Last Updated on February 24, 2022
You’re young and want to see the world, but feel stuck on your campus or too broke to get away for a weekend? I’ve been there! As a recent college graduate, I know what it’s like to want to find the best travel opportunities for students. And I’ve done all the research!
I’m here to show you the different programs and group trip operators geared towards making travel opportunities for students available, affordable, and rewarding.
Firstly, there are so many different kinds of ways you can travel as a student!
Start brainstorming what kind of experience you are after – a long-term structured program, a short getaway with like-minded peers. Or maybe something more unique like an exchange program with a lot of cultural engagement.
I’ve provided some insight into programs from all of those categories, as well as a special section dedicated to resources and discounts (!!) to make traveling affordable to you – so don’t forget to keep scrolling!
This post does contain affiliate links, where if you make a purchase through that link, at no extra cost to you, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog! If you would like to read my full disclosure, it is here.
Travel Opportunities for Students
While it may be the most traditional way to get travel experience as a student, don’t discount it, as it’s one of the best! Studying abroad through your university is an amazing experience with a ton of benefits, usually including:
- Financial Aid/Scholarships Available
- Variation of Destinations and Program Lengths
- Class Credit
- Some excursions and food included
- Opportunity to make friends with new people from your school
- Structured Program and Security
I think studying abroad is a great option for students because it’s straightforward and structured. Check out my guide on how to afford study abroad!
If you’re looking for more independent travel options, keep scrolling!
I think a lot of people are unaware of just how many diverse internship opportunities there are in their field! You don’t just have to intern at the nearest financial firm or for the local mayor if you want a summer abroad!
As a history major, I personally interned as a research assistant in Florence, Italy for a summer. I found this opportunity by simply researching through Google!
Take the time to see what’s available out there and go for it if you find an opportunity that fits! Consult advisors at your college for available internships or do your own research online! Type keywords from your field and add an internship abroad to get you in the right direction.
It’s also a great resume booster to have international work experience to discuss in an interview!
The downsides to an internship can depend on the type of program, for example, you may not be paid or you may have to find your own housing.
There are many programs in which Americans can take advantage of teaching English in other countries. DisneyEnglish is a teaching program in China, Fulbright scholarships are available in many countries around the world to teach English as well.
If you are looking for a very independent experience, teaching English could be that for you, as you’d probably be hired and moving to a new country for a period of time by yourself instead of in a student group.
Looking for group trips around the world to meet new people? Contiki is essentially a travel tour agency that has pre-made itineraries and experiences designed for young adults all around the world!
What I think they definitely get right is not only providing incredible experiences and adventures but also bringing together young travelers and fostering new friendships.
The variety of their tours is also amazing because there are local guides, all kinds of destinations and itineraries depending on your budget and desires, as well as student discounts and financing options!
Did you know you could live in another country for free – by farming? WWOOF or World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms connects people to farms around the world where you are essentially helping on a farm in exchange for housing and cultural experiences.
You don’t pay anything to participate in the program, but you do have to fund your personal expenses and travel!
This opportunity is definitely for someone looking for something different, something with rich cultural engagement. You can read more on their website if it piques your interest!
EF Ultimate Break
Similar to Contiki, EF Ultimate Break offers trips with planned itineraries specifically designed for young adult travelers! Think of it as another option to compare if you are interested in traveling with a group of like-minded peers.
Resources & Discounts
This is personally my favorite of all the resources I’m going to give you! Student Universe is a travel search engine with student discounts on things like airfare, hotels, car rentals, and more.
There are special promo codes throughout the year you can use for specific trips too! Another awesome thing: most of the discounts also work if you’re simply under the age of 26, even if you are not a student!
This site is awesome for student travelers because it’s the most secure website I’ve used for booking so-called “cheap flights.”
Personally, I’ve used them to book flights and hotels and I’ve always found it to be a valuable tool in how I was able to travel while I was a college student.
Unidays is a great service exclusively for students to receive special discounts for tons of things! It can be anywhere from clothing stores and to our favorites – hotels, flights and trips!
You simply have to verify your student email each year and you’ll have access to all those amazing discounts!
Skyscanner is a fairly well-known flight search engine for finding budget flights!
However, just be careful because a lot of times these flights don’t include bags or there are many connections and airport transfers.
I like to start at Skyscanner to get an idea of what the “cheap” flights are and cross-reference their prices with more traditional travel search engines or the actual airline.
College Advisors & Professors
Don’t forget your advisors at school are super knowledgable of the resources available to students because that’s their job!
Seek out advisors in international programs or in your major’s department to discover new travel opportunities for students. Sometimes they can present you with unique opportunities, like fellowships, that allow you to travel and add to your college resume!
Don’t forget about one of the simplest and most comfortable ways to travel – with family!
Think of where you have relatives and explore opportunities to connect with them.
Personally, I have many relatives in Italy, so even though I studied abroad in Florence, I was able to travel much more of Italy with the family members I had met there!
Let me know in the comments what resources you swear by as a student traveler!
Don’t forget to Pin this post to spread the opportunities!
I only graduated college a year ago, so I am fresh off the mindset of wanting to stay focused on your studies, but also wanting to see the world!
In conclusion, so many travel opportunities for students exist if you take the time to search for them and reach out to the connections you have on campus.
Until we can all travel again…