How to Save Money to Travel Abroad

By Lauren Mhyra

As young students, and even young adults, finances can be a difficult subject to touch on. Like many millennials, living the broke college life has become a character trait. Many have the perception that studying abroad and traveling as a student is near impossible. I, like many others, just saw the lump sum cost of the study abroad program and knew my financial aid wouldn’t cover it. I then completely tossed the idea out of the window. However, I am here to tell you to throw the phase “I can’t afford this so I can’t do it” in the trash because unless you’ve exhausted every single resource, there is ways to afford it.  

I’m frequently asked how I afford to travel so often, or told that I’m so lucky I can afford the things that I do. I admit, if you look at my instagram I come off a tad bit boujee but behind the scenes I am far from that. I live paycheck to paycheck like many of my millennial peers, I just sacrifice other aspects of my life to see the world. Here are my tips and tricks for anyone who wants to do the same and ballon a budget.

 

Plan in Advance

That large lump sum fee is very intimidating at first glance but if you break it down into smaller payments then it’s not as scary. If you plan a trip in advance you can pay for a little bit each month. Also, utilize inclusive group travel companies that don’t require payment up front and have interest free payments. My favorite is EF Ultimate break because all they require is $150 deposit and they break it into interest free payments. I planned my Oktoberfest trip through them in advance and made small monthly payments while they did all of the planning.

Photo by: Chris Lawton

 

Separate Savings Account

Invest in a separate savings that is not linked to your everyday checking account. This way you can set up a standing order of how much you planned to set aside each month and it’s not tempting to just transfer the money. I have my employer take a certain percentage of my paycheck and deposit it into my savings and the rest of is directly deposited into my checking. That way the money I planned to save is already out of sight and out of mind by the time it hits my account.

Photo by: Yeray Sánchez

 

Skip the Extras

You might not realize but that morning coffee or lunch out really adds up. A huge part of my savings come from cutting those extra costs out. A $5 coffee five days a week is $100 dollars a month.  I see lunch out and coffee daily as luxury goods. I can get a weeks worth of lunches for the same price as one meal out. Being on a budget is going to mean making sacrifices. Eating a few boring peanut butter and jelly sandwiches definitely makes up for it when you’re able to enjoy pasta in Rome or paella in Spain.

Photo by: Erin Hesselink

 

Side Jobs

With the advancement of technology there is so many different ways to pick up a few extra bucks here and there. If you’re in school or already working full time the idea of adding extra hours to your already busy workload sounds exhausting. But there are easy things to do in order to make a few extra bucks. Teaching english online is one way to work from the comfort of your home, teaching pre-planned hourly lessons on your own schedule. There is also part-time jobs such as babysitting and ridesharing, the gig economy makes it doable on your own schedule.  When I was planning to do my internship with Stint I signed up to drive with Uber in order to start saving. It wasn’t the most glamorous job but I made good money and it allowed me to spend the summer interning in Ireland.

 

Travel Smarter Not Harder

When it comes to budget travel, it’s about what’s the cheapest not what’s the most comfortable. This means hostels with 20 people per room and that questionable budget airline. I don’t need a five star luxury hotel for a few hours to sleep at night or a first class ticket for a short hours journey. Also, several countries offer working holiday visas. A working holiday visa is a permit that allows you to live and work in a country to supplement your travels. The working holiday visa in Ireland was extremely easy to obtain, and finding work wasn’t difficult. Living in Ireland has established me a hub that makes linking up to other country super affordable. The working holiday visa has allowed me to see most of Europe at half the cost if I did it in one giant trip.

 

Going abroad doesn’t have to be so far out of reach. If you’re willing to put in the work then sacrifices will pay off with millions of memories around the world.  Get rid of the ‘I can’t afford this’ mindset and replace it with the ‘how can I make this work’ attitude and your possibilities are endless.

Five Reasons To Love Ireland

By Lauren Mhyra

Céad míle fáilte– Irish for ‘a thousand welcomes’ which cannot be true enough when stepping foot into Ireland. Everything about Ireland welcomes you as if it were your own home. People always ask “why Ireland?” and I can never pinpoint it to one exact reason.  Whether you’re doing an internship, studying abroad or spending your gap year in Ireland you’re going to fall in love and here is why.

 

Rich in History

Ireland is packed with history from eras throughout thousands of years dating back to the Vikings who settled the first towns and ports to the Normans who built castles and cities and eventually, the English who dominated the island. Walk in the paths of literary genius’ and revolutionaries who have shaped Ireland like it is.  From the abandoned castles in the countryside to the bullets still in the GPO you’ll be mesmerized by how much can take place in such a small country. Forget about textbooks and the internet and actually see these historic places while you learn.

(Photo by Stephen Bergin)

The People

The stereotype holds true, the Irish are the friendliest and welcoming people in the world.  You can go anywhere on this small island, you’re practically guaranteed to find a friend.  Even in the big cities, you have that small town feel, that makes everyone so well connected. You go to a pub on your own, chat up the couple next to you and leave with dinner plans next week. Everyone is welcomed and the Irish make sure you feel it too. I’ve never met an Irish person who wasn’t nice.

(Photo by Kevin Dowling)

The Scenery

Breathtaking cliffs, rolling green hills, and picture-perfect sandy beaches Ireland has it all.  Make your way down the Wild Atlantic way swerving down the country roads lined with sheep, indulge in gastronomic gems and simply embrace the scenic vistas.  Living amongst such beauty makes it hard to leave.

