Going travelling as a student

With more and more students taking their academic studies to the next level, the market for student travel is also increasing. This means new and exciting opportunities are becoming available all the time. Some take an entire year off to travel but this is not necessary; most universities only have 30 – 35 weeks of term, leaving lots of available time over the winter and summer periods.

As a student looking to travel, you can simply go with having fun in mind, or opt to volunteer/work and bulk up that all important CV.

InterRail as a student

As far as holidaying goes, InterRailing is very popular among students. You can buy a country or Europe-wide pass that is valid for a set amount of time. The shortest is just 10 days, but longer tickets for up to a month are available.

Then you are free to choose your route, which trains you will take and where you will stay. Hostels are the most cost effective, with a comfortable night costing as little as £10 – £20. STA Travel is a helpful travel website designed primarily for students, they sell InterRail tickets and also have offers on flights and travel insurance.

Working abroad

If you’d prefer to travel without the expense, there are a few schemes out there that may interest you. One is Workaway, which provides a medium for volunteers and host families in need of help to get in touch and make arrangements. Just create a profile and list any practical or language skills you have; this allows better matches to be made. The host(s) will provide accommodation and food throughout your stay, in return for your work. This leaves you with time to explore the surrounding area and embrace the culture.

Some examples of Workaway placements include staying with an agricultural family in Japan and harvesting bamboos, or general maintenance work on an estate in Florida.

Travel safe as a student

Make sure you get travel insurance for your trip. You can find very cheap deals, from as little as £20 - £30 depending on how long you go for. Unlike Britain, most countries only have private healthcare and will not treat patients until insurance details have been presented. EU citizens travelling in Europe must also carry a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), free to obtain through the NHS.

As far as general safety goes, it is important to stay in groups and try not to get split up from each other. Decide on a meeting point in case you do get separated. If you're going out at night then stick to well populated areas where tourists are welcome. Always keep an eye on your valuables, and also your drink. Though it may be tempting, never accept drinks from strangers.

Overall, travelling abroad while young can be costly, but it’s ultimately a highly worthwhile experience. Once you find yourself with a career it’s hard to find time to explore different parts of the world.

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