Traveling abroad can be so exciting! In Europe, travel between countries is very simple and cheap, relatively speaking. Between cheap airlines and the high-speed rail that covers much of Europe, you’ll see that a lot of people who study abroad decide to take weekend trips to cities and countries near where they’re studying. However, realistically speaking, not everyone has the opportunity to do that due to money or other reasons. This blog talks about the benefits of not taking weekend trips outside of your study abroad location, regardless of your reason not do so.
- The culture! The culture in every city varies so much even with a single country. Take a moment to consider the U.S. The popular destinations in the U.S.—New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco—all have different cultures they offer. This is no different in Europe. If you’re studying abroad, especially for a short-length program, take the time to immerse yourself in the culture you’re living in! While traveling to different countries and cities while you’re in Europe to go sightseeing is fun and there’s nothing wrong with it, there’s also fun to have in your study abroad city! Take the time to see all the things your city has to offer so that one day, you can come back and actually remember things about the city and not just have a vague sense of what living in that city was like. On top of that, if you have the chance, take the time to meet locals! They can easily tell you where popular places are for natives and less for tourists if you want to truly immerse yourself into the culture!
- Short travel. While I started off this blog saying to enjoy the city you’re in, I also said there’s nothing wrong with traveling. With that said, the trips I’ve taken while studying abroad have been little day trips, and those have been so rewarding! If you’re in a large city that uses public transport, like Madrid, there’s likely opportunities to travel to neighboring towns and cities with a transportation pass. In Madrid, the transportation pass IES Abroad recommends everyone to get is 20€/month, and it lets you travel to cities over an hour away for free! I took the time to travel both Toledo and Aranjuez on different days, and I was so amazed at the difference in feel both places had to offer. I was able to use my transportation pass to visit both places and walk around for the day. I left after breakfast and was back by dinner! Look for opportunities like that in whichever city you’re in—I'm sure you’ll be amazed at whatever opportunities you have around you!
Overall, regardless of your reason for not planning weekend trips to other popular tourist destinations away from your study abroad location, there is a ton every city can offer within the city or just outside it, and those opportunities can be easy on the wallet and just as rewarding!
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<p>My favorite hobbies are running and wrestling. I started playing soccer when I was seven, but I gradually made my way to wrestling and running as I got older. I really enjoyed the team and the individual aspect of that these sports gave me that many other sports cannot.</p>