Most of us fantasize about seeing the world. We romanticize van-lifers and envy the bravery in their decision to simply pick up and begin their adventure. But if this is what we want, why do we hold ourselves to a different standard? Being twenty-something comes with its trials and tribulations — the stresses of classes, financial limitations, teetering on the thin line between adolescence and adulthood. But this is also the only time in our lives that we’ll be this free of responsibilities. Likely no children to care for, no mortgage or consequential financial commitments, and no dream job worth losing. This is your sign that the time to see the world is now before life gets serious, and I’m here to show you how to do it on a college budget.
- Workaway, Worldpackers Travel, or other work-abroad organizations
Time and labor in exchange for a salary, living accommodations and potentially other benefits
These programs are perfect for seeing the world on a budget! Organizations like these provide you with the opportunity to provide labor in a foreign country in exchange for a small wage and a place to stay. Different opportunities include farming and agricultural work or simply babysitting and nannying while teaching the host’s children English. Since everyday civilians can post opportunities, it’s important to make sure you stay with a reputable and verified host who has a variety of five-star ratings from previous travelers.
- Studying Abroad
$4,000 – $16,000+ (possibly covered by financial aid and could include housing)
Studying abroad is the easiest way for college students to study abroad, and although it’s convenient and exciting to do so alongside getting your education, it comes with a price. Many students claim that these experiences were the highlight of their education, and many majors allow this in place of an internship to satisfy graduation requirements. Housing options are usually limited to forming, which may be included with the cost of tuition. If you want your travel experience to be academically based, this may be the right travel experience for you!
Click here to explore UCF Study Abroad Programs
- Teach English in foreign countries
TIME AND LABOR IN EXCHANGE FOR A SALARY, LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS AND POTENTIALLY OTHER BENEFITS
North American Language and Culture Assistants Program, also known as NALCAP, is a public diplomacy program that provides American college students and graduates with the opportunity to partner with elementary and secondary schools in Spain as teaching assistants under the guidance of Spaniard teachers.
As a language assistant, you’re fulfilling the role of a cultural ambassador who promotes English language learning and mutual understanding through cultural exchange. Your job is to encourage students of Spain to broaden their knowledge of your language and culture in exchange for a livable wage.
But Spain isn’t the only country seeking native English speakers willing to live abroad and teach our language and culture. The following are programs in other countries offering similar opportunities.
It’s important to note that speaking the native language is crucial to your ability to teach English to those who don’t. Without having decent proficiency in their native tongue, it’s unlikely you’ll be selected.
Many of the following programs also require at least one of the following certifications, so if you’re looking for an impulse trip, these may not be the right opportunities for you.
- TEFL – Teaching English as a Foreign Language
- TESOL – Teaching English as a Second or Other Language
- CELTA – Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults
Teach English in Chile (EODP)
Teach English in Georgia (Teach & Learn)
Teach English in Japan (Interac)
Teach English in Korea (EPIK)
Teach English in private schools in Spain (Meddeas)
- Booking with a vacation tour company
$1,2000 – $15,000+
There are several organizations created specifically for the travel experience of people in their twenties. Taking groups of 20-40 travelers at a time, tour companies sell all-inclusive packages where customers pay a set amount which includes room accommodations, flights, excursions and sometimes even meals. The price depends entirely on your country of choice, and the length of your stay. These packages can extend from just a few days to even a several-month-long expedition.
EF Ultimate Break is a popular vacation tour company, accepting only 18-to-29-year-olds with their least expensive package being a nine-day trip to the Dominican Republic for about $2,000. Their longest vacation option is known as the Ultimate Earth tour and visits five continents in 57 days for just $15,000+. Each tour includes all costs except for a few meals and additional excursions that you’ll definitely want to save up for.
Contiki is another vacation tour option with frequent discounts that are geared toward an older crowd since their age range is 18-to-35-year-olds. Upon doing research, many say Contiki is better for a more relaxed atmosphere in comparison to their adrenaline and party-crazed EF Ultimate counterpart. Contiki’s least expensive option would be a four-day ski trip to Austria for about $1,200. Their longest trip is called The Ultimate European which takes you to 15 countries in 45 days for about $8,500+ (additional excursions also not included).
Please note that rates for both EF Ultimate and Contiki fluctuate depending on the advance the trip is booked with as well as the time of year.
Regardless of how you do it, it’s hard to put a price on experiencing everything the world has to offer. In an era of our lives devoted to personal development and self-growth, it would be a great disservice to forgo all of these incredible opportunities to do so.
Right now, the adventure of a lifetime is calling you. Are you going to listen?