“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”
― Henry Miller
Travelling in your youth is one of the greatest gifts you could give yourself. It opens up your mind and changes your perspective on ideologies and concepts you have been learning all your life. But it is a shame that most youth can’t afford travel.
University Students all over the world can attest to not affording basic luxuries in life. Moreover, it does not help if you have a knack for travel. Where will the money and the time come from? You are constantly in between finishing projects or assignments and balancing a social life.
I will speak for the average Kenyan student as these are the people I considerably relate to. The average Kenyan university student spends between 500-2000ksh a week. So you could imagine trying to even think of travel on such a budget.
But after some research I have found some affordable and more cost effective ways that with the right savings plan and aid from parents/guardians, you could go to amazing places.
Please note that cost effective does not necessarily mean cheap ; but it is a lot less than what you would normally pay.
AIESEC is an international NGO that provides young people with leadership development and cross-cultural global internship and volunteer exchange experiences across the globe, with a focus to empower young people so they can make a positive impact on society.’
It is available in universities in 133 countries and each offers volunteer programs and internships that subsidize accommodations and depending on the Local Chapter and the partnerships they have made; have subsidized airfare.
Volunteer programs last nearly 6 weeks and will give you an opportunity to do good and marry it with your enthusiasm for travel. People can attest to spending 60,000 ksh ($600) for 6 weeks in Tanzania inclusive of transport & accommodation or 170,000 ksh ($1700) in Sri Lanka! This is an amazing deal if you ask me.
Please note that YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A MEMBER TO GO FOR EXCHANGE. It is open to any student with the thirst for travel. In Kenya, there is an AIESEC program in all major public Universities and also Strathmore University, KeMu, Daystar to name a few and they can be easily contacted to provide the information you require.
Next post we’ll talk to a guest who went on exchange to Tanzania
2. JOIN THE RIGHT CLUBS IN UNIVERSITY.
Most clubs and societies in universities may participate in international competitions that would get you to travel. Law Schools in Kenya often participate in mooting competitions that have enabled many to travel to Switzerland, USA, Zambia among a few. Do research in your uni and find out which clubs and societies offer such programs.
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3. GROUP TRAVEL
Getting a group of friends and opting to split the cost and travel together is an idea guaranteed to work. Although, proper budgeting and research is required. Camping is also the cheapest option for students as tents can be rented for 500-600ksh a night ($6) and is offered in various beaches and national parks.
4. COURSE TRIPS
Most courses offer trips to different parts or different countries depending on the necessity of the trip. Architecture for example offers annual trips to Dubai via the Students Association that is nearly 100,000ksh ($1000) for a week. Law has trips to the Netherlands. These trips are mostly paid in installments for around 6 months and are substantially subsidized.
5. UTILIZE FRIENDS
Have friends in your school who live in nearby countries? Kindly ask them if you can stay with them for a week or two and explore their country as they could also stay with you and explore your country. You could always use the kindness of others in your travels.
6. VSO jitolee
VSO jitolee is a member of the international VSO Federation who’s mandate is to promote volunteerism that addresses global poverty. It mainly focuses on East Africans aged 18-25 years and has opportunities all over Africa & Asia. Similar to AIESEC, it promotes voluntourism.