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With the summer holidays only four months away now, seasoned traveller Noa Leach provides us with some post-exams travel inspiration.

If you’re going to travel, do it now.

This may seem like strange advice to give a student in the middle of studies. But if you’re struggling to think of exciting New Year’s Resolutions, you should definitely consider planning a trip abroad.

Your studies will benefit
With almost four months between university years, students have the perfect window of time to work – both academically and for money – and then take a break before studies start. If you get a job paying at least £7 an hour for 35 hours a week, in two months you have nearly 2 grand (and I’m not even a maths student).

That leaves a third month to get some university work done or relax at home. If you are finishing second year or are studying a more demanding degree, you might think that there’s not enough time to get everything done. But even two weeks away can provide the benefits that a half-year journey gives.

What could be more attractive to an employer?
Travel clears the mind. You have to think about more basic things than imaginary numbers or the legal constitution. You don’t even have to live in a tribe to get back to the basics – sorting out food and accommodation is enough. It just gives you a chance to do what you really enjoy and not feel guilty for it.
Travelling isn’t just for a break. Meeting new people from all over the world gives your mind a fresh perspective and really changes the way you look at things. Your studies will benefit from this, whichever side of Arts vs Science you sit on.

These new people don’t just give you new perspective, but also a friendship you won’t make if you stay at home. You connect with people you wouldn't have otherwise met, and the people you travel with become lifelong friends. Suddenly you have a worldwide network of people who want to help you.

If you do a volunteer project, get a job, or even learn a new language while you’re out there, travel also becomes an invaluable addition to your LinkedIn profile. You become a student who can balance academics and earn their way to providing a lifetime experience for themselves. What could be more attractive to an employer?

And on top of all this, you see (excuse the cliché, but they really are indescribable) breath-taking sights.

Try staying with friends around Britain who you’ve met at uni for a cheaper adventure, or backpacking around British hostels.

Interrailing is a fantastic challenge with friends or solo, and is a great way to see multiple countries. It can be done on a budget depending on the countries you choose, but you won’t have to pay for anything more costly than the train pass itself.

Getting out of Europe becomes more expensive but is definitely possible. Asia, particularly the south, is extraordinarily beautiful and can be incredibly cheap – the cost of food and living makes up for the flights.

If you are on a higher budget you can target South or North America. Bolivia and Peru are significantly cheaper than other Latino countries, and include the famous salt flats and Machu Picchu.

Of course, any trip can be shortened or made longer depending on time or budget.

While university undoubtedly improves our minds, life is about more than just academics. We go to university for a reason, and while there most people work hard towards their degree. But even though university lasts three (or more) years, those years should not be taken up solely by the degree.

There are too many experiences for one lifetime, so you may as well start now. With job searching and who knows what else after university, there may not be a better time for it!

And whatever form the trip takes, I could not recommend seizing the opportunity more. Whether it’s backpacking around England or climbing Patagonian mountains – interrailing in Europe or volunteering in Malaysia – everyone should travel.

You do nothing in the summer anyway – what are you waiting for?

Do you think travelling benefits your studies? Let us know in the comments below...

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