Traveling While Abroad

The thing that I was most looking forward to about studying abroad in Europe was the opportunity to travel throughout the continent. So far I have been lucky enough to travel to Paris, Prague, Barcelona, Lisbon, Brussels, and Amsterdam (my personal favorite of which being Barcelona). To be honest, the trips I have been on this semester have been some of the first times that I have ever travelled alone. This obviously presented some challenges and stress when it came to making sure everything would go smoothly. In order to prepare for our trips, my friends and I would do a bit of research on the city and its culture so we would know what to expect upon arrival. We also made sure to pack at least the day before and develop a plan that would allow us ample time to get to and from the airport or train station (depending on our mode of transportation for each trip). For the most part, we were able to navigate these travels successfully, however there were some challenges we faced along the way. First of all, as most of us are interns that are required to work on Fridays, most trips only lasted from Friday night to Sunday afternoon. This limited amount of time in our travel destinations sometimes made it hard to see and experience everything that we wanted to. Our biggest challenge, however, was attempting to travel to all of these destinations on a student’s budget. As a result of all the money we needed to spent on flights and housing, we often had to opt out of doing things for monetary purposes. While this was an issue, it did not limit us from having a blast in all of the different cities we visited! After travelling a total of six different times this semester, there is definitely some advice that I would be willing to offer for others looking to do the same. First of all, I would recommend researching the city and having a game plan of what you will be seeing and doing once you get there. It is never good to waste your limited time trying to make a decision. Secondly, plan all of your trips early on in the semester. Prices will only go up the closer it gets to the date you want to travel. Finally, do not be afraid to try new things in these destinations. You never know what you might be missing out on if you are too afraid to immerse yourself in the culture!