Archive for the tag “college student”

Staying in a Hostel

Hostels are a great way to save money and still see the world, an absolutely ideal option for any college student.

Instead of staying in an expensive hotel, you opt to stay in local accommodations and share your room with others. Think bunk beds and dorm rooms instead of a personal room.

Although you’re choosing to share your room, you aren’t giving up other quality standards. If you choose a well known hostelling company, you can expect the room you stay in to be clean and secure.

There are many companies out there that provide hostel locations nationally and internationally. I’ve only ever stayed with Hostelling International USA, but there are plenty of others.

Every hostel is a unique building with its own character, so I recommend you try as many as possible. Next time you plan a trip, consider trying one out!

To hear about my experience with hostels, check out the video below.

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How to Afford Travel as a College Student

Seatlle Cityscape

Seattle cityscape from trip with Barrett, the Honors College, Fall 2012

It’s expensive to travel, plain and simple. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

The trick is to branch out. When you start looking to fund your trip, don’t limit yourself. There are a variety of resources out there, big and small, that can offer more than you realize.

A great place to start looking is your college’s study abroad office. Do a quick search for the website and find out what options are available for financing your trip. Sign up for any suggested workshops and look over all the potential resources. If you’re going to be traveling with your college, this is definitely a must.

Look for scholarships. These are a great source of funding, so apply for anything and everything you qualify for. There are plenty of databases out there worth exploring. You can look at your school’s study abroad website for a list, but don’t be afraid to look on Google or other search engines. StudyAbroad.com has a huge list of scholarships categorized by type and region that’s definitely worth looking it. The goal here is to leave no stone unturned. You never know what scholarships you might find!

Consider lesser-known sources. Look into heritage groups, civic groups, travel agencies, charitable organizations and more that might be willing to help fund your trip. Don’t limit yourself to people that you know; reach out to any business or person who might be willing to help. Cover all your bases and see who responds. If you want more creative ideas for funding, GoOverseas.com has a great list of 40 fundraising ideas for study abroad that everyone should take a look at.

Make sure your communication with any and all groups is professional. Asking desperately isn’t necessarily going to convince people that you’re worth financing. You want to be objective and make them a case they can’t refuse.Be sure to follow up with anybody you contact.

For more source ideas and a sample letter that can be sent to potential donators, check out Arizona State University’s Community-Based Funding Resource document.

Don’t forget to save your own money for the trip as well.¬† If you don’t already have a job, consider getting one. Set up monthly savings goals for yourself and find someone who can help make sure you stick to it. Making it a point to save your own money will show potential donators that you are committed to your goal.

If you find that people are unwilling to give the money as a gift, consider making it a loan. Set up a schedule in writing that outlines how and when you will repay the person or organization that is contributing the funds.

Above all, start looking early. The longer you wait to look, the more likely it is that important deadlines have passed. Finding the money you need to travel during college is going to take some determination, but it’s worth it in the end.

Have you found a creative way to finance your travel during college? Do you know of another great resource? Please feel free to leave a comment with information for everyone!

Why Travel as a College Student?

There were more than one billion international tourists last year, and more than five billion domestic tourists, according to the latest tourism highlights from UNWTO. That’s a lot of people, and the industry is still growing at an incredible rate.

Why not join them?

Most college students these days want to do some form of traveling before they graduate. At the very least, travel gives you new experiences in new places with new people. You get the chance to gain a different perspective and interact with diverse cultures.

Travel experience during college can be especially helpful in the future, when you will almost certainly have to work with people from different countries to an extent. Depending on your career path, interacting with other cultures could be a daily reality.

Plus, travel is fun. I mean, who doesn’t want the chance to go somewhere new?

Machu Picchu

Jordan Roman/Machu Picchu

Jordan Roman, a junior at the University of Arizona, had that very idea when she left for Otuzco, Peru last summer with VivePeru.

“Experiencing a new culture is awesome, especially if you travel to a third world country like I did,” Jordan said. “It really makes you appreciate everything that we have.”

Chris Silvia, a junior at Western New England University in Massachusetts, didn’t plan on traveling when he entered college. But his experience this summer in London was something he will never forget.

“The best part of the trip was meeting a whole new group of people and discovering a new country with them,” Chris said.

Colleges are increasingly offering more and more travel opportunities to their students, so now is the time to take advantage of everything they offer.

Dr. Bill Silcock, Director of Cronkite Global Programs at Arizona State University, said that travel is an important part of the college experience. He spent six months in Paris himself during college as part of a study abroad program.

“You really have to see the world to know the world,” Silcock said.

Still looking for inspiration? Check out Derek Earl Baron‘s travel blog – the guy has visited 87 countries and counting.

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