by Kaley Dallaire
Yes, you can travel without taking a gap year!
One of the best things about living in the UK is that I get to travel while also being a student. Travel within the UK is incredibly easy, and while I have yet to travel beyond the UK since being here it is also something that is very doable.
The first trip I took was in the first week I moved here, before the semester began. I did a day trip to Edinburgh which was very easy being in Northern England. The train was only 1.5 hours and leaving early in the morning and later that night meant a full day could be spent in Edinburgh. Purchasing a ticket for a hop on hop off bus tour is a great way to see the city in a day. It allows you to see the main attractions and get off along the way to visit each one. I went to the Edinburgh Castle with a discounted entry fee from purchasing the bus ticket, and the National Museum of Scotland which is free to visit.
The second trip I took was to London for a weekend. Having 3 hours on the train allowed plenty of time to work on my assignments for the upcoming school week. I had an assignment due that week so designating a bit of time in the mornings and evenings before going out for the day let me explore the city without stressing about schoolwork. I was lucky to meet up with family in London, so I got to see and do a lot more than if I had gone alone. Using my school ID came in very useful for getting discounted entry to attractions such as the Tower Bridge or Kensington Palace.
I have my third trip coming up as I write this and similarly to when I went to London, these next few weeks are quite busy with assignments and schoolwork. Again, having 1.5 hours on the train will give me time to work, and with Edinburgh being so close I don’t have to worry about committing an entire weekend to travel. While in Edinburgh I will be attending the famous Edinburgh Christmas. The Christmas market has plenty of free events, so I won’t have to spend a lot of money to visit. As well it is up 7 days a week so I can visit on a Sunday when I have no class and can take some time away from studying.
I have a few tips to make traveling a bit easier while studying. The UK is a small country so travelling in general is easy. However, being a student does add additional complications with being on a budget, having classes to attended, and assignments to submit.
- Do work on the train and give yourself time in the morning or evening for work.
- Eating out can be cheap! Many shops have meal deals where you can get a main, a snack, and a drink for around £5.
- There are plenty cheap hotels and affordable Airbnb’s! Weekends away don’t need to cost a fortune.
- Download the app Skyscanner to see the best deals on flights.
- Book your train in advance to save money.
- Take advantage of student discounts! Most places with an admission fee will have student discounts. Just show a valid student ID to save a few extra pounds while traveling.
I plan to travel much more over the course of the next year both within the UK and abroad. With the easy access to train travel, cheap flights to many European destinations, and extensive time off class over Christmas and Easter, traveling is accessible and very doable while studying.
If you want to study abroad and also want to travel, then contact an Across the Pond advisor to begin your journey of education and travel!
| Sources |
Edinburgh Castle: https://www.edinburghcastle.scot
Edinburgh Christmas: http://www.edinburghschristmas.com/#stq=&stp=1
National Museum of Scotland: https://www.nms.ac.uk/national-museum-of-scotland/
Tower Bridge: https://www.towerbridge.org.uk
Kensington Palace: https://www.hrp.org.uk/kensington-palace/#gs.jdtltr
Train Line: https://www.thetrainline.com
Sky scanner app: https://www.skyscanner.net/mobile.html
Hop on hop off: https://www.hop-on-hop-off-bus.com/#sort=%40regionsortorder%20descending
Air BNB: https://www.airbnb.co.uk
ATP advisor: https://ca.studyacrossthepond.com/enquire