I've already covered how to travel when you have a full-time job, even if your job doesn't have any travel involved (like mine). But what if you're still in school? Don't let the 3-4 month semesters that tie you to campus keep you from seeing the world. Here are some ways to make it happen:
1. Study Abroad
This is the most obvious option which is why it's first on the list. There are so many ways to study abroad, depending on where you go and what type of program you do. You can also choose how long you go - summer, semester, or full academic year. The three main "types" of study abroad are:
1. Faculty-led programs: programs for your school, led by faculty who are typically from your school. You earn academic credit through courses in a different country and your classmates are from your home college. The courses could be equivalent to the ones you take at home, specific to the location, or a mix of both. If you haven't traveled overseas yet, this is a great option to dip a toe in international travel. Examples: Gonzaga-in-Florence in Florence, Italy, ASU Culture, Health, and Environment in Fiji.
2. Third party programs: programs that are through a third party provider. These companies partner with many colleges to offer overseas experiences and transferable credit back to your home institution. Examples: CEA, CIEE, Semester at Sea.
3. Being an international student at another university: applying to another university as an international student and taking classes as an international student. Work closely with your study abroad office and advisor to ensure the credits you take transfer back to your home college. This is a more independent way to go abroad. Example: Foreign exchange semester or full year program at Trinity University in Dublin, Ireland.
Students at the university I work at earned close to $1M total in study abroad scholarships for the '13-'14 academic year. That's a TON of money! If finances are a barrier to go overseas, ask your study abroad office which scholarships are available both within and outside the school.
Whether it's domestic, international, or even an alternative spring break, seeing the world through other peoples' eyes will open your mind up to a new perspective while allowing you to help others.
Depending on the type of volunteer program you may even be able to get academic credit or fulfill service learning requirements through volunteering.
3. Summer travel
Use your summer break to travel! I look back on the two months of free time I had in between school years and think, why did I not utilize that time to travel? I worked during the summers, but I didn't realize there are ways to work abroad and get paid.
If you have enough money to get by for the summer then you could go on a trip for fun. Make sure to budget so that you have enough funds to get you by during the school year though, especially if you're not working part-time.
4. Winter break, spring break, and long weekends
Use the extended time off to your advantage with short trips around your hometown, road trips, or even going overseas.
There are some short-term study abroad programs during the breaks or an interim period if your school has one.
5. Get certified to teach English abroad
If you're a native English speaker interested in teaching English after college, this is also a great time to look into TEFL or TESOL certification courses. Some courses are simple online versions, or there are even TEFL/TESOL trips (such as this one with LoveTEFL) that incorporate an intro to teaching abroad while actually being in a different country.
6. Work at the study abroad office
Okay, so you're not actually traveling...but if you're not traveling sometimes the next best thing is to talk about it! Bonus points if you can earn money toward your study abroad. Extra bonus points if you've already gone places and now you get to promote it to students from first-hand experience.
Prepare to travel after college!
Whether you're able to make traveling happen during college or not, there are plenty of ways to travel after college. You could get a job that lets you travel...work a travel job abroad...volunteer with Peace Corps...go backpacking with your friends...take a solo trip as a grad gift to yourself...whatever works for you! Use your free time outside of class to plan, save, and prepare for the ultimate trip.