When you are young, you should take the opportunity to travel whenever you get a chance. There are a lot of international studies & internships abroad that can really open your eyes and show you how big the world truly is. If you are thinking, even for a second, of just staying home instead of studying abroad in Paris, if you think that you can go ahead and just wait until you are making enough money to visit Europe whenever you want, here are a couple of things you need to consider.
Nobody Will Ever Pay for You to Go to Europe Again
Between the ages of, say, eighteen and twenty five, you are still a “young adult”. You still “have potential”. You can be “molded” and “shaped” by the right mentors, but the right experiences. You may already have a pretty clear idea of what you want to do with your life, but the people handing out scholarships like to think that they can have some influence.
Once you hit twenty six, you can forget about that. At twenty six, everyone figures it’s too late. Nobody is going to ever offer to pay for you to travel the world again because what’s in it for them? When you are a teen, when you are college aged, they like to think that you can be shaped in their image. When you are a full blown adult, they will drop you like a hot potato.
You Will Never Have This Energy and Freedom Again
Let’s say you are thirty years old and you finally get a chance to go to Hong Kong on a business trip. Great. By the way, you are married now with a kid on the way, so if you think you have some hot, exotic dates to look forward to, think again. You have to be at a meeting at eight in the morning the next day, so you can forget hitting the famous Hong Kong bars, too.
Let’s say that you actually have the freedom, you are single and work on your own time. Wonderful, but you’re thirty. Thirty is an age where your bones start aching and you just don’t want to stay out all night anymore. Right now is the only time when you will ever be able to explore the nightlife in some other country and not regret it the next morning.
Paying Your Way Across the Pond
A rough estimate would put your regular living expenses at somewhere between one and two thousand dollars, US, each month. This may sound like a lot if you are out on your own for the first time, but compared to living expenses in the states, it is surprisingly reasonable.
Because there is a lot of red tape in finding work in Europe as an American or Canadian citizen, your best bet is to either get all of your permits in order right up front, or else find a way to make money on the web, where it does not matter where you live, or look into scholarships that pay full living expenses, not just tuition. There is work to be had for North Americans across the sea, but you may have to plan ahead to ensure that you have a decent way to make a living while in Europe.
This is the time, right now. Either live it up, or live to believe that youth is wasted on the young.