Author – Sarthak Sarbahi
Whenever we think about travel, the first thing that comes up in our mind is about managing finances. A lot of youngsters dream of travelling to far away countries but it does not really materialize. Since childhood, I have dreamt about visiting different countries, experiencing new cultures and meeting people from all walks of life. In fact, it did happen, after my first year of college! Here I’ll be sharing my own experience as to how you can travel in spite of being a university student. Read on to find out more :)
How to travel as a student
Why travel in your early days? Travelling is not all about the fancy Facebook posts or Instagram stories. It is much more than that. For me, it is something that keeps me at peace and brings to me a completely different perspective of this chaotic yet beautiful world. It is only when you decide to step out of your comfort zone, that you realize that the problems you face in the daily life are nothing but ways to make you a better person. In fact, travelling teaches a lot about life. Some of the best life lessons are learned when one decides to take a journey, completely new and possibly of a new world. It is then we realize that how interesting reality can be!
Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.
~ Robert Frost
How I travelled to Africa as a student
Have dreams? Go pursue them! Travelling and visiting new countries had always been a dream for me. My first foreign trip came to me as a family trip at the beginning of January 2017. It was then that travelled to two foreign countries namely Malaysia and Singapore. It was indeed a great experience. But that did not stop my wanderlust. I knew I had a long way to go. A few months later I landed an internship in an African country named Ghana, where I lived for almost two months. So if you’ve got dreams, go work for them. Trust me, the fulfilment will be everlasting. There are several ways one can achieve his travel goals being a student. The only thing that is required is motivation to achieve the goal and persistence along the way. Try and look for opportunities that can bring you closer to your dreams. No sooner you’ll be able to achieve things, you’ve never thought of before!
Don’t ever let somebody tell you, you can’t do something, not even me. Alright? You dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you can’t do it. If you want something, go get it. Period.
~ Chris Gardner, The Pursuit of Happyness
How to convince parents to travel abroad
This is often one of the hardest steps of the process. But to be honest, it’s not as tough as it may sound. Our parents think for our good. When they decline certain thing, there’s a reason behind it. Try to grab hold of that particular reason and analyze the same. Once you understand that, no sooner you’ll be able to win their trust. Building up a trust does take time, but it can do wonders. Make your parents have confidence in your actions. Explain them your goals in life. They’ll surely understand and support you. Hiding facts from them may not be a solution. Be honest and sincere with them.
How to manage expenses as a student when travelling abroad
Finances play a big role when it comes to travelling abroad. Being a student, it is not very tough to save money on the go. Just keep your priorities fixed and avoid unwanted spending of money. Some thoughtful ways are listed below:
- Try Couchsurfing and Hitchhiking; I’ve never tried them yet but will surely do so in the future!
- Stay in hostels or any other budget places.
- Use local transport in a foreign country; This may include metro, bus, etc.
- Say NO to shopping, you can do that in your home country quite easily.
- Prefer local food joints over costly restaurants or try to cook food if possible. This will not only be light on your wallet but also give a great cultural experience if living with people from different countries! I tried this in Ghana and loved it.
- Take benefit of student concessions. You may get a cheaper flight or a cheaper ticket to visit a monument.
- Have a book account if possible. That will help you keep a check on your saved funds.
The habit of saving is itself an education. It fosters every virtue, teaches self-denial, cultivates the sense of order, trains to forethought and so broadens the mind.
~ T T Munger
How to plan trips while studying?
Part-time jobs! Is that really possible? Yes, it sure is! Part-time jobs may not be very common in India but thanks to the technological advancements, things have become a lot easier. If you have certain skills, like photography, content writing, web development, accountancy, etc. you can opt for free-lancing. This is an amazing way to make some quick cash. These small earnings will, in the end, help you plan a bigger trip. Apart from that, you can look out for paid internships which will not only give you a stipend but also some valuable work experience. This may or may not be related to the field of study of your college or university. There are abundant opportunities available around us. All we need to do is look from a different perspective!
Student Exchange Programmes that offer travelling abroad
Nowadays, a lot of student exchange programs exists which facilitate the exchange of students from different countries. Now, this may directly be through certain universities or non-profit organizations with certain goals. AIESEC is one such organization. I had been on a technical internship to Ghana through another international organization called IAESTE. To be honest, abundant opportunities are available. All one needs to do is to keep searching and make oneself capable enough to achieve them. At the end of the day, your work and perseverance will be awarded in some of the other ways.
One day you will leave this world behind, so live a life you will remember!
Why travel as a student!
In the end, all that I’ll say is, if you dream about travelling, don’t just leave it for the virtual world. Work for it and turn it into a reality. This will give you amazing experiences and great life lessons. Not everyone may approve of the same but that doesn’t matter. When you’ll be waiting at the airport to board that flight to your wonderland, you’ll have an unfathomable sense of satisfaction with your inner self. And trust me that day will be one of the best days of your life!
Fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell, not to stuff to show!