UK Students Aren’t As Well-Travelled As We Think


UK students have on average only visited 9 of the countries in the world in their lifetime according to a new international study. That’s only 5% of the world’s countries. 

Banishing the ‘gap-yah’ image of students spending money on expensive and extensive trips to the Far East or Sub-Saharan Africa, it turns out that, on average, less than 10 countries have had the privilege of being visited but the average UK student, and the vast majority of these are in Europe.

The study, from Hostelworld’s Meet the World report, finds that (Quelle Surprise!) France was the most visited country by UK students, with 64% of those polled indicating that they had visited to country, closely followed by the the traditional British holiday resort destination, Spain, which polled 50%. Other countries in the top 10 include Germany, Italy, Greece, both the Netherlands and Belgium, and the USA – which interestingly was the only non-European country to make the top-10.

The top-10 are as follows:

The survey also discovered that a staggering 109 countries (out of 196) that have been visited by 1% or fewer UK students – including many far-flung destinations such as Chile, Fiji and Ghana. Of course, not everyone can afford to go travelling – indeed, 84% of respondents declared cost to be the main cause for not partaking in the travelling experience. However, despite the perceived extortionate cost of travelling, signs are that it is becoming more popular amongst the student population as a way to accumulate a greater skill-set and of course to explore the world – with 19% of students travelling in 2014, up from 8% in 2010. Otto Rosenberger, the Chief Marketing Officer of Hostelworld, comments that:

People think that going travelling can be expensive but the reality is that you can stay in hostels around the world for under £10 per night.

Despite these positive words, over half of students (53%) have yet to go travelling –  defined as an extended stay in one or more country – indicating that cost is still a major concern for many students.

The statistics produced record the number of countries visited in a lifetime, not just due to recent travelling – therefore family holidays account for the majority of responses shown here. For a social group with such a reputation for visiting exotic nations and fulfilling the stereotypes of being ‘spiritual, cultural and political’ (as seen in a famous Youtube video) or feeling the spirits in the sand à la The Inbetweeners 2, it seems we aren’t as well-travelled as people expect us to be!



Deputy Editor of the Wessex Scene for 2015/16. I often write News, Politics and Opinion pieces. As well as writing for the Scene I can be found in the Surge Radio studio, where I am the Head of News. Also, as I'm new to twitter and desperate, follow me!! @95moliver

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