A Few Notes About Student Travel

Sometimes, you just need to go have an adventure. The school year can be stressful. You’re getting older and the world is at the tips of your fingertips. GO SEE IT!

This summer, after teaching in Korea for a month, my friend and I packed our backpacks (which ended up being heavier than we planned) and got on a plane to China…but it definitely wasn’t that easy.

For reference, neither my friend of I had been to China before and only spoke two words on Chinese. It was an incredible adventure. I could tell stories for days, but instead, I will just share my advice for traveling as a student, on a student budget in a big intimidating but awesome foreign country.

  1. You can NEVER do enough RESEARCH- I started planning our trip to China very early last spring and I thought I was thoroughly researched. I knew about subway stations, printed out maps, watched videos about picking up train tickets and poured over different hostel profiles. There were some days when my research proved to be incredibly helpful. However, I had so many experiences where we walked into situations I hadn’t anticipated. How was I supposed to know that our hostel would be super weird and have grimy cats roaming the halls?
  2. Schedule your showers- Two nights on a train with no showers and humid weather… didn’t think that one through… However, the shower when we got back to the hostel was incredible.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask directions- You’re going to get lost. You’re going to get lost a lot (especially if you only have wifi and no international cell phone service). People like policemen, if they speak any English, will try to help you.
  4. There are many ways to communicate- Talk to people! A smile goes a long way.
  5. Travel with someone that you trust and that you can laugh with- I was very lucky to have an awesome travel buddy. Looking back, I can’t imagine what would have happened if I tried to travel through China by myself.
  6. Just do it!!!- Take a risk and just go for it. Traveling is fun.