Traveling as a Student, Is It Worth It?

What is it like traveling as a student?

 

Have you always wanted to travel to other countries, but not sure of how to do it without breaking the bank? Do you have an opportunity to go across seas, but not sure if you can afford it?

 

In my junior year of college, I had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Florence, Italy for my Spring Semester. If I did not have a program that allowed me to study abroad, I doubt I would have ever been able to get to Europe.

 

There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when going abroad, especially if you are traveling as a student. But I recommend traveling any way that you can if you ever get the opportunity to!

 

In this post, I am going to share some of my experiences and thoughts about some things that are overrated or underrated when you go abroad.  Please keep as a side note that since I traveled as a student, I had a lot less time to explore and adventure throughout Europe.

 

I was very lucky to get to 11 countries!

 

One of the most important things to me was remembering what I did. There were other students that I was there with that journaled every day, some had a GoPro they brought everywhere. What I did was a little simpler and easier.

 

There was this little pocket-sized planner that I wrote (very tiny in) what I did every day, how many miles I walked, and how much money I spent. This was a good way to keep track and because I didn’t have to carry a big journal around with me, I was able to stay on top of it.

 

I was in Europe for about 126-136 days. That’s a really long time to be away from your normal life and the people that you love.

 

There is a lot of amazing things you can see and do when you are traveling, but I don’t really see people talking about the bad or hard side of it. I struggled a lot when I was abroad because I couldn’t find comfort in many things.

 

Luckily, I was able to go with my best friend, and I grew some amazing friendships while I was there too! These girls are the reason I was able to get through it, and not go home early.

 

In my life, I was never super close to my parents, but when I was abroad I think I called them every single day because of how homesick I was. It’s amazing to see how things can change for you when you are put in a new situation.

 

Anyways, I want this to be a lighter post and more of my recommendations.

 

Travel Must-Haves

 

Outlet adapter

 

Mine was from Amazon, it has different outlet options (for different countries) and USB plugins

 

RFID protection

 

I had this for my passport that I pretty much used when I only went to airports or train stations.

 

Crossbody purse/ bag

 

Pick pocketers are real. Hold your things close to your body and don’t let go. One thing that I think helped me out is that I looked really intimidating and would ignore anyone that came close to me.

 

Bag locks

 

If you carry a bookbag on you (like I did because I had to walk to school) purchasing a bookbag lock is really smart because your bag is behind you and some of those pickpocketers are really sneaky, you would never know they stole anything.

 

Raincoat

 

It rains a lot in Europe. I was there in the spring and always kept my raincoat on me because I never wanted to be caught unprepared.

 

Good walking shoes

 

You will really walk everywhere. Even with public transportation, being in a new city you will walk everywhere. Think of it like being at an amusement park, you move all day long the whole time of your trip. (I walked over 500 miles while I was abroad!).

 

Translate app

 

Being in a popular city there is a lot of people that speak English. But being cautious in every new country I went to, I had the Google Translate app where you can save a language offline! This was really neat. I used this the most when I was grocery shopping and I wanted to figure out ingredients on a package.

 

Clothing options

 

Do not bring too much, since I was away for four months, I did bring two large suitcases with me. But if you are only going for a week or two you really do not need a lot. It’s important to be comfortable and wear many layers.

 

The more basics, the better. You will find this to be the easiest way to make outfits. Especially when the weather can change at any given moment and you wouldn’t carry your suitcase around with you.

 

Do not dress up daily. This is so important. Yes, I know you want to look cute for pictures, but honestly, unless you change clothes after a picture you will probably not look the way you want to look for a photo. And people are not looking at your photos for your outfit, they are looking at your photos because you were able to go to Europe!!

 

Hair

 

Do not bring your hair dryer or irons, you will break them. Overseas, they have different outlets (duh!) but their voltage is also different. If you use a converter you will just end up shorting out your hairdryer or iron and then you’ll have to buy a new one when you get home.

 

Since I was away for four months, the girls that I lived with purchased a hairdryer and a flat iron that we all used if we wanted to do our hair. But if you are only going for a short amount of time, it is best just to let your hair go natural!

 

These are just a few of the tips that I have when it comes to traveling abroad! If you want to learn more about my experience please reach out and I can do a series on traveling.

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