The Economista: Free Software

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Welcome to The Economista! My name is Andy Pham and I will be giving you weekly tips and tricks on how to budget, save money, and have inexpensive fun at Brown!

There is another hidden treasure that Brown offers: free software! Not only can you request laptop money from Brown’s financial aid, but now you can fill it without cool programs as well. Here is a list of just a few of the cool things that Brown allows you to install on your computer.

Rosetta Stone

Want to learn a new language but don’t have space in your schedule for two semesters of language courses? Then Rosetta Stone might be the right option for you! For those of you who may not know, Rosetta Stone is a highly rated computer program that teaches millions of people new languages. Through Brown’s free software catalog, you can learn up to 31 languages on your choice of a web browser or a mobile app!

You can even supplement this electronic training with Brown’s language partnering program! This is a student run program that pairs students that fluently speak certain languages with students that wish to improve their conversational abilities in this language. The best part about this is that it is completely free!

Microsoft Office

Having word programs on your computer is pretty important, especially with the amount of papers that Brown students have to write. Luckily, you won’t have to pay for these programs yourself! Brown provides a big Microsoft Office package – that includes word, powerpoint, excel, and publisher. This is great considering that Microsoft Office is usually upwards of $100. Although, it is one of the less fun programs on this list it still awesome to get for free!


Photoshop is another great program that you can get for $0. Whether you are already an expert graphic designer or a rookie in the field, getting Photoshop for free is still pretty exciting.

If you want to learn how to use Photoshop better than there are also places for that! For example, the student group Color Wheel has a lot of graphic art focused students in it that would probably be happy to show you a few tips and tricks.


Adobe is another one of those “not necessarily fun, but important” programs that a lot of college students need. Whether it’s uploading a resume in pdf format or needing a way to read your online textbooks, Adobe has you covered. Of course, this is also free.


My favorite free electronic resource that Brown offers has got to be Philo. With Philo, you can record your favorite shows and watch them at a later time. The best part about it too is that since it is through a partnership with the school, there is no limit for how many recordings you can have! So naturally, my account is filled with past episodes from How to Get Away with Murder, The Walking Dead, and The 100.

These are just some of the programs and such that I felt like were worth mentioning. Brown also has a comprehensive list of these programs, that can be found here:

Hopefully this post has been useful! Thank you for reading, and until next time!


I am open to any and all ideas, and will be happy to answer any questions you may have! If you have any suggestions, questions, or comments you can e-mail me at . Thanks!


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