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To Travel or Not To Travel
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this is some writing to create a space Meet Chloe, one of our summer 2017 ICI Interns:I’m Chloe Alexander, a recent graduate of an ICI member campus, where I studied Communications and History. You’ll find me in a library, coffee shop, or thrift store. I speak primarily in English, but also in Spanish with a terrible accent, FRIENDS quotes, and Disney song lyrics. I strive to make my mark on the world by writing, traveling, reading, engaging in critical thinking, and enjoying the arts. Ask me about my adorable dog and I will talk to you for a minimum of an hour. 

To Travel or Not To Travel

November 15, 2017 

 Lots of students wonder about traveling in college. Should you or shouldn’t you? Is it a good idea? Is it better to travel alone, or with others? Where should I go and what should I do there?


Yes!!! You should travel in college, and here’s why: there are a number of ways to travel, multiple advantages, and many lessons to be learned.


Ways you can travel in college.

1. One of the easiest ways to see the world during college is to study abroad. Your school probably offers many opportunities for you to study in different places, and arranges a lot of the contacts and details for you as well. It could be for a month, a semester, or even as long as a year.

2. Another really popular time to travel for college students is during Christmas or spring break. Take the time off class to a plan a trip to that one place you’ve always wanted to go. Spend some extra time with friends by road tripping somewhere really cool.

3. Many colleges are also beginning to create short-term trips to help students gain experience. Lots of them are right before schools begins or following graduation. Near Christmas is also a really common time for these kind of trips to be scheduled. I was able to go to England, Austria and Whales as a student because of trips like this. 


Advantages to traveling in college.

1. One of the biggest advantages to traveling while you’re still in college is that it can be an educational experience. If you’re studying a language, travel provides great opportunities to interact with native speakers. I earned credit for both of the trips I went on as an undergraduate. If you are studying abroad, your travel is counted as a part of your degree. Having fun traveling while also fulfilling a requirement is a pretty sweet deal.

2. You can do it with friends. This is a definite perk to traveling while you’re young and in college. Not only do you get to travel with people who you already know and enjoy hanging out with, but you can save money too! Split the costs of an Airbnb or pay gas together if you decide to drive somewhere.


3. You have time now! College is one of the parts of life that you’ll have the most independent time. No need to schedule time off work, have someone watch your house and dog, or arrange the schedule of your significant other or kids to match yours. You are young, and college is partly about having fun and making memories, so grab the chance while you can.

4. Traveling in college can also be extremely affordable. If you are studying abroad as part of your degree, your financial aid can be applied. There are also many scholarships that will help you pay for expenses while you travel. If you’re traveling as part of a school trip, look into whether or not the college will help pay part of the cost. I got 20% off my entire trip cost by being willing to put in a little work and travel as a student leader. Student discounts on airlines, bus fares, week-long metro passes, not to mention cheaper tickets for museums and other attractions all help to make traveling in college extremely doable. 


Lessons to learn from traveling in college.

1. Traveling provides a lot of perspective. You will be able to look at the world from a new set of eyes when you encounter a different culture, and learning the history behind places can help you understand others better. Traveling provides an amazing opportunity to recognize the differences that culture provides and learn from them.

2. You can increase your language skills easily by traveling to new places. Even if you are not actively trying to learn, you could gain a new interest in a language and pick it up later. When I traveled to Austria, I knew exactly two phrases in German: guten tag (good day) and gesundheit. I was a little worried about being able to communicate, but I was amazed at how quickly I was able to be pick up enough words to get around. For those that are already somewhat skilled in a language, being fully submersed in that language is great practice. Intentional or not, your ear will pick up new sounds and words.

3. Other people have different experiences. Traveling to a completely new place means you will encounter people who are completely different than you. This is a great advantage to your learning and development in college. Engaging with other people about how they see the world differently than you allows you to open your mind. You could learn a lot of new things simply by purposefully interacting with people on your travels.

4. Traveling teaches a great lesson in independence. If you are responsible for figuring out travel arrangements, where to stay, how the money works, how to get around town, as well as figuring out cultural expectations, then you will learn quickly how to be self-reliant. Traveling, even with others, is a masterclass in being independent.


Traveling provides great learning opportunities and amazing memories at the same time. Why not use college as the perfect opportunity to explore the world? 


 Read another blog here!

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  November 8, 2017

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