It is needless to say that throughout university you have many chances to travel. Whilst they range from the strenuous efforts of mountain climbing, to more relaxed student holidays typically consisting of sun, sea, sand and boozing there seems to be an opportunity for everyone.
The annual Tanzania trip is one of the most awe-inspiring and mentally stimulating trips the university has to offer. The three week trip allows students the opportunity to steer away from the typical ‘holiday’ and really experience the cultural and ecological diversity of the country, whilst raising money for Childreach International. Imagine being able to trek up Mount Kilimanjaro, volunteer in the local community yet find the time to escape to the paradise white sand beaches of Zanzibar. The five day trek up the mountain isn’t for the weak; some encounter altitude sickness and most fear the thought of struggling with trekking for eight hours a day. Nevertheless with good spaghetti bolognaise warming your stomach, seeing incredible glaciers and watching porters speed past you up the mountain whilst carrying your luggage, the trek is made slightly easier!
In addition to this, ‘the Kenyan orphan project’ provides another opportunity to experience another culture. However, this is only open to healthcare students. Two weeks of charity work, including support for projects through individual volunteer participation in educational programmes is followed by independent travelling opportunities. The chance to discover the unique lifestyle of the Maasai and the breathtaking safari opportunities are just around the corner.
Sports clubs and societies usually have a tour abroad. The Windsurfing society had a trip to Dehab last summer – not far from the renowned Sharm-el- Sheikh. They enjoyed surfing on the crystal clear waters in the warmth of the Egyptian sun, whilst the occasional camel ride didn’t go amiss. The surfing society runs up to six trips a year within England and one summer trip to France. In addition to this the Canoe Club has had a trip to the French Alps and Slovenia. However, if you’re musically gifted the university’s Mussoc and Blowsoc have yearly trips to different European destinations, last year these included Brussels and Cologne – beer biking was a favourite here!
Joining societies is not the only way to travel – the Erasmus programme allows students to study and travel for a year throughout European cities. English students are able to go Madrid; see the city’s great architecture, enjoy the notorious nightlife and get to travel to nearby beautiful Spanish towns for the weekend. In addition to this the Universitas 21 programme offers students the chance to study across the globe between 21 different partner institutions representing thirteen countries; its aim is to allow students to immerse themselves in a new culture. A friend of mine is currently at McGill University in Canada, Montréal and has had the opportunity to visit Toronto, Niagara Falls, Ottawa and Québec City. She has memories which will last a lifetime such as seeing the Cirque du Soleil on the streets of Québec at night.
There are also tailor made trips for students on a tighter budget to Amsterdam or the seaside resort Newquay. These are typically ‘studenty’, offering plenty of booze and a buzzing nightlife.
So no matter what type of trip you’re looking for, every student’s interest of going abroad and enjoying a bit of culture, sun or great nightlife can be fulfilled!
Priyal Dadhania and Meera Patel
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Image by Joshua Smith via Flickr