University/college is a great time to travel, a time when you have fewer obligations and more time off than most jobs. However, if you’re still in university, it can be challenging to take advantage of all your breaks while living on a tight budget.
Take advantage of conferences and competitions.
I talked about this here, but conferences and competitions are an awesome way to travel during school, even for free. I wouldn’t be going to China this fall if it weren’t for an Enactus competition, and I’ve gone to several conferences across Canada for free. People ask how I find so many things to apply for, and my trick is reading all my emails! We get dozens of promotional emails a day at school, but if you read through them, you could land yourself a free international trip.
As well, professors will be much more receptive if you have to miss school for a case competition than for a beach vacation. Just a thought!
Make friends with diverse people.
Meeting friends from different countries, states or provinces can do two things. By hearing about a destination from a local, you might be inspired to visit a new place that wasn’t even on your radar before! In addition, your new friends might be kind enough to offer you a couch and a tour if you ever visit their hometown.
Plan your breaks in advance.
It can be easy to squander all your money on food and alcohol, then realize in January that you certainly can’t go anywhere for spring break. I recommend sitting down at the beginning of the year and mapping out any break you have that’s longer than four days (you’d be surprised where you can go with 5!). Planning ahead for your breaks lets you see where you could go this year, and motivates you to save your money for that upcoming week off.
I really regret not applying to study abroad. I was about to start the process, then I decided I couldn’t afford it. If you still have time to apply, DO IT. At most schools you only pay fees to your school, and you would already be paying to live at your university. So really, the only additional costs are your airfare and travelling around the place you study. It might be a bit tough to manage, but it seems like everyone who studies abroad has an incredible experience.
Go to school across the country.
I started university at 16, so I stuck pretty close to home. If you’re bored of your province or state, go somewhere else! If you can afford it and it’s practical, you could even go to a foreign school. This tip and the next one are about more than travelling, they’re about relocating entirely!
Spend your summers elsewhere.
When it comes time to find summer jobs or internships, don’t just focus your search on your college town or your hometown. Au pair in Europe! Get an internship in New York City! Even going across the country for a job can get you out of your bubble. It’s much easier to temporarily relocate now than it will be later.