“Summertime, and the travellin’ is easy…”

If you believe everything that American TV tells you,  Summer break should be the time when you can sunbathe, party hard or take a cross-country road-trips in a shiny convertible…

The UK version may be more about late nights watching re-runs of your favourite box sets (thanks Netflix, we love you), having a cheeky Nandos (sitting outside of course) and shopping for summer clothes (that can be layered under a pac-a-mac because our weather isn’t exactly predictable).

A typical English summer....
A typical English summer….

It’s no wonder many students like to escape the British isles for a few months, but sometimes plans can get squashed due to a little thing that we call ‘finances.’ How can you go on a holiday if you haven’t saved any money? Well, we have the solution for you!

Why not combine your holiday with some work experience? The Centre for Global Engagement (CGE) offer various grants for students going on overseas projects, whether it’s a 1 week conference in Europe or a 3 month internship in China, the uni can help you with your dream trip! The amount of money that is available is dependent on the location and duration of your travels, but have no fear! It significantly contributes towards the overall costs of the trip.

“All students at Coventry University are encouraged to become global graduates and there are a wide range of opportunities available to help you achieve this. The University actively encourages and supports students who want to spend anything from a few weeks as an overseas intern to a year in an international work placement. Recent students have gained work experience in businesses, charities and organisations in China, India, Africa, North and South America, Australia and New Zealand. Wherever possible, we will help you apply for internal and external funding to support you with any additional travel and subsistence costs.”

Coventry students visiting the Taj Mahal, in the Indian city of Agra.

Student Roxanna shares her personal experience:

“I can assure you that taking part in international projects can really help your CV, as well as offering you a fantastic fun experience under the sun, by the beach or half way up a mountain.  I went to Hamburg for a week, and participated in a 3-day conference; it was amazing! I met a new bunch of interesting people, experienced a new culture, and learnt many new things, all whilst enjoying being abroad. Sightseeing and building new friendships were additional bonuses of the trip and the actual conference really improved my debating and negotiation skills. I had to stand in front of 500 people for every speech.”

“Another fun adventure was participating in a student exchange in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, last year with other CU students. Studying in a different university gave me the chance to see how other students experience higher education and also offered me insight into a new way of life.”

There are so many different types of projects you can get funding for; from work placements to volunteering projects and summer camps. Choosing where you want to go, and what you want to do there is the first step on your journey towards finding the right option for you. You need an experience that matches your holiday expectations as well as your future ambitions. Regardless of the area in which you’ll be working, any international experience will help to ensure that your CV stands out to future employers.

2015 trip to Beijing
2015 trip to Beijing

Building on the independence you’ve gained at uni and travelling by yourself in a foreign country will ensure that you develop new life skills. It will also help you become more competent at facing life’s challenges. You will increase your level of motivation and understanding of direction in life whilst meeting new people and enjoying yourself in a wonderful and different location!

“I truly believe it’s best to take advantage of the opportunities available, as it will only improve your student experience and increase your chances of future employment.  If you are reluctant to go by yourself, it’s best to bring along a friend; this way you’ll have a travel buddy to share new experiences with, and you’ll never get lonely.”

“At first I thought that travelling was just a way to experience a new culture and enjoy oneself. Having arrived back from China a few weeks ago, I now know that it represents so much more. Travelling influences who you are and who you can become.”

If travelling abroad appeals to you, here are some useful links that you need to check out:

Enjoy your summertime!

Insider trip:
When searching online for plane tickets, use your browser’s incognito mode. Travel websites usually raise the price if they see you logging in for a second time because you are more likely to buy tickets. Incognito mode ensures that they won’t keep a record of how many times you’ve visited a particular website.