The challenges and benefits to student travel


For students, schedules are busy and wallets are empty. Yet, during this stage of independence and lack of commitment to full-time jobs, children, and other aspects of adulthood, it seems it would be the perfect time to travel. But other factors might be holding students back from traveling.

A group of BYU students took 10 days off from school, work and internships to travel to Italy and here’s how they made it work.

“It has been unproductive scholastical wise,” public relations student Camille Toronto said, commenting on the progress she made on her school work while on the trip. 

School is one of the big concerns that prevents students from traveling. But for Toronto, it was “invigorating mentally to be in Italy.”

In a poll conducted on Instagram with about 300 students throughout the U.S., 57% thought it wasn’t possible to travel without falling behind in school. Yet, 93% still thought traveling as a student is important to learning. 

Political science student Cassandra Kendall did all she could to stay up to speed. 

Trying to find a quiet room in our airbnb, she took an exam in a bathtub.

It takes sacrifices. BYU linguistics student Anna Pulley referred to the financial and school preparation she did to be able to travel to Italy. “It was a grind. I had to work very hard beforehand to get here,” she said.

Her boss and teachers were supportive of her opportunity to apply what she’s been studying in the field. “I’ve been able to teach my friends about art pieces and history,” she said.

Many people are concerned if traveling as a student is financially possible. But private trips on a budget can be cheaper than people think with national trips being as cheap as $100 and $1,500 for international trips.

Deals on flights are the first step. Sites like Google Flights and social media accounts like flightsfromhome and fromslc helps users track and be alerted for the cheapest flights, like these BYU students’ $300 round trip tickets to Italy. 

Traveling in groups, staying in an Airbnb and strict budgets before and during the trip are the next steps.

Despite the scholastic and financial fears, the education students find in traveling is invaluable.

“I truly believe the world is our best schoolroom,” Kendall said. Toronto agrees and said she thinks traveling is a crucial part of education.

What is education and what role does travel play in it? Over 30 students responded to this question saying experiences, perspective, culture and the people they meet while traveling have taught them some of their best education.

One student even mentioned how travel improves mental health and time management skills. 

Kendall said she was impressed with the innovation of the Romans. “It’s given me perspective on how we can be better innovative in our own lives. It does give perspective, it does give meaning and personally it motivates me to do better in my chosen field.”

In the end, Pulley said while it is good to be responsible, it is just as important to “live your life and have fun while you can.”

No matter the situation, traveling is possible with some saving and planning.

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