When we think of higher education, we generally think of being tied down to one institution and its surrounding city for three years minimum or up to six years if you’re planning on studying part-time. For those of us with itchy feet who want to explore the wider world, this can be a commitment that we’re just not willing to make. We want our freedom, but at the same time it would be great to come back from our adventures with qualifications and the means to find a job that we’re going to enjoy down the line. The good news is that this is actually possible. There are various options out there for those of us who want to experience different cultures, meet new people, learn new languages, and still have a degree and a job for when we want to settle down. Here are just a few to consider!
Take a Gap Year
The first and perhaps most commonly employed way to get your travel fix without completely sacrificing your studies is to take a gap year. While many students will progress directly from their high school to a college or other higher education institute, you can always apply and put your place on hold for a year. You can then use this time to roam the world for months at a time, taking in new places, safe in the knowledge that you’ll have your formal education waiting back home for you.
Consider Online Courses
An alternative, for those who just can’t satiate their wanderlust in a single year, is to consider an online course. Online courses give you the same qualification as you’d receive when attending a full time course on-campus. However, you don’t actually have to physically attend any seminars or lectures. Instead, you will generally watch these online as and when is convenient for you (within reason). You can communicate with your tutors and classmates over video chat software such as Skype and you can have much more reign over your own research and reading. This means that you can take plenty of trips without fearing about missing out on contact hours. Instead, you can fit your studies in around your travel conveniently. There are all sorts of online courses out there, from options in the humanities to masters in engineering management. So browse to see what’s available with this mode of study!
Choose Courses with a Year Abroad Option
While most courses take place in the home institute, many colleges are now pairing up with schools and universities overseas in order to offer students study-abroad options. These opportunities may last a month or two or may allow you to study away for a whole year. This is great as you are actively earning your degree while immersing yourself in new places! If in doubt as to whether your course has these kind of opportunities, contact course convenors who may be able to help.
Thankfully, taking on higher education doesn’t necessarily mean having to sacrifice your love of travel and exploration! Sometimes you really can have your cake and eat it!