5 Ways To Travel During High School
Aloha, mon ami, and welcome to the life of what seems to be the “forever going to high school kid”! As I am now a junior, class of 2019, I figured I’d share my personal tips that helped me get around as much as I do thus far. Of course, most of my travels wouldn’t be possible without my parents, since we do travel as a family a lot, but these are for people from all incomes.
In Växjo, Sweden as part of Erasmus+
Shoutout to Daniel for this picture perfect way to ruin my white shirt!! JK, this is actually one of my all time favourite travel memories - spontaneous, reckless and slightly out of control!;)
1. Exchange Programs Through School
Go and seek out whether your school offers exchange programs! You will get an authentic experience since you’ll be staying with a host family and there is always a large culture program, as partner schools always aim to show their city, or even country, in the best light. You won’t “just” be a tourist, but if you and your exchange partner really click, you’ll have made a lifelong friend that’ll always be happy to welcome you back.
My school really is at the forefront here, we offer exchanges to France, Spain, Lithuania, Sweden and the United States. Not only that, but for numerous years now, we have been participating in the Erasmus+ project, which is an international project founded by the European Union. Our German school works for two years with schools from Sweden, Hungary, Italy and Poland on several topics like refugees or education around the globe. Every school hosts a week long meeting, to conclude the topics and you get to travel (depending on the sum of funding) for free to another country! I participated twice and went to Växjö, Sweden twice and I am utterly in love with the people and the city there. Without Erasmus+, I would have never discovered this gorgeous patch of land for that I am entirely grateful.
I won’t lie and say everyone will immediately accept you, but would you rather get a rejection email and know you’ve tried or sit around and wonder, what happened if you would’ve sent it. Additionally, I believe that practices makes perfect, so the sooner you start the better and better your applications will be become and the “Congratulations! You have been choosen…” mail will arrive.
There are millions of scholarships you can apply to, just figure out which is the right for you! I personally am really interested in international or environmental work as well as writing workshops. Recently, I have seen many writing related travel retreats, one even all the way to Argentina, which you simply had to apply for by scholarship, with cost, accommodation and everything else covered! Even if you think that thousands of people are probably applying and that you don’t stand a chance: PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE!
3. sleep = cheap!
So you wanna travel no matter what, right? Well then look up camping sites near your wanted destination! You can easily set up a tent and save so much money on accommodation that you can spend on far cooler experiences, like renting a kayak or treating yourself to a nice dinner. You’ll be to busy out and exploring the new city, so why rent a fancy hotel room that you’ll see quickly before bed and just after getting up?
If you aren’t comfortable with that, look up airbnbs or hostels, which will always be cheaper and yet still have all the necessities of a hotel!
4. Volunteer Abroad
During my year abroad in Minnesota, I was fortunate enough to be invited to join a mission trip my local youth group, Young Life, was going to do over spring break. So, sure enough, spring break came around and we flew out to the Dominican Republic to get the Young Life camp there ready for the kids. It was a rewarding experience and as we reflected on the trip during our last night there, one of the guys summed up my thoughts:
“I don’t think I can ever go here as a tourist. It would feel wrong, we’ve met the actual people that live here and it would be weird to fly out there just to hang out in Punta Cana! This will always be special!”
Many organizations are always seeking for volunteers abroad and the only cost you’ll have to cover is the ticket there! They supply accommodation and food in exchange for you work, maybe teaching or participating in an “save our oceans” project. It will be work but the reward will be so worth it. Not only have you contributed and made the world a little better but you got an experience that not many people get.
I personally have not done this during high school, but I plan to do so during college but as long as you’re old enough to be eligible, it can still make the list right? Seek for internships in your interest field, maybe journalism or photography, that are accepting interns. This works especially well over summer, especially right after graduating, since you’ll have a longer free time. Not only will you be polishing up your CV and get a real experience of the working field, you can do so whilst exploring a city and making it your own!
That concludes my five ways of traveling, hopefully I was able to make this big ol' world a little more approachable for you! If you have any other ways that I have missed, leave it in the comments down below!