Are you a travel buff with a tight budget? Katie is here to convince you that you can still have rewarding encounters abroad even on a budget. She shares how to take advantage of resources to help you plan a travel itinerary. Several thousands of years of culture is awaiting you outside the US, so get ready to add to your eye-opening experience abroad!
Hello my fellow CAPA people!! Today I decided to talk about something I think is crucial to anyone’s adventures abroad. What is that…? TRAVELING!!! Whether it is just down the road (for Dubliners this would be Houth or Kilkenny) or to another country entirely, you MUST do it. Why, you may ask? Here are just a few reasons why traveling will make any study abroad opportunity that much more rewarding!!
1. Sights, Sights, Sights
Hanging out at the real life Diagon Alley!
Everyone knows that when you leave home for the first time, you want to see the world. Studying abroad is the beginning of doing just that. The minute I stepped into Dublin I saw so much architecture, statues, landmarks, and so much more that I had never really seen before. Europe has thousands of years of culture, so you literally HAVE to make the most of your trip. If not to learn the culture and be immersed in it everywhere new you go, seeing all the different buildings, cathedrals, castles, and people should make anyone want to travel. It truly just adds to your already incredible experience here.
Now, studying abroad is not cheap—and we all know this. It is an investment in your life and the way you will look at life. With that being said…it is MUCH cheaper to travel around Europe while you are here than to go back and forth from the US. The Dublin airport has flights to London for €32 and to Italy for €50… €50, PEOPLE. To go from the US to Italy will be at least over €500, so traveling on a budget can be done, especially if you are a planner like me. Traveling on a college budget is both doable and easily obtainable, just use blogs and as many resources as possible.
3. Blogs are Your Friends
Sunset on the river in Florence, Italy.
If you haven’t learned from now, bloggers are quite honest about their experiences, both good and bad (sorry not sorry). Travel blogs are no different for they allow you to see hardships others went through and how to avoid them. I HIGHLY suggest when you plan your traveling to LOOK UP BLOGS. I always start at Pinterest for pictures and honest blogs, then I go to google and cross reference them. Seeing these blogs help you see how important it is to be seeing everything you can while you are abroad.
Chilling at the London Bridge.
Being in the US, you can travel from state to state and everyone is very different. Europe is like that times a 1000. Every town is different than every city, and every city is MUCH different in every country. London is vastly different than Galway, which is extremely different than the seaside towns of Cinque Terre. Study abroad allows you to meet so many different people and traveling just lets you do that in SO many different cities. While some countries do have a language barrier, you can make the most out of any adventure abroad with the company you keep and the planning you do.
Jenny and I in Belfast.
Now, I know this is a lot. And I understand right now this may be EXTREMELY overwhelming, simply for the fact that you may still be deciding whether to even study abroad at all. So, I think I would just be upfront about my experience thus far. Studying abroad has been the most incredible adventure I have ever experienced. The people I have met have changed my view on life and the places I have seen have made me realize how much more traveling I want to do. If you are still deciding to do it or not, I personally do not think you could make a better choice in your entire life. The opportunity is THAT eye-opening.
Next time I get to explain my entire experience to you guys: the good, the bad, and the funny. Get ready for my last blog post, because if you are still on the fence about studying abroad...you won’t be after that!!
Farewell for now.
Katie Berlin is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2019, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An Industrial and Systems Engineering major at University of Florida, she is studying abroad in Dublin this semester.
Katie's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.