Traveling as A (broke) Student

I remember being close to finishing high school and having to pick, at 18 years old, the field of studies that would determine my career.

I ended up doing a Bachelor in Economics and Management and a Master in Marketing and Sales. I hated it with every fibre of my body. My only source of motivation to get through my studies was the opportunity to study abroad as part of an exchange program for the third year of my Bachelor and the second year of my Master’s Degree. That’s how my addiction to traveling began: I went to London for the third year of my Bachelor, to Canada for the second year of my Master’s Degree and to Barcelona for a mandatory five-month internship abroad.

If you are looking for an internship, or wish to study abroad, first, know that you don’t need to be rich to do so, but I will get back to that in a minute, and second, do yourself a (huge) favor, pick a fun destination!

Most people start working straight after graduating from College or University. They get married, have children, are stuck at a job they hate and complain they have no time or money to travel.

I can’t stress this enough, I highly recommend that you travel as much as you can while you’re a student, while you have no strings attached, and scholarships to help you finance your projects. And by travel, I don’t mean go on vacations. I mean cease every single opportunity to live in a foreign country for a long period of time: Do all your internships abroad. Study abroad for a year. Look at the partnerships between your College/University and Universities around the world; Sort out all the grants you could possibly get.

Exchange programs are the opportunity to travel to countries you would have probably never had the chance to visit otherwise and immerse yourself into a culture that is completely different from yours. Don’t put limits to where you could go and don’t be afraid of the distance.

There, alone in the midst of multi-cultural environments, your mindset will change, and with it, your life goals. You will experience the most intense emotions, from the anxiety of moving to a country by yourself, to the joy of exploring a new city with your new friends, to the terrible, terrible heartbreak of leaving at the end. I promise you, it will be memorable and life changing.
Plus, it will be an undeniable asset on your CV as it will say a lot about your personality: open-mindedness, go-getter attitude, ability to work with others, maybe being (at least) bilingual, etc.

I know that oftentimes, internships are not paid, finances are tight and you may think it would be difficult to support yourself while living abroad for a few months. But some countries offer scholarships even for completing internships abroad.
For instance, if you’re enrolled in a European University and wish to do an internship in another European country, the Erasmus program provides you a scholarship for that. Usually Universities have an international department, with someone in charge of managing scholarships. Pay them a visit and make sure you get all the information regarding the internship/studies abroad grants your country offers.

Making a loan could be an option too.

If you want to study abroad, note that your entire stay could be financed solely with scholarships and probably a tiny little bit of extra help from your family. That’s how I was able to travel to London and Canada. So go and amass all the information you could possibly get. Don’t leave any rock unturned!

Once you’ve sorted out how much financial help you could get from scholarships, figure out how much you can afford to pay for your accommodation according to the grants, how much will life cost, etc and make a precise budget plan, because you have to spend your money wisely once abroad.

Don’t waste more time merely wishing you had more money to travel and thinking you will be able to travel as much as you want once you graduate and find a job, because you won’t! A wise man once said that “someday” was a disease that could take your dreams to the grave with you.

So start planning your trips NOW! You’ll thank me later. 🙂

 

If you are interested in studying abroad, I have compiled a FREE guide of the best American, British and Canadians universities that offer scholarships for international students that you can access instantly upon subscription to my newsletter. You’ll also get the FREE guide to finding an internship abroad, as well as my FREE “7 Pieces Of Advice I’d Give A New Traveller”. Access it all by clicking here