Why Now? The Importance of Traveling While Young
Being an adult sucks. That’s why. Plain and simple.
Life is hard, and unfortunately we live in a world today in which we have to work extremely hard and dedicate a large majority of our time to making money in order to enjoy even the small things in life. The older you get, the more responsibility you acquire. The more bills you have to pay, the more money you spend, the more money you have to make, the more you have to work… and the less days you have available to take off of work. It is a vicious cycle. God forbid you wish to start a family, not only does that make it harder to afford with extra plan tickets, larger hotel reservations, food costs, etc., but now you also have to match schedules. Taking vacations are difficult as an adult, and unfortunately, that is simply why many adults rarely get the chance to travel as much as they would like to, if at all. That is why the time is now.
I am not going to try and put on a façade as if traveling the world is a piece of cake as a college student. Because its not. College students are broke. You know it. I know it. Our colleges know it. We live off of Top Roman, free sodas from the broken vending machines outside of the dormitories, and attending mixers around campus just for the free food. Nobody has money to ball out and travel the world, all the while keeping up with our course work. However, if the right motives are there, and you want to travel for the right reasons such as enhancing your academics, expanding your cultural horizons and whatnot, it is possible. I did it. And here is how.
Scholarships. Whether it be from your university, or from third party organizations that are dedicated towards providing rich study abroad experiences to well-deserving students, there are several scholarships that greatly contribute to the financial burdens of studying abroad that most students face. You can find some reputable opportunities listed here.
Crowd-funding. The most common form of fundraising in today’s modern, technologically advanced, world, sites like GoFundme, Kickstarter, and Fundable serve just the purpose of raising money for different causes over the Internet. Crowd-funding sites such as these are great in that they allow for an audience to be reach much greater than you would by posting flyers around the local grocery stores. Another amazing feat about sites like this is that it is on the Internet. By default, it has the ability to be shared through a seemingly endless about of social media outlets, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Your reach is endless, and you never know who may end up donating to your cause.
Begging. Yes, I said it. Also known as word-of-mouth fundraising. During the months prior to my study abroad experience, I pitched myself, my desire to study abroad, and my lack of financial ability to cover my upcoming expenses to anyone and everyone that was willing to hear me. I pitched like there was no tomorrow; and my faith in humanity: restored. Much to my surprise, people were extremely willing to assist and donate towards my study abroad. They saw the passion that I had for the country I was soon to explore, they knew that I was dedicated to my studies, and that their money would be going towards a good use and actually be invested in my education.
I was also not the only one who begged; I had an entire support system made of friends, family, and loved ones, who begged on my behalf! Having a support system goes a long way, and through the connections that I had, and the network of people that I had access to because of those connections, I was able to raise a decent amount of money from people simply believing in me and my education. The bottom line is that it can be done. I urge you to not let the financial obstacle of studying abroad become a financial barrier. There is always a way.