9 April 2014
LOVE TRAVELING… BUT DON’T HAVE THE MONEY!!!
Does this sound familiar? I have said it before... And I would love to tell you… “No, don’t worry, you don’t need any money to start planning that dream trip that has been rounding your mind for the last couple of years” But unfortunately that’s not entirely true…
What I can tell you for sure is two things: First, There are ways to make it affordable, don’t make this statement your excuse for hiding the fear of leaving behind the comfort of your routine! Second, your savings couldn’t be spent in anything better and more fruitful than travelearning.
Look at it as a life-investment that will bring you great short-term and long-term profitability, which is not always measured by the money sign $ but with million breath-taking landscapes, countless experiences, major personal growth and huge professional networking that can indeed translate into numbers by getting a better job, acquiring and discovering new skills or developing a new business idea!
When speaking of studying abroad, there are some factors that will make your trip more/less expensive; such as plain tickets, visa fees in case you need one, cost of living including accommodation, food, transportation and possibility of paid work, length of the learning experience and specific course tuition fees.
5 variables you need to analyse carefully and wisely, and the best way to do so is by setting priorities… Lets say you can play with them depending on your specific goals.
For example, If your budget is low and you need to learn another language as a requirement for your job or university, then you should think in investing more in the specific course tuition fees by booking an intensive course in a very good, academically recognized institution for a shorter period of time than you were initially fancying and perhaps in a small city where you can enjoy a low living cost and not having much distraction to really focus on your language skills.
On the other hand, if what you want is to also learn another language but don’t have the time pressure and just want to have some time away from home and do something different while you improve your language skills, you can try programs such as Work and Travel or Au Pair, in which you will be working full time and have a full immersion in the culture you are visiting, which will eventually lead to learn the language. You will get paid, will have a guaranteed place to live and at the same time you will be practicing the language!
Once you have defined those variables based on your interests and the nature of that trip you want to take (but can´t entirely afford), there are some sources that even though we know they exist, we think they are too good to be true, just unreachable for us or we just never think about it, they did not come to my mind !... There is a need to get creative in order to find ways of saving up while traveling.
The most common one is Scholarships; there are several kind of them, some that we wouldn’t even believe they exist! And even though you may consider yourself just an average student and not very scholarship deserving, I will assure you there is something so unique and interesting about you that will make you a great candidate for a scholarship, which doesn’t always have to be academic.
Government Loans, Company sponsorship, volunteering, student discount cards, ONG´s, Sharing accommodation, traveling off-season, house exchanging, hostels, Kayak, Airbnb, couchsurfing, using your contacts, or just choosing a bike as a transportation mean!... These are just some of the tools that can make your trip more affordable.
Nowadays, it is getting easier than ever for us living in such a connected world where information and possibilities are just there, waiting!... Just put some time and effort on to it if you really want it.