How To Make The Most Of Your Time Away From University

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volunteerThe Dilly Lama

One thing I loved about being a university student was the amount of holiday time – three or four months over summer as standard, which is something you’ll never have again until you retire, not even if you choose to become a teacher for those 6-week summer holidays.

While it’s nice to chill out and laze around the house for a while, it can soon grow tiresome and you might start musing about how you can fill this time with something useful and fun. Here are a few ideas of things you can do during university holiday time that are both interesting and really valuable for your future career…

Volunteer holidays

There is a UK company called Traveleyes which puts together holiday packages for people with visual impairments. They also offer holidays to sighted people at substantially reduced rates; in turn for your discounted holiday, you volunteer to help your fellow holiday makers who have visual impairments. This involves guiding and also describing the various places that you visit.

Volunteering on a project such as this is a great way to have fun while getting valuable experience for your CV – it will give you something really interesting and different to talk about at job interviews. It’s also an affordable way to travel abroad! Although the company is UK based, it is available to people outside the UK.

There is also a company called Original Volunteers, which deals in more traditional volunteering opportunities abroad for as little as £35 a week, including accommodation.

Knowledge is power

The idea of doing  more learning in holiday time may sound a bit arduous, but there are lots of options for you to do some additional learning that you can do at your own pace, online and often for free. And of course, if it’s something you’re interested in then you are likely to find it enjoyable.

There are lots of online learning resources that offer free courses, such as Open Culture which offers approximately 700 free online arts and sciences courses. The BBC learning website  also features a number of free online courses including languages, English, maths, science, first-aid, food and catering, media studies, gardening, health, history, and IT.

There are also certain skills that are considered specialist likes sales and marketing, but are so valuable that they can really be considered as key skills. The holiday time gives you an excellent opportunity to obtain and hone these skills to impress future employers.

If you’re an aspiring writer, artist or consultant, one thing that you will almost certainly want is your own website.   You’ll also want people to be able to easily find you. You can of course pay someone to sort all this out for you, but you can save money and get ahead by learning the skills needed to do it yourself. The website w3 Schools features free courses that will teach you how to build your own website.

Let us know how you’ve spent your university holidays. Have you any good suggestions, or have you tried the above ideas? Leave a comment below.