Why is there a common misconception that students can’t travel?
I noticed this when I posted how to make travel your career. Many readers excitedly talked about how they would travel more… after they finished studying.
Oh, Vera. How could you possibly think that travel is not a ‘real option’?
When we travelled through Europe for 3 months last year, Robert was in the middle of getting his Degree in Computer Science. When I travelled to New Zealand for 3 weeks in 2007, I was half way through my Diploma in Graphic Design.
So if we can do it, why does everyone else think they can’t?
Let me bust this myth once and for all – being a student does not mean you can’t travel! Here are 5 totally achievable ways that you can travel as a student.
1. Gather every cent you can
I know money is hard to come by as a student. I get it, I’ve been there. Living off rice and pasta, foregoing any possible luxury…
It’s tough, but being a student actually puts you in a great position to save money by getting you into the habit of being frugal with absolutely everything.
Some of the major ways of saving a few extra dollars include:
- Stay with your parents to save on rent. It may not be ideal, but if your parents are willing to have you stay then you will save a buttload of money. I’m temporarily staying at my parents place right now to save some moolah for my next trip!
- Get a part-time job. It can be hard to find time to work while you’ve got your head buried in books, but a few hours of work here and there can be squeezed in to nearly anyone’s schedule. Working just one day a week at the local coffee shop can make a huge difference to your savings.
- Use scholarship money or prize money. Robert received at least 2 monetary prizes for being one of the top achievers in his class during his second and third year at university. Guess what it was spent on!
If you’re still worried about how much your travel will cost, check out my post on how to travel the world even when you’re broke.
2. Make the most of your term breaks
All those breaks you get add up to a lot of time off studying. Term breaks, end of year breaks, even the odd long weekend can be the perfect time to fit in some travel.
Our Europe trip was squeezed in the 3 month gap between Robert’s last exam, and the day he started the new term. It can be done!
3. Study abroad
If you like the idea of long-term travel, pick somewhere you might like to study abroad. There are plenty of universities that accept foreign students. Some of my friends have left Australia to study abroad in USA or Europe, and all of them seem to have had an amazing time.
If you’re already studying – check with your university on which schools they do exchanges with. It will be much easier to transfer schools if you go through an exchange program.
Alternatively you can use a site like Go Abroad to search for opportunities in your desired location.
4. Do your prac or work experience in other cities
If the course you’re studying includes some prac work or work experience, why not choose to complete it in a different city?
My cousin spent moved from Tasmania to Darwin for a few months to do his prac as a nurse. He was able to explore loads of Australia’s Top End during his time there.
Check with your university on what your options are here. You never know where your studies could take you!
5. TAKE A GAP YEAR
Not all that many people take a gap year here in Australia. Maybe they don’t want to lose momentum with their studies, I’m not sure, but I think taking a year off to travel the world can be so beneficial.
Not only will you become a better person by opening your mind and experiencing different cultures, you’ll probably feel a lot better about knuckling down after your trip. You’ll have more energy for studying, and be a wiser, smarter, person.
Don’t believe me? It’s the real deal – watch this Ted Talk by Tyler Tervooren on How adventure makes you smarter, stronger, and more attractive.
I think that many people use studies as an excuse to put off travel, but it’s entirely within reach. Remember – you don’t have to choose one or the other!
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