Needless to say that traveling is a remarkable experience at any age. Whether you are a student or a full-time income earner, going abroad gives you a huge package of benefits, meaningful insights, and valuable skills. Here I will share the secrets of how to travel on a student budget.
Travel exposes you to different cultures, traditions, and lifestyles, pushes you out of your comfort zone, and places you in situations you’ve never been before. It is a fun way to change the picture and a great opportunity to improve communication and problem-solving skills, as well as build an extensive network of multinational contacts.
There is no more apt timing for traveling than a studentship, though. Yet unburdened with working responsibilities and a family to provide, young and vibrant students have the luxury of flexibility to try themselves in different circumstances, to figure out their goals, and to test their strengths. There is, however, a small challenge. How can an average student can afford such an expensive experience?
In fact, in many ways.
If you are questioning how to travel on a student budget, studying abroad is a viable option. Although it may be the most apparent way to get abroad as a student, not every pocket can afford several years of studying in a foreign country. Fortunately, many colleges and universities offer international exchange programs. This is where you can spend a limited period of time studying in the partner school abroad.
You may learn about the available programs from the Study Abroad counselor at your college. However, if you don’t see any programs to your liking, or you want to visit the country that is out of the list, “show proactivity and contact the administration of the foreign university you want to attend and outline the benefits of having you as their temporary student”, recommends Anna Nielsen, the education blogger of Pro-papers.
The travel-to-study benefits are numerous. Not only will you get a chance to go to your dream destination but also receive university credit. By living and studying the way the natives do, you can familiarize yourself with local life and traditions. And on the weekends, for instance, you can explore nearby cities or even go to next-door countries.
Volunteer during Spring Break
Although partying during a spring break may be tempting, there is hardly anything more impactful than volunteering.
Volunteer opportunities are many. You can help rebuild houses, take care of the animals, or prepare hiking routes and camping spots. As a rule, the agencies that arrange group academic travel offer university-sponsored trip discounts. This makes for a good way to make your experience more budget-friendly. Or you can apply for a scholarship or financial help if the trip still hits your pocket.
In any case, volunteering is a great chance to make a valuable contribution to the community while enjoying amazing destinations. Although it shouldn’t be your primary goal, volunteering experience on a resume can give you an upper-hand over other candidates. Plus, such exposure to so many people with various backgrounds can give you a push in your future career.
Go for an Internship
Traveling for an internship is an excellent way to kill three birds with one stone. First, you receive a great professional experience. Second, you get to enjoy the life of a local. And third, a lot of programs offer to cover your accommodation costs. This way you’ll only have to take care of your food and leisure spending. If you get lucky, your internship may be even paid. This will give you some extra funds to cover your weekend trips to somewhere else.
To find an internship in your dream destination, figure out what your passion is and what company you would like to intern for. As soon as you do, look for the programs they may offer or contact the company directly. As an alternative, an online portal Goabroad.com helps students to seek out internship opportunities in foreign countries. It wouldn’t be odd to ask your student supervisor for assistance either. Describe your goals and preferences; they might be able to recommend something.
Try Work Exchange
Work exchange is a great way to receive free food and a place to stay in exchange for doing some work. There are many websites (HelpX, for one) that offer working opportunities in foreign countries. Some of them are short, but others may last for several months. Sometimes, employers even offer additional remuneration for your help, which can cover some extra costs you may have during traveling.
The best thing about a work exchange is that you live in a natural environment with locals and have a chance to receive first-hand experience about their traditions and lifestyle. The experience that, perhaps, you would never be able to get on your own.
Exposed to many various jobs, yo, also, obtain an array of skills that may be useful in your professional or personal life in the future. Plus, by trying yourself in various roles you often have to overcome challenges that come with them. Needless to say that it boosts your confidence and the ability to adapt to new circumstances.
Get a Holiday Visa
With a working holiday visa, young travelers can have a longer stay in a foreign country while also doing temporary jobs and fund further traveling. To tell the truth, it’s a dream of any avid traveler on a tight budget. You go abroad, enjoy the views, earn some money, and continue to explore.
The visa is multi-entry which means that you can leave and enter the country any time until the visa is invalid. So the decision to spend the whole year abroad or have a few work-and-travel trips is up to you. Besides, most of your co-workers will be young travelers like you so working on a holiday visa may give you a lot of fun and result in many meaningful friendships.
How to Travel on a Student Budget – Summary
Travel for the sake of an internship, volunteer experience, or a job can be much more impactful than traveling for vacation. Besides, it is a practical way to go abroad when your budget is meager.
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