How To Make The Most Of Your Long Summer Vacation
Who says study abroad has to stop when classes end? Now is the best time to squeeze in as much travelling as possible, especially if you’re studying far from home. Who knows when you’ll next be in that corner of the world? Take advantage of low-cost short-haul flights and explore surrounding countries. If you have friends that are still studying abroad take advantage of the free accommodation and go visit them! Already being back in your home-country is no reason for letting go of that travel bug. Why not explore your own backyard? Jump on a bus or train and see more of your own country!
Get a job.
Studying abroad can take a toll on your finances, but it also makes you super-employable. Now is a great time to start looking for work or internships because you’ll never be stumped for what to talk about at an interview. Once you start fiddling with your resume, you’ll be amazed at how many transferable skills you’ve picked up by studying abroad. You managed to navigate the super-complicated foreign language transport system? BOOM, ‘strong problem-solving skills and capable of easily adapting to new, high-pressure situations’. Partied with Europeans all year despite multiple language barriers? BAM, ‘excellent communication and interpersonal skills’. Now’s the time to make your study abroad experience work for YOU, and make that money!
Take a moment to give something back and find local volunteering opportunities. Not only will it keep you occupied, it’ll feel great and look great on your resume. You could also try events volunteering, so if that £200+ festival ticket makes your bank account shudder, find out if they accept volunteers. Festivals usually give their staff time off to see some events and it’s another great way of meeting new people whilst bulking up your CV.
Can’t choose between staying home and getting a job, or going off and seeing the rest of the world? Who says you have to? There are hundreds of opportunities to volunteer or work abroad. The only problem is choosing where you want to go! If you’re planning on volunteering abroad, DO YOUR RESEARCH. Is the company reputable? Are your volunteer ‘fees’ going directly to the cause you’re trying to help? Are you even really helping? A good rule of thumb is – if you’re not qualified to do it at home, you’re probably not qualified to do it abroad.
Get ahead for next year.
If you’re heading back to university in autumn, then get ahead on any work you can whilst you have the summer off. Are you doing a dissertation? Get reading! Most importantly, get your reading organised. Not doing a dissertation? There’s still plenty you can do to get ahead, especially if your course is reading-heavy. Email your professors and ask for the reading lists in advance, or if they haven’t confirmed them yet, ask for the list from the current year. Chances are they won’t change too much, and if they do, voilà – you’ve read additional related material! You’ll definitely thank yourself when you’re academically killin’ it in the autumn.
Start a new hobby.
If you’ve always wanted to take up a particular hobby or sport but never had the time to do it alongside your studies, now is the perfect time to get stuck in. It’ll keep you occupied and you get to learn a new skill. If you’re feeling creative, you may even be able to make some cash from your new hobby by selling your creations online, so get cracking!
Have a rest.
You’ve just spent one or two semesters studying abroad, probably far from your family and friends, working your butt off. It’s totally okay to just chill. Catch up with people at home, take some me-time. Read that 700-page book you keep putting off. Binge watch that TV show everyone’s been talking about. Relax. You deserve it.
All GIFs from Giphy.com.