There are countless hurdles to be cleared by young people after high school, and society should work harder at preparing children to overcome them.
The days of obtaining a degree and immediately building a career are something of the past. More and more South African students are opting for a year of travel after graduation and often, some continue their education abroad.
In her recent blog “Why Student Travel Is More Important than Ever Before” Kay Rodriguez unpacks the main reasons for the increase in student travel globally.
Rodriguez says: “Now, more than ever, it is becoming increasingly important for college students to go abroad. Our world is growing in its demand for global-minded people, and one of the best ways to achieve this is through travel and exploration.”
Kelly Jackson, General Manager for Contiki SA says: “Don’t have any regrets – as Mark Twain said “twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones you did do”. Travel is the best university. You have one life, one shot so make it count.”
It just makes more sense to travel before you are bogged down with finding a job, buying a house, paying bills and settling down with a family.
Student travel is an adventure without one’s parents and with a youthful enthusiasm for the world. [pullquote align=”right”] One of the most valuable investments of traveling is education. [/pullquote]
Jackson agrees. “South African school leavers on a gap year generally start their journey by going to the United Kingdom and Europe. They choose a multi-country trip with us to see and experience as such as they possibly can.
“Students and those who have already travelled to Europe then go on to choose Asia as a great destination – it represents excellent value for money while the USA and Canada plus Latin America generally come in as second or third trips,” says Jackson.
The economic challenges of students are real and many students complain that it is too expensive to travel. This is true especially with the increase in airfare travel could be pricey. However, there is one significant advantage to being a student: scholarships.
Scholarships can fund studies abroad, international research, internships and language learning with the possibility of leisure travel.
In addition, there is also a high premium on international experience and employers recognise the importance thereof.
One of the most valuable investments of traveling is education.
“You will learn so much more than you do from a textbook or from a class lecture or from taking test after test with minimal sleep.”
Traveling provides opportunities to see things first hand and practice interpersonal skills. It provides the opportunity to gain a global perspective, teach tolerance, resourcefulness and key life skills.
Rodriguez says: “Without travel, you will only see the world on a screen or in a book, but you will never get to experience it for yourself.”