How to Travel the World as a University Student
Many of us college-aged kids probably feel like travel is totally unattainable because we're young and broke. Truth is, with a little hard work and planning, your travel dreams don't necessarily have to be put on hold while you're still in university.
1. Study Abroad
This one is obvious, but I feel like most students don't take full advantage of it. After a quick Google search, I learned that only about 5% of university students from the United States study abroad! How crazy is that?
Trust me, make an appointment with your study abroad office and explore your options. In many cases, your home university has financial agreements with universities all over the world, which means that you will pay the exact same tuition abroad as you would at home. Very few times in your life will you have the opportunity again to live and study in another country as easily as studying abroad - take full advantage of this!
2. Utilize summer, winter, and spring breaks
Once we finish university and start full time jobs, most of us will have very limited vacation time. Use these 3 month summer breaks, 5 week winter breaks, and week long spring breaks to pursue your wildest travel dreams! I have been known to leave the day the semester ends and come back the day before a new one begins to fully utilize my vacation time (to my parents' chagrin). Once you graduate and enter the real world, you probably won't have the same opportunities to jet off for more than 2 weeks each year, so do it while you can! When will you ever be this young and adventurous in your life again?
3. Work on campus
Working on campus is a fantastic way to both save money and use time effectively. Most on-campus jobs don't take out FICA taxes (social security or medicare), only state and federal taxes, which means that you get to put a significantly larger paycheck in the bank. On-campus jobs are often more flexible than others as well, meaning that your employer will work with your school schedule and be more understanding of the stresses of college should something come up. Depending on the gig, you may even be able to do homework on the job, like I and a lot of my friends who also work on campus are able to do.
4. Cut back on expensive social activities
This one sucks, I know, but drinking and dining out every week adds up fast. If you go to a bar and drink two $8 drinks once a week (which is definitely a low estimate for American college students) thats $700 by the end of two semesters, which can easily be a plane ticket somewhere new. The same goes for expensive dining and entertainment. Before you spend, think about what else that money could be used for to put things in perspective. I once bought a $9 plane ticket from London to Ibiza. That's one lunch! Unless you're made of money, traveling involves sacrifices, so partake in cheaper or free activities with your friends to save for trips.
Hopefully these 4 simple tips will help university students realize that traveling can be more attainable than it seems!