Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Traveling while studying abroad: My experience and tips.

Hi! My name is Jennifer and I'm a Panamanian student here at Sheffield working as an International Office Ambassador.
One of the reasons why I decided to study in England is because of its great location.  I’m a great believer in the power of travel, so one of my priorities after moving here was to travel whenever my schedule [and budget] allowed me to. Luckily, this semester I was able to visit Austria, Hungary, Ireland and Germany. Its mind blowing how each and every single country has something special to offer. Definitely, traveling opens your mind in a way that very few things in this world do and it’s by far the best way to learn about history.
I never thought that Budapest’s architecture would be so magnificent; that the Opera in Vienna was still a very hip thing to do on Fridays; that Dubliners are so friendly and proud of their Guinness and that German bread rolls or “brotchen” were so delicious. To be honest, with every trip I make, I crave to travel even further and to more unconventional locations.
St Matthew’s Gothic Cathedral in Budapest
Some of the questions you need to ask yourself before picking your next destination are: would I prefer to travel alone or with someone? Would I rather go to a city or a smaller village? What’s my budget? What’s my schedule?
I genuinely hope that some of the tips below might help you to travel more often:
  • Whenever looking for airplane tickets, check pages like EasyJet, RyanAir, Skyscanner or FlyBe.  A good tip is to try to fly during the week, either Wednesday or Thursday as tickers are cheaper than on Friday, for example.
  • When traveling on a lower budget, consider the possibility of staying in hostels or AirBnBs. One of my favorite websites is as it includes plenty of reviews by travelers and pictures of the hostels.

Guinness Storehouse in Dublin

Our cool Argentinian roommate in Vienna's Hostel!

  • Before traveling to the city, do some research of the main touristic sights. Check if there’s a company offering free walking tours and if there is, do not miss it. It’s a great way to get to know most of the city in the most efficient way and most of the times, hostels will be able to help you schedule a walking tour. Also, most of the times tour guides can help you plan the next following days. 
    Mandatory Selfie in Berlin!
    Trinity College’s Library in Dublin     

    • At least once while you’re traveling, splurge a bit and go to a nice, local restaurant. Try to go somewhere where there are no tourists and where you’ll get a more real experience of the food. After all, you know what they say: "When in Rome, do as the Romans do".

    Cafe Tirolerhof, a traditional Viennese Cafe where people spend hours drinking coffee and reading the newspaper.

    •  Last but not least: just do it. We’re young, living in one of the most historically and culturally rich continents in the world, and technology is making traveling more affordable day by day. Most of the times we regret the most the things we did not do, not the things we do. So get crazy, surf the web and pack your bags for your next adventure… Bon voyage!

      PS: If you go to Budapest, eat as many Langos as you possibly can.  Thank me later.

      Jennifer International Office Ambassador Panama


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