Traveling is a privilege, and while I believe all students should take time to travel in college, I think that everyone and anyone should spend time traveling at some point in their life. Traveling not only opens up a world of opportunities, but exposes you to so many different cultures, people, and experiences that you never knew existed. The ability to travel can change your whole perspective on life and on the world…which is exactly why I would recommend that every student take some time to travel in college.
1. You don’t have many obligations holding you back.
Once we are done with college, reality will hit hard; finding a job, paying bills, moving out, and possibly starting a family. While all of these different experiences are, and will be amazing, they will also take up most of our time and money – AKA less opportunity to travel. When you are young, you have more energy, time, and the ability to just get up and leave – no commitments holding you back. Of course I’m not implying you should drop out of school to travel the world, but with options like study abroad and gap years, students have an incredible opportunity to take advantage of ways to travel in college. There are financial obligations that are associated with traveling, such as airfare, student loans, cost of living abroad (if applicable), etc., which can hinder a student’s potential to travel. However, I personally believe that if traveling or studying abroad is something you really want to do or have wanted to do, then you will do everything possible to make it happen.
2. You can take advantage of being young.
Keep in mind that a lot of companies such as STA Travel, and Student Universe, offer huge discounts to students so that they can afford to travel, but once you hit a certain age and are graduated, that all goes away. When you travel in college, you get to take advantage of all of these incredible deals! You can much more easily afford the ability to go out, explore, and gain a wealth of knowledge that you may not have had previously.
3. You will learn more than any textbook can teach.
I had asked one of my professors to provide me with a quote on her opinion of the importance of traveling, and this was her response:
“For me, everyone should travel, at every different stage of life; in college because you are young and you can still mold (shape) yourself according to the experiences you make. Travel allows you to have new experiences, to take into account a different point of view and perspective of life and your surroundings. In college, traveling is part of the learning process. I’m not ashamed to say that what you learn by travelling you don’t find written in the books…you learn something which is not a theory from a textbook, but is real life (think about historical monuments or sites, by travelling you have the opportunity to see them in reality, and that’s a huge value). You get to learn different cultures, many people, different kind of foods… which is so important nowadays since we live in a global environment. You discover the world with your own eyes, you force yourself to move from your comfort zone and that’s when life begins. You discover your own personality by traveling because you face your fears and commodities. Travel makes you rich. There is no doubt. And then, it makes you feel happier to come back home…. 🙂 Life is boring without travelling! “
– Fabiana Vannuccini, Professor at FIT in Florence, Italy
4. You learn to become independent.
I attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and have always wanted to study abroad in Italy. Well guess what. For the past five months, I have been studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Originally I was only supposed to be here for the Fall semester, but after seeing the opportunities, I couldn’t pass up the chance to come back and continue my travels. The things I have experienced firsthand are ones I would never take back. By having the opportunity to not only study abroad, but to travel as well, I can say that my perspective on life and on the world has changed completely, and for the better. I have gained an independence because I have no one to rely on but myself.
5. You will gain some valuable advice to share with others.
The world as we know it is expanding at an exponential pace, and to be immersed and experienced with all different types of cultures is extremely important. Whether you are in fashion or medicine, the world is like a book, and you can only truly understand it by reading every single page. When you decide to start reading that book, and travel in college, you pick up some observations along the way.
Here are a few tips that I have learned and would like to share with you!
- Things are generally cheaper when you travel in a group.
- Consider different methods of transportation – weighing their costs, travel time, and reliability.
- Prioritize the things and places you want to see – you won’t be able to do it all (unfortunately).
- Safety in numbers.
- Always have a pair of COMFORTABLE walking shoes.
- You are young, walk – Unless you absolutely cannot, walking is one of the easiest way to get places because you don’t have to rely on others to get somewhere!
Safe travels everyone!
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Kaitlyn Weinberger is 20 years old, about to be 21 in August. She is from Queens, NY and a rising senior at the Fashion Institute of Technology, studying Fashion Merchandising Management with a specialization in Product Development and a minor in Italian studies. Most recently she studied abroad in Florence, Italy for the entire 2015-2016 academic year. In her spare time she enjoys painting, hanging out with her friends and writing!