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Summer Options for Students

on Fri, 02/26/2016 - 05:57
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As we pass the halfway mark in the semester, along comes the impending doom of approaching exams and assignment deadlines. However, as they draw closer, there is also the promise of summer holidays. Last summer, many of you sat your Leaving Certs or equivalent exams, not fully tasting freedom till the end of June. This year, many of you will finish in the month of May …. So what can you possibly do with 3 or 4 full months of freedom? There are a lot of things to do over the summer but first things first, you should make sure to enjoy this free time, you have had a very intense year and you deserve to have some fun. However, it is a good idea to plan ahead so you can make the best of the long summer, so the mentors have gotten on board and shared some of their previous summer experiences ….

1. Summer job

Getting a summer job is a pretty productive way to spend your summer. Be it working in your local shop or something more career oriented, any experience is good experience. If you don't fancy spending your three months off living at home why not apply for a few jobs here in Galway? It's a great chance to get experience for the future. A good tip is to apply early as these jobs fill up quick. Accommodation can sometimes be a little more affordable during the summer months, especially near colleges and universities so keep an eye out and plan for an unforgettable summer!! Having some extra cash without having to hound your parents for money is also great and sitting around binge watching Netflix gets a bit draining after a month.

2. J1

For those of you who are hoping to escape a bleak Irish summer, the option of a J1 is something many students chose to undertake. J1 student travel visas can provide a great opportunity to live and work abroad but the application process can be quite long so it’s best to start it early.

3. Interrailing

If the idea of a J1 doesn’t appeal to you, but you feel like a summer abroad is calling, there are other options. One such option is to go inter-railing - a great way to travel and discover the world. This involves getting a train ticket that allows you to travel Europe for a few days up to a few weeks. The ticket comprises several European cities, which makes travelling much cheaper. It's a great option. Of course, the best way to do it is with friends.  Students also have the privilege of visiting museums and attractions at a discounted rate or sometimes, even FREE! Some tips of places to travel/visit with free attractions and museums; Museums in the United Kingdom, all attractions in Athens, Greece and many more.

4. Work abroad

Alternatively, you could get a job in a different country over the summer, experiencing a different culture while gaining points for your CV. You don't need to be a language student to go abroad. Today many people speak English and English-speakers are frequently wanted in international companies. 

5. Summer research

Summer research is a really great option for students. Besides learning loads of new transferable skills, you also get exposure to a new area of interest. Summer research also looks great on a CV! Overall it’s a really great experience and while the idea of spending some of your holidays in college might not be overly appealing there are also a lot of other students around and the research projects generally last for between 6-8 weeks, so you still have plenty of spare time for travelling during the summer!

6. Volunteering

If you’re feeling especially philanthropic there are plenty of volunteering opportunities as well. If you sign up with the Galway Volunteering Organisation online they’ll keep you up to date about the different positions available. It could also be a good idea to try and do something related to your course for example, you could see if there is a possibility of shadowing or getting work experience in your field of interest.

Overall, there are many options available for students, so start planning now to ensure you have an unbelievable summer!!