As college graduation approaches, it is time to reflect back on the countless hours of studying, preparing for exams and trying to map out life outside of the university. It is a time to look forward to the future, even if you don’t know exactly what it holds.
What to do after college is a big decision. Upon graduation, many seniors face the ever- daunting question from friends, family, colleagues and professors: “What are your plans for your future?”
Most will answer with the typical response of a job, internship, or graduate school. Yet, for some the answer is not so simple. An after-college plan is an important part of the post-grad process. How you decide to spend your time after college will provide you with benefits and experiences that you can take with you in future endeavors. But many recent college graduates are still figuring things out and that’s okay!
No set plans after graduation? Travel.
How can I travel?
It is a known fact that traveling is expensive. There is no getting around it. However, many organizations offer scholarships and grants for those seeking to travel.
Go Abroad offers study, volunteer, intern and teaching abroad opportunities. They also offer options for scholarships. A quick google search will bring about countless other options as well.
While exploring a new place is not a cheap endeavor, it is life changing and very feasible for most people with proper research and preparation.
Volunteering abroad presents an opportunity to do something important while making a difference in the lives of others. It is also a great opportunity to take in a new culture, new people, and new ideas.
There are so many different programs for volunteering abroad. Whether it is an environmental conservation project or teaching English to kids, there is an opportunity for everyone. It is important that you do your research and find a program that falls in line with your thoughts and values.
There are many organizations that can assist young people in finding foreign travel opportunities. This includes study and volunteer abroad, internships and jobs.
Gap Year offers advice, resources, and travel tips for their programs. Groups like Go Overseas can help find opportunities in almost any field and Omprakash can even help match you to a program based on mutual interests.
While traveling is an expensive endeavor, it is also one with many benefits. Whether volunteering, studying, working or learning at an internship, being abroad is a decision that will help make you a better person and employee.
Traveling abroad will teach you. You will learn new skills needed to survive in a new place. You will acquire tips and techniques that will stick with you for the rest of your life. You will learn about other cultures, your world, and those in it. Nothing will teach you or better prepare you for life experiences and situations like traveling abroad.
Networking is so important in today’s job market, and traveling will open those doors. You will be presented with opportunities to grow through the places you visit and the people you meet. These new people, ones you may have never met before, will form connections, making the job search a little easier when you return from your travels.
Traveling makes you much more employable. Having real world experiences and stories to tell will make you more marketable when looking for a job. Travel abroad experiences will get your resume noticed and set you apart from other candidates. Using your experiences will truly make you stand out.
While taking off after college graduation to travel is a scary, intimidating and expensive decision, it is one that will also be life-changing. Experiencing new people, culture, ideas and way of life will make you a well-rounded individual and marketable employee.
Erin is a senior majoring in Strategic Communications with a minor in History. She is an account associate for the PRactice, a member of PRSSA, and a research assistant for the School of Communication. After graduation, she hopes to work for a professional sports organization or in a business development program. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, catching up on Netflix, and spending time with friends and family.