Ways to Travel More in College!
Traveling while in College
When was the last time you stepped outside of your comfort zone and visited a completely new place for more than just a vacation? When was the last time you explored, not just toured? For me, this is what travel is all about, and I think it’s one of the greatest opportunities for learning outside the classroom that exists.
So grab your suitcase, put on your sunglasses, and let’s get started!
When people think of traveling while in college, study abroad is usually what they think of, so let’s get it out of the way first. If you can make it work with your major and finances, I strongly recommend going abroad for a semester. It will give you a completely new perspective on yourself, your college, your studies, and the world. Also, studying abroad may not be as expensive as you think. In many cases, the tuition of the other university will also be cheaper (check out this list of countries with free/nearly free tuition). And even if the costs are equal or higher, scholarships are often available. Odds are, your college has a study abroad office that would love to help you explore your options. At the very least, set up a meeting and ask what’s available. You have nothing to lose and much to gain.
If study abroad doesn’t work for you, consider the possibility of service trips. A classic example of this in America is “alternative spring break,” where instead of getting into trouble at some sketchy beach, you spend a week helping those in need by building houses, planting community gardens, or doing a whole range of other cool, useful things. Service trips are a great chance to travel while also doing good and learning about people of different backgrounds than yours. And, to boot, it’s a great thing to put on your resume, discuss in an interview, or use as part of a graduate school personal statement.
Internships are another travel option that you should definitely consider. While there are plenty of great internships to be found close to home, it’s worth looking farther afield for both the expanded professional and travel opportunities. Not only will you get an idea of what it is like to work for these companies, but it also gives you a taste of life in a different city and, if nothing else, an expanded professional network. And don’t assume that you have to find a paid internship to make it work. Many universities offer fellowships and grants to help students cover costs of living while furthering their professional development, so make sure to ask around at the relevant offices of your school (once more, the office of study abroad is probably the best place to start, though also check with career services/planning).
A trip doesn’t have to be far to be epic. Renting an Airbnb and spending a week living in a different part of your city can be a bigger adventure than backpacking on the other side of the world. Kayaking a local river can be just as life-changing as sailing across the Atlantic. It’s all about approaching it with an open mind and a desire to learn, living not as a tourist but as a traveler.
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