This blog post was updated on September 28, 2018.
When I was a college student, I saw traveling abroad as a necessity. I knew that I wanted to take advantage of my age and stage in life and go abroad to see what lurked beyond my own culture. However, with school and a limited income, it can be difficult for college students to actually travel abroad. Rather than waiting to travel abroad post graduation, college students can make travel abroad possible. If you are looking to travel abroad as a college student, there are a number of ways to do so without having to save and save or wait until you have that diploma.
Study: One of the most popular ways to travel abroad as a college student is by enrolling in a study abroad program. Whether you go through your university or find a program on your own, studying abroad can help you kill two birds with one stone. You can still get credit for courses and not fall behind in your degree. In the process, you can travel and see foreign lands while getting an education. College students don’t merely need to seek out programs that offer a semester abroad. There are also plenty of summer programs you can enroll in and never miss a beat back home on campus. College students can also think outside the box a bit when studying abroad and even just take language classes or cooking courses in order to live and travel for a time abroad.
Volunteer: If you can’t study abroad as a college student, there are still a number of ways to travel globally. Many volunteer programs are open to college students. This can be a good way to not only see a new destination but also do some good in the process. College students should be certain to research their volunteer program. Some programs will ask for money to volunteer, usually to cover your living expenses. You need to be certain that you do your research and read reviews of past volunteers in order to find the right program for you. One popular volunteer program for world travel is WWOOF, World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. In exchange for your work, many farms around the world would supply you with food and accommodations for your efforts.
Intern/Teach: Especially if you are a junior or a senior, you might want to get a bit of real world work experience under your belt before graduating. Traveling abroad can often deter that real world work experience, but it doesn’t have to in the end. Just as there are many study and volunteer abroad programs, there are also internships available in foreign countries. And as most jobs see foreign study or work experience as an asset, this experience can prove useful post graduation. In addition to scoring an internship abroad, you can also work and travel as a college student by teaching English. While most schools abroad will require a TEFL course degree, once you do have this training, you can often get right to work teaching around the globe.