I often get asked this question whenever I share about my recent adventures from [country]. Want to travel around the world? You can!
Before I share how I made travel possible while still studying, you have to know that student university years provide the best opportunities for travel!
- You’re of legal age.
- You can start managing your own finances.
- You have 4 summer (3 for some) holidays free to be wherever you want and do whatever you wish. That translates to 12 solid months of travelling time within the 4 years of university education! All that without having to skip a single day of class.
- Furthermore, if you sign up for your university’s study abroad/ Erasmus/ student exchange program, you get to spend the entire semester (6 months) in a country of your choice!
Having itchy feet already? 😉
But where do you get the money to travel?
I’m telling you, you can. You earn, and you save.
As a student millennial with a student loan debt upon graduation, I still manage to travel yearly. Sometimes more than once in a year, with all my trips fully self-funded since I was 19. Now being 23 years young, I’ve been to 30 countries out of the 195 in the world.
I’m not trying to show off. I’m just telling you that it’s possible for every student millennial to make money to travel the world, if you want it hard enough. And today I’m going to show you how you can make it happen with these actionable steps outlined below.
How to travel the world as a student?
1. Part-time jobs offered by your school.
I’ve worked in my university as an Events Associate, helping out with ushering at university-wide events.
Most of my university years was not complete without being a gym staff, tending to the counter and being inspired by the determination and grit of gym-goers.
I signed up for every paid research study that was sent out, even if it only paid $5 for 30 minutes of my time.
Other positions available in your school include being a Teaching Assistant, a Research Assistant, a retail staff and waitressing at your school’s cafe.
2. Part-time or ad hoc jobs outside of school.
These jobs doesn’t require specific skills, and was done during my pre-university period.
I did telemarketing, waitressed for wedding banquets, conducted camps to secondary school children, acted as a service crew in the F&B industry, and even promoted products in supermarkets.
In the 7 months leading up to my university, I took up as many as 3 jobs in one sitting. I had a day job as an administrator in a shipping company, worked as a waitress come night, and gave tuition on weekends.
Other easy, low-maintenance jobs include being a babysitter, housesitting, becoming a personal shopper or a product reviewer.
3. Sell your specialized service or skill.
I am a freelance personal trainer and I train the staff and professors in my university.
I write freelance for online and print publications on topics relating to travel, lifestyle and dining.
I formerly tutored primary and secondary school kids.
I’d also been a rock climbing instructor for toddlers.
There are so many other skilled jobs out there, such as graphic designers, coders, emcees, photographers, drivers, inter alia. With Uber and GrabCar, anyone can earn money being a driver!
4. Remove your clutter!
Have books, furnitures, apparels, accessories or gadgets you no longer have use for? Sell them in physical thrift stores or online, such as:
- Facebook groups
I’ve taken part in flea markets around my neighbourhood. There are always flea markets being organized every weekend. One of such in Singapore is Fleawhere. Follow them on Facebook to learn of their latest fleas and how you can participate.
Where can I find part-time/ freelance jobs?
1. Look into Facebook groups. They often have very active and frequent postings.
- Singapour Nanas Babysitting – short-term babysitting for the French expats in Singapore
- SG Freelance Jobs
- Part Time & Ad Hoc Jobs Available!
- Part-Time/Full-Time Jobs in Singapore
- Part-Time/Temp/Ad Hoc Jobs in Singapore (Stroff Jobs – Stroff.com)
- Part-Time Jobs in Singapore
2. Recruiting/ freelance websites.
3. Ask around.
Connect with your previous employers. Speak to friends and relatives. Ask if they know anyone who is hiring a part-timer.
4. Offer your help!
If you come across anyone who appears they could use some extra help, offer them! Gain karma points. Who knows you may be rewarded?
How can I increase my chances of getting hired?
Ask yourself, what are your skill sets?
Compile a list, and find ways to make full use of them. Remember, the more niche your skills are, the more you are sought after, and hence the more people are willing to pay to hire you.
Make your services or skills known to people. When someone asks “what have you been up to lately?”, that’s your opportune moment to share about the services you’re offering, as a way of marketing yourself!
What if you have no specialized skills to speak of? Use the luxury of time during your school holidays to pick up a new skill, or improve your knowledge at existing ones. Learn driving, volunteer to teach, go for photo walks around your neighbourhood. Show your commitment and sincerity at learning, and you’ll soon be treated as an asset!
Don’t be afraid to try something new, something completely different from what you’re studying. Yes, it can be scary starting from ground zero. But you need to begin somewhere, don’t you? Compared to having a mid-life crisis and wanting to change an industry when you’re 50, the opportunity cost of venturing on new ground is much less when you’re in your 20s!
There are plenty that student travels can offer you.
Read 10 Student Travel Tips I Wish I’d Known Earlier to learn all about the student perks you can use while travelling.
How To Save on Accommodation and Transport While Travelling is a list that I go to for the cheapest resources available.
New traveller? Equip your knowledge with Prevent Pickpockets and Travel Worry-Free with These 10 Easy Tips.
Want to fuel your wanderlust? Acting On Your Wanderlust gives you actionable steps on how to begin planning your next adventure!
Working in your 20s can be some of the most fun and enriching experiences you can look back on. Have you worked while you were studying? What did you do?