Have you thought about spending some time abroad but are not sure what to actually do? No matter if you just graduated, have a summer to fill or just want to take a break from the daily grind – there’s a suitable option out there for everyone. Here’s our definitive list.
1. The classic – A language course abroad
You can study the language of your choice in the destination of your dreams: From London to Paris, Barcelona, New York or Tokyo – the sky’s really the limit here and you can explore the world one language at a time. Most study abroad courses are highly customizable: From content to intensity and length, it’s totally up to you. Depending on your schedule, you can spend your spare time exploring, having fun with new friends and new hobbies or studying for a language proficiency exam like the Cambridge Exam.
2. The career booster – An internship abroad
Doing an internship abroad can be a great stepping stone into a dream career, or an awesome, eye-opening and exciting way to sample different careers you’re interested in. You can show future employers how independent and open-minded you are, gain valuable work experience and of course, boost your career-related language skills. Oh and let’s not forget the self-confidence and network of friends and future colleagues from around the world that come with an internship abroad.
3. The break from university life – Semester abroad
After a year or two at university, a semester abroad can be a great way to spice up not only your studies but also your CV. You will continue taking classes in your field while learning about life at a different university and in a different country – complete with new local and international friends.
4. The longer haul – Studying abroad
If you’re keen on a longer period abroad, consider doing your whole bachelors or masters degree in a country other than your own. In the UK, a masters degree take between one and two years to complete (one is more common unless it’s a research degree) and in addition to your degree, you’ll graduate with a much-improved level of English (or whatever language you study in.)
5. The family immersion – Au Pair programs
If you want to immerse in a new culture while living with a local family and taking care of their kids, being an au-pair might be the way to go. The prerequisite is that you are between 18-26 years old and can prove that you have experience as a babysitter, preschool or kindergarten teacher. An au-pair stay can be extremely helpful if you’re pursuing a career in education, and it’s a great way to spend time abroad without paying the big bucks – room and board is usually provided and you’ll even get a small allowance.
6. The adventurous route – Work & Travel
If you’re the adventurous type, getting a temporary or seasonal job in a new country might be the right way to go. It’s one of the most authentic and exciting ways to explore a new country, but it will take some planning and flexibility. Living in a hostel or an RV while working as a farmhand, office assistant or waiter is not everyone’s cup of tea, but you will be able to truly immerse yourself in the local lifestyle, and if you don’t like a place or your job, you can simply move to the next city.
7. The seasonal trip – Summer schools
Summer Schools are an excellent opportunity to get a taste of college or university in another country. You will use your summer holiday to take classes abroad, meet students from around the world and explore a new country. Summer schools are a great way to go on a smart vacation – a trip where you learn something but also have ample time for trips and excursions.
8. The changemaker – Volunteer work
If you want to do something good while seeing the world, you should consider volunteering. No matter your background or interest, there are a lot of organizations that need your support and commitment. While doing good, you’ll also learn a lot about yourself, get to know a new culture and advance your language skills – volunteering really is a gift that keeps on giving.
Going abroad is always a great idea, no matter what your itinerary looks like and no matter how you end up doing it. From gaining valuable experiences in a new country and culture, to boosting your language skills, making new friends and expanding your horizons – spending time abroad has the power to change your life.