The Advance-Titan

Study abroad allows for cheaper travel

Many college students dream of traveling the world one day, and now might be a better time than ever before to make those dreams a reality.

Study abroad programs have been around for a long time, and continue to be one of the best ways for students to travel during their college years. However, many students are reluctant to study abroad and miss out on rewarding experiences as a result.

UW Oshkosh freshman Megan Olson said fear and finances are both major factors that prevent students from pursuing study abroad programs.

“Just the initial stepping out of your comfort zone holds a lot of people back,” Megan Olson said. “And the money. We all have bills to pay. It’s hard to save up for a trip like that.”

It’s not difficult to see why many students feel this way. Considering how little money students typically make at their jobs in addition to the crushing debt most of them take on through student loans, travel can often seem like a distant dream—one that may never come to fruition.

Travel doesn’t have to be a privilege for rich retirees or those with established careers. Students find ways to travel all the time at surprisingly reasonable prices.

One such person is Emily Olson, a second-year graduate student who spent half a year in Japan by combining two different study abroad programs offered at UWO.

“I was in Japan for six and a half months,” Emily Olson said. “I studied Japanese language and culture and taught English during the first four and a half months. Then the last two months were the English summer camps.”

With the vast number of study abroad programs offered by the University, students have a variety of options to choose from, and some of these options are amazingly cheap.

The USA Summer Camp program Emily Olson mentioned has an estimated total cost of $700, including airfare, making it a fantastic option for students looking for an affordable program. Students looking for a spot next summer should apply soon, as spots fill up fast.

Emily Olson strongly recommends studying abroad to students who have never tried it.

“Oh yeah, I preach it,” Emily Olson said. “Yeah, money is [a] huge factor, especially now that I’m in grad school and don’t get any grants. But don’t let that stop you. The memories you make, the friends you meet, the places you go and the food you eat will be worth it.”

But study abroad programs are far from the only option for students looking to travel. UWO sophomore Maddie Foord was able to fund a three-month trip to Italy this past summer using Aupairworld.com, a website that connects travelers with host families around the world that will compensate them with money in exchange for work at a location in their chosen destination.

“You fill out a profile, families apply to you, and you apply to families,” Foord explained. “Within that month, I got over 60 applications. It was crazy.”

Websites like Aupairworld.com offer an alternative style of travel—one that can be a great option for those without a lot of money.

Whether it is through a traditional study abroad program or a website like Aupairworld.com, students have a growing list of options to choose from if they want to travel during college. Thanks to our universities and the internet, travel for the college student is becoming easier and cheaper than ever before.

All the more reason to get out and see the world!

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Study abroad allows for cheaper travel