Debating on studying abroad? Never had the opportunity to do a gap year? Let me tell you why this may have been a blessing in disguise!
As an avid traveller, the idea of a taking a gap year always appealed to me. A year of “finding myself” in exotic countries marked by Insta-worthy pics, what could be better? Well, actually, studying abroad. A gap year is all well and good until you dig a little bit deeper. How are you going to afford it? You can’t travel for the whole year so what are you going to be doing for the rest of the time? Is it just a waste of a year? Enter studying abroad. Below are only some of the reasons why studying abroad tops a Gap-Yah, any day of the week…
Flights, Visa and Health Insurance could be free!
As part of a government initiative to encourage people to take a semester or year abroad, all students have to do is pay the first £300 of costs and the government will pay for the rest. This is inclusive of all flights to and from your home country to your study abroad country, visas and health insurance. Potentially much more beneficial for those travelling outside of Europe, this scheme should encourage you to escape the Euro-Zone and venture further out!
You still get your student loan!
You can actually request to get it paid early too. For many students, this helps to pay for rent and living costs. If you’re staying inside of Europe you could also get the Erasmus+ grant, which could either be used to top up your rent or spent on travelling. The choice is yours.
University bursary? Yes, please!
Calling all Bloggers and Instagramers! The University will give you a grant for helping them to advertise studying abroad. All you have to do is write a weekly blog (which is great anyway because it allows you to remember what you’ve actually done) or take over their Instagram account for a week, filling it up with all those photographs you’ve been taking. Easy, simple, and best of all, the money you can be spent towards more travelling!
So your flights have been paid for, but what about the actual travelling? The opportunities for travel are limitless. You can stay inside your study abroad country and explore, either via bus or coach networks, or internal flights which are normally very cheap. Alternatively, you can explore the neighbouring countries during the breaks in your timetable, weekends or during the mid-term holidays you’ll have off. Where ever in the world you have ended up, there will also be an Erasmus Student Network which will provide cheap travelling opportunities. Fancy a day trip or a weekend away? ESN is a perfect way of exploring new places, a great way of making friends and is very easy on the wallet.
As well as the ESN, you will have opportunities to create a network of friends within your international halls, courses, and social meetings. Although travelling alone to “find yourself” can be beneficial, a great network of friends who are in the same position as you can support you throughout your time abroad, and go a long way in making your experience the best it can be.
So the next time you think about taking a year out, consider studying abroad. It may well provide you with the opportunity of your lifetime.