4 Ways to Travel Abroad When You're Young
Dreaming of having your own personal Lizzie McGuire movie moment?
Maybe you've just seen too much travel content coming across your For You Page lately… or maybe you're just itching to travel after two-plus years of being mostly trapped indoors and far away from the aisles of an airplane! No matter what your reasons for wanting to travel abroad may be, we're here to help make your dreams a reality.
Traveling to another country while you're young can seem nearly impossible, between the parts where you don't have a lot of money and the possibility of trying to convince your parents to let you go and work around your school schedule. Don't worry, though, because there are a few solid options for ways to travel abroad even while you're still at a pre-"real world" young age.
1. Study Abroad
While most study abroad programs are exclusively for college students, you can find a few for high school students if you look hard enough. However, studying abroad with your university (whether you're in college already or still need to wait a couple of years) is definitely the route we'd recommend, as you're more likely to appreciate the experience and do make the most out of it. Check with your university to see what programs—and, perhaps more importantly, what scholarships—they offer before looking to outside sites that offer study abroad opportunities. Not only will you have an easier time transferring your credits this way (it is "study" abroad after all), but the trip will also probably be better organized and lead to more lasting friendships with people at your home university.
Also Read About: 4 Reasons to Study Abroad as Soon as Possible
2. Do An Exchange Program
This one is in the same frame as a study abroad program, although you'll be gone for at least a whole semester rather than a few weeks to a month. Basically, exchange programs allow you to experience the life of a student at a foreign university, so you get a little bit more of an "authentic" experience. However, you'll have to account for the fact that you will be gone for longer and you'll probably have a harder time getting accepted to such a program as well as potentially a harder time paying for it (you're gone for longer so naturally, you might be paying a little more). Not a great option if you easily get homesick, but an incredible option if you want to truly experience life in another country.
3. Attend University Abroad
If you're already an experienced traveler and love the idea of actually "moving to" a different country, going to a university in the country of your choice is probably the best option to do that. This option is far from easy though for many reasons, from potential language barriers (depending on your country of choice) to the difficulty of getting accepted at your dream school, transferring your transcripts and so much more—not to mention actually getting your life set up in a foreign country without the help of your American university organizing everything for you. That means your dorm/flat/apartment, foreign phone plan and everything else in between will be left up to you and you alone (okay, maybe with some help from your family and/or some international student resources at your chosen university, but still). When in doubt if you choose to go this route, you can always wait until grad school if you want to pursue even higher education.
Also Read About: How Moving Abroad Taught Me to Appreciate Home
4. Go With a Travel Company
Plenty of companies like EF (Education First) design trips that are meant just for young people, and this might just be the best way to travel abroad if it's your first time or you want to go outside of an academic method. Whether you go on a spring break trip or just pick any random time, the best part about going with a company like this is that almost every detail of the trip—from the flights to some of the food and all your transport in between—is planned for you. Of course, they leave you with some extra free time to do what you please in the various cities, but everything is planned and accounted for (and paid for, other than your spending money of course) before you embark in the first place.
Ready to hop on a plane yet? If you need a little extra encouragement, check out our list of reasons to travel while you're young by clicking HERE.