Travel Tips for Bears on a Budget

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It goes without saying that studying abroad is an experience and a half by its very nature.  Immersing yourself in the culture, language, and food (which is my favorite part) of a foreign country is a fantastic way to spend the semester, no doubt about it.  However, what some potential study abroad-ers may not know is that spending five or six months living outside the US, particularly in Europe, presents a ton of opportunity for travel to even more foreign countries—even while taking classes, and even while on a budget.  To help you on your way, here are some helpful tips for becoming a jet-setting world traveler as a student in Europe:

  1. Understand your academic time commitment.

From my own experience in England, and from what I have heard from study abroad students living in other European countries, college across the Atlantic is a lot more hands-off than college in the States.  For example, students generally take fewer classes abroad than we do at Baylor (think three or four instead of five or six), and classes meet only one day a week.  Also, instead of dividing a student’s overall grade among several different assignments, class participation, and exams as is more common in America, final grades in most schools in Europe are determined primarily by one or two major assignments completed over the course of the semester.  Fewer class periods and less homework mean more time to plan trips to Italy!

  1. Use Skyscanner, or a similar flight comparison app.

(But really, just use Skyscanner.)

Skyscanner is a mobile app that compares the prices of airline tickets to popular destinations for whichever times you plan on travelling.  Its intuitive design makes it easy to use (even for technology failures like me), and I am convinced that you cannot beat the prices.  Using Skyscanner, I was able to fly to Ireland for around twenty dollars round-trip, and to Luxembourg for twenty-five!

  1. Stay in hostels while travelling.

I have to admit, I did not have a very high opinion of hostels before I started travelling around Europe, but really, most of them are absolutely terrific accommodation options for students on a budget.  Hostels are completely safe, often serve free breakfast, and typically cost around fifteen dollars a night per person for a dormitory-style room.  Or, if you would like a little bit more privacy, travel with a group of three or four and book a private room for just a bit more money.  Hostels are a fantastic resource for Bears abroad!

Using these tips, I have been able to see much more of Europe than I ever thought I would.  For anyone thinking of doing some travelling while they study, I hope this advice helps you to make the most of your semester abroad!

Chelsea Teague is a junior majoring in professional writing and rhetoric. 

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