipes and credits, you can keep track of how much you spend throughout the week and ration accordingly.


If you’re looking to reserve a study space to work on a group project, you can book a spot on IlliniSpaces. The app will let you know how big the room is, when it’s open and what kind of resources come with the room (whiteboards, outlets, projectors, etc.).

If you’re just looking for a place to study, IlliniSpaces also has a map of all of the study spots on campus. There so many different libraries on campus, so check out each one to see what works best for you. The more popular libraries, like the Undergraduate Library and Grainger, usually get pretty crowded during finals season, so checking out some other spots early on will save you some time.

McKinley Wellness App

McKinley Health Center is a great resource on campus take advantage of. If you ever catch a cold or need to pick up some medication, you can schedule an appointment online or over the phone. However, McKinley isn’t just for if you’re feeling physically sick; it also offers mental health services.

The McKinley Wellness App offers ways to evaluate your mental health as you’re navigating the stress of college life. There are also guides to the academic resources on campus that offer study tips, tutoring sessions and other interesting facts. This is really helpful for if you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed during midterm season and want to know what resources can help you out.

U of I Safe Walks

Safe Walks is a University program where volunteers will walk you home if you feel unsafe walking home on your own. This especially comes in handy if you are studying late and can’t seem to find a bus stop near you to get home.

All you need to do is go on the app and request a Safe Walk. The request will include your name, NetID, location and phone number. The request will immediately notify Safe Walks and will find someone in the area to escort you home. The number for Safe Walks and Safe Rides is also listed on the back of your i-Card if you ever need to call directly.

Fighting Illini

If you need to catch up on some of the sports on campus, this is the app you should use to help you out. If you can’t make the game, the app will provide live audio. You can also check video highlights after the game to see what you missed.

You can also follow certain student athletes to checks their stats or any other news and updates. The app will send you notifications on game day telling you everything you need to know, along with any updates throughout the game.

Brooke is a senior in Media.

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