By Izzy Green Fourth year, French and Spanish
Not sure what to do post graduation? Izzy Green offers up her suggestions, along with some helpful advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Travel Aware Campaign.
If, like me, you’re trying to put off the reality of graduating from Bristol this summer, I’ve got some post-grad travel inspiration for you. Whether it be a cheeky city break or a full-blown travel experience, I’ve combined ideas from my final year student friends, as well as some handy knowledge I’ve learned from being a Student Brand Ambassador for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Travel Aware Campaign, to put some top tips to make your post-graduation travel preparations easier.
One of my flatmates is itching to move and work abroad again having just come back from a year abroad. While she still doesn’t know what she wants to do when she finishes university (preaching to the choir), she’s desperate to travel, especially around East Asia, before eventually finding a ‘real’ job abroad. So that she doesn’t have to suffer the 9-5 grind at home to save up to travel, she’s thinking of going on a ski season – a great idea if you want to earn a bit of money whilst being abroad.
Thinking of following suit? What’s great is that you also don’t need to start thinking about it right away - most places start recruiting in the summer, so you don’t have to worry about it during exams. If like me, however, you have no idea where to even start looking to prepare for the season, but want to start planning it now (productive procrastination from exams), I’ve found the FCO’s #SkiSafe page great for checklists and info on insurance for my ski holidays.
A friend of mine doing a master’s here at Bristol told me he just wants to take a short city break before joining the working world. He is very fortunate to have already found a grad-scheme which he starts in September (more fool him starting the ‘thrill’ of the 9-5 so soon), so doesn’t have the time to go on a huge travelling adventure. A great way to still get some travelling in is to book a city break – Marrakech being an ideal choice. It’s a great option, among many others, because the cheap flights also make it perfect for us students who will definitely be low on funds come the end of the year. Having been before, I can tell you that the sunshine there would make it a great treat after exams, but the city is also brimming with history – so if you like to sight-see it’s the perfect spot.
Feeling inspired by a culture-filled city break in Marrakech? While galivanting around the city tourist-ing bear in mind that Moroccan culture is quite different to that of the UK and it’s important to stay respectful to your host country when you travel. Morocco, for example, is a Muslim country and so follows Islamic law and customs; to avoid any mishaps, I’d recommend checking out the FCO website, which has great information for before you jet off on any city break!
Gap-year-inspired huge travelling adventure?
Another of my friends is planning a huge South American travelling experience after this year. She wants to get a job between graduation and January and save up as much money as possible before going around Brazil, Chile, Peru and Argentina. Other friends and I are planning the exact same thing – travel as many Latin American countries as we can until we run out of money! Whilst planning this myself, I have realised how much you need to know before you go; “The Rough Guide to South America on a budget” has been a great planning aid. From entry requirements to different currencies, the organisation is a bit of a task, but the FCO’s South America page has honestly made this so much quicker and easier for me, with helpful information on each of the countries.
Being the Student Brand Ambassador for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Travel Aware Campaign has made me realise the importance of prior research before embarking on your travels. No matter where you to choose to go, for however long, I’d definitely recommend taking a look at the FCO’s Travel Aware page: it’s really helped me and my friends in our plans - whether for a holiday, travelling adventure, or even moving abroad. But ultimately, whether you embark on a huge year-long (or more!) voyage, or simply a long weekend away, give yourself a break before you start the world of work - we definitely deserve it!
Featured Image: Andrew Neel / Unsplash
Do you have any tips for those embarking on a year abroad? Let us know!