Traveling while being student can be the optimal time to begin your globe-trotting adventures. Students generally are more flexible, have less responsibilities to tend to (homes, spouses etc. ) and can pick up and traverse across the ocean in a heartbeat. However, financial commitments and lack of cash flow may deter some eager learners to become wanderlusts. Have no fear though. There are ways and means to capitalize on your student status and #geektrek.
Get a Student Advantage Card. Go immediately to www.studentadvantage.com and sign up for a card. It provides you discounts on train, bus fare, food and even school supplies with a long list of retailers and online. For example, Amtrak will give you 15% off a ticket if you use your card!
Study Abroad. Find out if your college/university has a campus abroad or offers semester abroad opportunities. If they do, sign up right away! Not only would you get the chance to live in another country (and visit neighboring countries), but many international universities have cheaper tuition than in the U.S. This means, you could actually save money attending school while away! The CIEE is an international exchange program to study, intern or work abroad. For graduate school study, you can also apply for a merit-based Fullbright Fellowship or the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to study abroad. EducationUSA is another great resource for fellowship listings.
Here is a list of American universities which have international campuses:
- Emerson College (Boston, MA): Kasteel Well, The Netherlands
- Ithaca College (Ithaca, NY): London, England
- Loyola University Chicago (Chicago, IL): Rome, Italy
- Marist College — Florence (Firenze, IT): Florence, Italy
- New York University (New York, NY): Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Shanghai, China
- Rockford University (Rockford, IL): relationship with Regent’s C, London, England
- St. Louis University (St. Louis, MO): Madrid, Spain
- Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY): Florence, Italy; Madrid, Spain; Strasbourg, France; Santiago, Chile; London, England; Beijing and Hong Kong, China
- Temple University (Philadelphia, PA): Rome, Italy; Tokyo, Japan; Oviedo, Spain
- Trinity College (Hartford, CT): Rome, Italy
- University of Dallas (Irving, TX): Rome, Italy
- University of Evansville (Evansville, IN): Harlaxton, England
- University of Maryland, College Park (College Park, MD): Schwabisch Gmund, Germany
- Webster University (St. Louis, MO): Vienna, Austria; Shanghai, China; Leiden, The Netherlands; London, England; Cha-am, Thailand; Geneva, Switzerland
Summer Work. When the summer comes, most students are thrilled for the break to kick back and do nothing but this is the perfect time to find an opportunity to get away. There are also many NGO’s (non-governmental orgs) that provide summer travel opportunities for college students. AlliancesAbroad and BUNAC are also great student program resources! You can also become a camp counselor in another state or foreign country.
Volunteer. There are so many groups or organizations that desperately need the help of volunteers. Some will even pay for your room/board to live somewhere overseas while you perform community service. The PeaceCorps is a popular resource but there are many other alternatives. For starters, you can check BUNAC and Alliances Abroad. Workaway.info is a community service based agency that can help you find a place to volunteer for 5 hrs a day/ 5 days a week and food and board is provided! (You do have to pay $22E for access to this database though!)
Join an organization on campus. There are many organizations on campus that provides ( semi or fully sponsored) travel opportunities. Search your Campus Life listings or go to their office to find out about these. These orgs can provide very meaningful experiences in other states through attending conferences or engaging in project-based activities.