Graduation is right around the corner, and the world around you for some reason is expecting you to have your life together and become the organized, mature individual college was supposed to make you to be.
Unfortunately, after four years you have not become that person. 1,460 of studying (or partying) isn’t exactly the best way to figure out what you want to do with your life for most people. We still have dreams of seeing the Pyramids, seeing new cultures, or getting hit on in foreign languages.
A lot of people are ignorant of the opportunities after college that don’t involve plugging away between four walls for eight hours a day. Thus, they find themselves making more excuses than arguments for living our their dreams of seeing the world.
As one gets older their excuses often do in fact become realities, but for those still enjoying their youth (which is completely subjective) the excuses are few. Therefore, to further eliminate whatever excuses come to mind below are a number of ways to have a meaningful travel experience, and in some cases get paid while doing so. And remember we’re talking travel, not a vacation.
1) Volunteer abroad
Unfortunately many developing countries still lack the infrastructure to deliver proper services to their citizens. Therefore a plethora of volunteer programs exist in countries ranging from South Africa to the Philippines. Many of these places need houses to be built, children to be taught, food to be handed out etc. creating many opportunities to not only have an enriching experience for yourself, but to enrich the lives of others.
If Tanzania sparks interest, check out Don Bosco, they’re an orphanage in Dar es Salaam that has received great reviews in the past. For a wider range of options take a gander athttp://www.volunteerhq.org.
Don’t forget about the Peace Corps! They’ll supply you with a stipend to cover the most basic of living expenses and they even provide a benefit to help ease the burden of those student loans you probably forgot to account for.
2) Teach English
Chances are if you can read this post, you have a firm grasp of the English language. If that’s the case then pick a place on the map! As an added bonus, if you carry a passport from a country with English as the (or maybe an) official language, even more doors just opened up.
Currently Spain has a high demand for English teachers as they have one of the lowest levels of English speakers in Europe, and it is quite simple to find a job and live well. The Spanish Ministry of Education has a program that allows you to teach in public schools around the country for up to three years specifically for North American university grads, called Auxiliar de Conversación.
Demand in Thailand and Vietnam is also growing day by day, while the more lucrative opportunities can be found in South Korea, China, Japan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE as they are undergoing educational reforms throughout the country.
If you’re looking for opportunities in Madrid, Barcelona or Berlin check out lingobongo.com, they also have resources for adjusting to life in those cities as well.
When searching for opportunities abroad, do your research, there are companies out there that do not fulfill their promises. One site worth surveying is http://www.teachaway.com.
3) Get a graduate degree, at a fraction of the cost
Missed your chance at studying abroad? Don’t worry there are still more opportunities, and they will likely cost you less that what you paid for a year of living in the freshman dorms.
Bernie Sanders’ wet dream, or Europe has a plethora of wallet friendly graduate programs, some are even free. Take Germany for example, all undergraduate and graduate programs are tuition free, all you have to pay are the minimal admin fees.
Best of all, for a lot of them you don’t even need to take the GMAT. Slackers rejoice!
This option is mostly for the ladies as the role of an Au-pair is to act as a nanny while also teaching the child you’re caring for your native language. Male applicants more often than not are not considered for these types of programs and positions. Sorry boys.
5) Global rotational programs
Many mulch-national corporations have what they call global rotational programs, work programs where they hire young professionals and recent graduates to work across different countries and maybe even different departments. Competition for a spot in such programs is often fierce, although for a driven individual, this might be a perfect solution.
6) Pack up and leave
Self explanatory. Just make sure to pack a passport.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA Today Sports