Traveling College Student / By Jasma Wheeler
Traveling in college allows you to create memories, grow, experience, and find your career path. According to David Chapman, Director General for the World Youth Student and Educational (WYSE) Travel Confederation, “Young travelers of the millennial generation represent 20% of international travelers." Why not become one of them? Invest in yourself as you are embarking on the most expensive journey yet: college. “Getting to know new people and experiencing new things are huge benefits of traveling in college!” -Ariana Holmes (Wheaton College) The benefits of traveling are that you get more hands-on learning, career opportunities, network with new people, and expand your cultural horizon. 75% of the semester abroad participants said that traveling influenced their career path (StudentUniverse 2013). Traveling lets you grow in resourcefulness and self-resilience while you find your passions and who you are as a person. “People are your connections, and experiencing things outside of your comfort zone truly helps you grow.” -Ariana Holmes (Wheaton College) As a college student, you most likely have a fixed income, which can hinder your ability to travel. Some options that are affordable are mission trips, interning abroad, studying abroad, and volunteering. If you belong to a religious organization, try becoming a missionary. Travel the world sharing your beliefs while learning about different cultures. There are many employers from all across the world that are willing to pay you for various skills. Many colleges offer study abroad opportunities that allow you to earn credit hours from a partnered institution. Plus there are scholarships available! Talk to your advisor and they may be able to help you schedule and finance it. Volunteering lets you connect deeper with another culture, gain new skills, and inner fulfillment for doing something good for the world. When you are thinking of traveling to different places, it’s important to stay within your budget. Here are some things to consider before you travel: consider staying in a hostel, travel with others, flexibility/shopping around, and travel during off-seasons . Compared to hotels, hostels are less expensive and some have fully equipped kitchens and state of the art facilities. By traveling with friends or family, you can split the cost of expenses. Look at a variety of sites for your intended travel spot and be flexible about your trips days, which can offer cheaper flights or buses. Look up when is your destination is not so popular and you may score tickets at cheaper prices. “Be flexible with the days of your trip, know when the off-seasons are, and use numerous sites to compare prices.” - Hilary Pham (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) When you are at your destination, consider cooking more instead of eating out, looking for free events and opportunities, asking about student discounts, and use public transportation. By cooking instead of eating out, you save money and it’s a healthier choice. Many cities have a tourism center that you can contact and see what events are occurring during your visit. Apps like Unidays offer discounts on pretty much anything as long as you have your student ID. By taking the train or bus, you can see other landscapes/landmarks, get a better of what it feels like to live in that place, and it’s cheaper! “Use Google flights, Expedia, and Airbnb to reduce costs.” - Hilary Pham (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) College is all about finding your career path by pursuing different opportunities, which traveling offers.