6 Ways To Travel

Hi there!

 

Within these past few years I’ve been lucky enough to travel around South America and Europe. I believe that traveling is so important to widen your perspective on the world and to challenge the biases you subconsciously hold as a result of your up bring. While money does help when it comes to travel, there are ways to see the world without spending a fortune! Here are some ways that I’ve looked into to travel without clearing my parents’ bank account:

High School 

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16-year-old me stunting outside the Finnish Embassy in DC. The program included an orientation in DC where we toured the Capital and got to meet the Finnish Ambassador!

Cultural exchange programs – When I was in high school, I spent a summer living abroad (2011) with a Finnish host family through the Senate-US Youth Exchange program via Youth for Understanding (YFU). YFU is an organization that focuses on getting high school students to spend a school year or summer abroad. It offers a few scholarships, such as FSUYE. I was 1 of 14 students awarded the scholarship, which required a $500 co-pay and covered everything, including flights (although now the scholarship requires you to pay $3,000). For more information about my time in Finland, I kept (or at least attempted to keep) a blog about my summer abroad. This was couple years ago, so the amount of scholarships available has probably went down. My sister applied for a scholarship to go to Japan through YFU – decisions come out later in March so fingers crossed!! With or without scholarships, programs like these are great to get your foot in the door to traveling.  ***Keys to success: research! programs like these are competitive, so it’s vital to put together the best possible application***

United World College – UWC is an international educational organization made up of 16 schools across the world. If accepted, you are placed into one of their schools for two years and earn an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma. I applied my junior year, but unfortunately did not get accepted into the program 🙁 . However, its a great program to look into for adventurous high school students! ***Keys for success: UWC, or any high school study abroad program, takes a lot of preparation in advance, so make sure to start early***

College

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Ushuaia – The southernmost town in South America. I visited Ushuaia when I was traveling around Patagonia (the south of Argentina) for a week!

Study Abroad – During the spring semester of my Sophomore year at FIU (2015), I studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I was fortunate enough to have my FIU scholarship cover my tuition at the Universidad de Belgrano, so I only had to pay for my housing, travel, and other personal spendings. Although it is important to know that you will have to pay the same tuition abroad as you do at home, regardless of the actual tuition of the foreign school: good if you go to a public university, bad if you go to an expensive private school. Within FIU, I applied for additional scholarships and earned a $500 scholarship from the Latin American and Caribbean Center. Although $500 may not be much, it’s better than nothing – for me, it was one month’s worth of rent! Also, in Buenos Aires I taught conversational English for a little extra cash and because of my job, I was able to travel around South America! ***Keys to success: start planning to study abroad plans early, apply for internal and external scholarships, teach English to get extra $$$***

Internships – While in Poland this past summer (2016), I had a Public Affairs internship in Warsaw. While it was unpaid, I mainly did it so that I could see my family in Poland and to gain experience working in a different country. Luckily, I didn’t need to pay for rent since I stayed with family. For more information, I made an earlier post in the summer about my experience! I was able to secure my internship through the help of the dean of my Honors College. If you aren’t able to find an internship abroad by yourself, there are several programs, most notably AIESEC, that can help you find an internship (although most charge a fee). ***Keys to success: take advantage of doing internships where you have family to stay with, network and ask about possible opportunities to intern abroad***

Post-Graduation

Teaching abroad – Now that I am graduating FIU, I’ve been looking into programs to teach English abroad and give myself a gap year before continuing my education. Personally, I am applying to the Language and Culture Assistant program in Spain. However there are a few other programs to teach in Chile, China, South Korea, France, and Colombia! Some programs offer a decent monthly salary but it’s always better to teach English on the side for additional cash. Programs in China and Japan require a teaching certificate, but they also pay a lot more than the other programs, so it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of different programs. Also, all the programs I’ve mentioned are government-sponsored, but there are maaany programs that will place you in countries for a [sometimes hefty] fee. ***Keys to success: do your research, see what program works best for you***

Fellowships abroad – There are quite a few fellowships open for recent graduates to go abroad. Personally, I have applied to Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX) program in Germany. Unfortunately, I did not get accepted, but I did apply knowing that the fellowship is pretty competitive.  ***Keys to success: do research, competitive so prepare well!***

 

The possible opportunities to go travel are unlimited. There are also tons of volunteer opportunities, most notably the Peace Corps, that will have you out there in a different country. However, research is key in finding the opportunities that are right for you! These are just some of the programs I have personally looked into and applied for, but here’s a more extensive list of possible grants and scholarships to travel abroad. 

Once you go out into the world and get the travel bug, the hungrier you are to travel! However, traveling is a privilege that many people do not have and it’s important to never take for granted any travel opportunity! Each trip is a gift in it of itself and will leave you a better and more self-aware person than you were before. My advice? Find a way to see the world and make it happen!

Travel far enough

Your’s truly,

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