The world plays a cruel joke on broke university students by giving them a four-month summer break they can’t always afford to take advantage of. Really, what’s the point of working your butt off for eight months a year and still not being able to travel during time off? It’s not fair – but there are ways to beat this system. Here’s how broke students can afford to travel.
Grants, Bursaries, and Scholarships
Applying for scholarships is a full-time job. There are countless scholarships available, so it can feel like your search is never finished – and to be honest, it really never is. Many of these grants and bursaries require entry essays, questionnaires, and lengthy applications. But you’ll be glad you applied. Whether you spend your OSAP on tuition and use your grants for travel in the summer or apply for study abroad scholarships, there’s a lot of free money out there for students that can be used for travel.
There are tons of schools abroad that offer free or cheap tuition. Look into those options that let you travel and study at the same time. Some Canadian universities even offer free tuition or huge scholarships based on your GPA – find out what those requirements are and work towards keeping your GPA up. With your home university’s scholarship, you may be able to travel from the other grants, bursaries, and scholarships you’ve been awarded.
Once you’ve saved enough money for your flight, you still have to figure out accommodation. Hostels and Airbnb are more affordable, but wouldn’t you like to stay somewhere for free? If you know someone who has friends from their study-abroad semester, ask if they’d be willing to introduce you via Facebook. Ask if you can stay with your best friend’s Nona in Italy. Reconnect with that exchange student from high school. Stay with as many friends-of-friends as possible!
Work Your Way
“Travel” isn’t always synonymous with “vacation.” Working your way across a country (or several countries) is a great way to afford travel. There is seasonal work all around the world that’s perfect for migrant workers. Whether you’re picking apples in Australia, working on a sheep farm in Iceland, or even busking in Europe, use your skills and work for your vacation.
Find Free or Cheap Attractions
Once overseas, there’s still the question of paying for the attractions, sights, and experiences you’ll do there. Putting in extra time to do the research before your trip can save you lots of money. Many museums offer a free day to the public. It’s often during the week and never overly advertised. There are also many attractions that will offer a student discount. Plus, there are lots of activities that are always free! Like hiking, swimming at the beach, and window-shopping.
Save On Currency Exchange
Getting the currency you need to go abroad is another expense – especially if you’re going somewhere with a stronger currency than the Canadian dollar (like Europe or the US). Exchange rates are always fluctuating, so if you’re able to put in the time to track the trends and put up the funds to buy early, you can save money by pouncing on a good exchange rate.
Continental Student Savings
Continental Currency Exchange offers two great ways for students to save on currency exchange. The first is our Student VIP card. It’s free to sign up and gets students exclusive rates and savings. Secondly, our Best Rate Guarantee means that if you find a better rate in our local area that we can verify, we’ll beat it! So you’ll always get the best rate and savings to make travel more affordable – even if you’re a broke student!
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