How to Maximise Your Holiday Period Outside the Country

By Vincent Tan

With the summer holidays around the bend, what better way is there to spend the extra time than with a meaningful and educational trip overseas? Below is a brief glance at several rewarding options.

Work and travel

apple picking

Image belongs to Steindy

Since travel is expensive, it makes sense to work off your expenses. Just 200 working holiday visas are available to Singaporeans each year, giving them the rare chance to work and travel around New Zealand for up to 6 months. Possible jobs once there include retail, restaurants, orchards, hostels, farms among others. Given the minimum wage of NZD $14.75 (S$13.76) per hour and the option to work for free room and board, a tour through the Land of the Long Cloud can be greatly financed by your work along the way. 

Summer school

student books study

Image belongs to CollegeDegrees360

If you’re more interested to better your brain (will the real Hermione please stand up?), these respected summer schools give you a high level crash course in a topic of your choice.

  • Fine Art: If you’re feeling artsy, the Slade School of Fine Art offers a wide range of courses including casting, painting, photography and performance, each lasting 1-4 weeks. 
  • Economics: If the nuances of economics take your fancy, the University of Warwick caters to both intermediate and specialist levels, offering such diverse topics as microeconomics, macroeconomics, game theory and international development. 
  • Engineering: Where better to learn about engineering than in a country that’s known for it. RWTH Aachen University takes you through subjects like robotics and production technology over the course of three weeks, but places are filling up fast. 

Volunteer abroad

elephant conservation - pub dom

Tis better to give than receive. Volunteers seeking to aid conservation can spend 1-8 weeks with the Surin Elephant Project in Thailand working alongside the Gwi community to build shelters and an elephant-friendly husbandry culture. 

If you love to impart knowledge, why not volunteer in an English Summer Camp in India? Teach English to underprivileged children aged 7-15 through sports, games and activities. You can also soak in India’s culture through Hindi lessons, cooking classes, henna workshop, a Bollywood cinema trip and a visit to the Taj Mahal.

Whether through work, learning or contributing, there are many ways to make that holiday go beyond a break from school.