(Photo by Nils Nedel)

 

Something for everyone

You can always find something to do here. Even just going out to the pub for some music. You have loads of really cool festivals,  surfing in Donegal or can even go for a hike in the Wicklow mountains.   Any given day or night of the week you can find something to do and you’ll never be bored living in Ireland.

(Photo by Luca Ambrosi)

The Craic

Just the overall vibe of the country makes you never want to leave. From touchdown to take off, you feel as though Ireland is home. No matter who you are, you can find something to love about Ireland.  Everything about the Emerald Isle is indescribably unique. The possibilities are endless and the moments are never dull. From the countryside to the hustle and bustle of a Dublin trad session you feel the spirit of the Irish embrace you.

(Photo by Kelan Chad)

 

Overall, there are a million and one reasons to fall in love with Ireland and I’ve attempted to narrow down the main points but come for a summer internship or a year-long gap year to experience what I am talking about.

Internship Abroad to Career

 

By Lauren Ponsi (photo credit: Daria Nepriakhina)

Internships are a vital part of building your resumé and developing skills. Internships are an investment in your future because ultimately it is creating the foundation of your career. I have completed a series of different internships in a few different companies, across different sectors, but it all ties back to help my career choice in the end.  

Here are 3 reasons why my internship helps me choose a career path.

Real world experience

Doing an internship gives you an opportunity to work hands-on in your field of choice. You get to see a day to day view of what a certain job might be like and teach you more about that job. Think of it as taking a job for a test drive- internships are a way to try out different jobs and explore different options. When choosing to do internships, try out positions from different departments.M internship was in marketing, PR, community relations and events. I gained an insight for the various roles but all created a foundation of skills that I can use in any of those roles in the end. I found my passion as well as became a well-rounded individual.

 

 

photo credit: Kyle Glenn

 

Personal Development

All experiences we go through, shape us to who we want to be. To know yourself is to know your goals and you’re going to achieve them. An internship is a great way to test your boundaries and learn from failure. You’re placed in a position where you might not know how to do things, and that’s okay. You not only learn about the necessary skills for the job but you learn about yourself and how you work in a workplace environment. Internships gave me confidence in my work, I was given tasks outside my comfort zone that led me to showable skills on my resume. I no longer fear making cold calls about sales but know sales probably not my strong suit. Whereas the fast pace of an event was stressful and scary but now is something I love to do.

 

photo credit: rawpixel

 

Network Building

Building a strong professional network early on is critical on any career path. Sure anyone can attend a networking event and chat up some recruiter at a booth but creating connections through an internship can be even more beneficial. Your supervisor and other employees can see your work in real life and see how you work with others. By interacting with professionals you make new connections and learn how to communicate in a professional environment. You never know who people might be connected with. Your internships might not have availability for a full-time position but your supervisor may put you in contact with someone who does and can give a reference for your work ethic. My internship in Ireland allowed me to put an Irish company on my resume and my supervisor gave me a reference for a future job in Ireland.  

 

photo credit: Helena Lopes

Internships are a great way to test the waters with what you want to do. You can develop your personal and professional all while investing in the foundation of your career. Utilize internships to try out different roles and find exactly what career you want to do.

Why Intern in Dublin?

By Lauren Ponsi

Main photo credit: Katherine McCormack

 

It was my final year of college, company recruiters were in and out of our lecture halls. Job fairs seemed more frequent but as I walked up and down the booths nothing seemed to pique my interest. What was I going to do after graduation, the most commonly asked question but in all honesty, I had no clue what I wanted to do. I was not ready to settle down into a boring 9-5 job but I also couldn’t afford to take a year to just travel.

 

photo credit: Scott Webb

Back Home With No Plans

After graduation, I headed back to my hometown with no sudden plans to do anything. My sister was heading off to England for a year study abroad and I was having major FOMO. I never had the opportunity to study abroad because an adviser told me it wasn’t feasible. So I didn’t even bother doing research which was my biggest mistake.

As I witnessed my sister have the time of her life abroad, I was stuck in my hometown working a job that really had no benefit to me. The year previously I had traveled to Ireland, and absolutely fell in love. So, one slow day at work I jokingly searched ‘how to move to Ireland’. I browsed some websites and found Stint. It seemed pretty cool but I thought I can’t afford this. so I saved the link and moved on.

 

photo credit: Toni Moeckel

It’s Easy With The Right Help

After a few more clicks to the website, I thought why not inquire about some more information. I thought an internship abroad might be the best thing for me. I get international experience and get to live in Ireland, a win-win!

As I had already been graduated from college, choosing to do an unpaid internship was a risky move. We always think of interns at the bottom of the totem pole doing work that no one else wants to do. I had 2 internships and a paying job under my belt, so getting coffee and filing papers would have been a waste of my time and money. The first chat with Stint made me confident that I would be in good hands during my time in Ireland.

 

photo credit: Justin Luebke

A Stree Free Experience

From my first chat, I made it clear that I wanted an internship where I could gain “real” experience. What I got was a tailored internship towards my skills and needs. Other programs had a set of internship placements with preselected companies, whereas with Stint it varies person to person.

An internship abroad is ultimately what you make of it. Stint does all the work from housing to your placement but you get to have a say. It was great to be included in the process. I ultimately choose to intern abroad because you can gain both work and life skills. It was Stints tailored placement that sold me. These skills have landed me back in Ireland on the gap year, so I can say my decision paid off.