I can’t believe we’re almost in April already! With summer around the corner, it’s about time to start thinking of how you’ll spend those months in the best way possible. Let’s explore some worthwhile options!
Alright alright, it might sound a bit nerdy, but hey, if you’re like me and actually like to study, then summer is a great time for doing so. Usually, the schedule isn’t as dense, with plenty of free time. You also get the chance to study courses that are usually not available on your program. It’s also a great way to reduce your workload ahead of a tough semester, making your exam periods less hectic and perhaps even speeding up your graduation a little.
I personally spent a summer studying in the US and made friends for life that I still keep in touch with frequently and reunite with all over the world. You’ll likely also have plenty of free time to travel around during the weekends, so you’ll surely have tons of fun!
Some good summer schools in Europe to consider:
- Summer at Nottingham Trent University
- Business at Barcelona’s ESADE
- Business studies at Lisbon’s Nova
- Business, languages and Middle East studies at Tel Aviv University
- Humanities and Political sciences at Barcelona’s UPF
- Management studies at Lisbon’s ISCTE
- Economics at Barcelona’s GSE
- Summer at Rome’s Sapienza University
- Summer at American University of Rome
Summer is also a great time to travel abroad to learn a new language or sharpen your current skills. If you’re an English-speaker, how about a month or two in Spain, Italy or France to learn another language while using your time off to explore the country? For example you could take a summer course in Spanish at Universitat de Barcelona. Or if English isn’t your first language, why not go to the UK to get some practice?
You can practice foreign languages all you want, but the best way to actually learn is to be in the place where the language is spoken. That way you surround yourself with it and immerse yourself in it.
Going abroad to volunteer is also a great way to experience a different place, meet new people and get practical experience. Technically you could go and volunteer anywhere in the world, but it’s a great way to travel to for example Asia, South America or Africa – where there are plenty of volunteering opportunities – while doing something worthwhile.
I personally spent 6 weeks volunteering as a teacher in Ghana, perhaps the most rewarding experience in my life. Living with locals and traveling around the country with my fellow volunteers by bus, we truly got to know the local culture. I can warmly recommend going to volunteer! I did it through student-run AIESEC, which won’t charge you hefty fees since it’s a non-profit and they’ll also arrange it so that you can live with local students.
How about getting some practical experience during your student years? Summer is a great time for that! It’s also a great opportunity for you to travel abroad to intern in a foreign country – all employers like people who have international experience, and it’s a plus if you’ve also experienced working abroad in an international environment.
If you specifically know which company you want to work for, check out their website’s Career pages. If it’s a smaller company or a startup, email them with your CV to express your interest, even if they don’t have any positions open on their site. My mentor told me once that “A great candidate is always a great candidate”, they might be able to arrange something for you, it’s worth a shot!
Check out Student Mundial’s internships within business development, marketing, UX Design, photography and web development. Regardless of your language or location, as long as you have the talent and the drive, then we’d like to hear from you!
Another alternative is simply to work. Any job is better than no job, as they say! Depending on what field you’re into, there are always options out there. Take a look at your local coffee shop, restaurant, bar or your favorite store and see if they need an extra hand. If you’re doing a good job, you might even be able to continue working there part-time during the semesters for some extra income!
At Student Mundial we’re passionate travelers, we all love to take any chance we get to travel abroad to discover new places! Once you start your work-life, you’ll never the get same amount of free time as you have when studying, so why not enjoy it. A backpacking trip, a European inter-rail trip or whatever you’re into, take the time to travel and recharge your batteries for the next semester!
Some good low-cost traveling alternatives include:
- Book your flights with Vueling for great deals on flights in Europe, with plenty of destinations in Spain
- Find your hostel at Hostelworld, probably the largest hostel site
- Buy your European inter-rail pass with Rail Europe
- We can also recommend going on an organized tour with Contiki
Don’t forget to check out our accommodation listings if you’re traveling abroad during the summer and need to find affordable short-term housing!
Do you have any other great tips on how to spend your summer, find a good internship or volunteering placement? Please share it in the comments below!