Those lovely, long summer holidays you get when you’re studying at university are coming around again, meaning you’ll soon be finding yourself with plenty of study-free time to kill.
As tempting as it may be to lounge around the house watching Netflix in your pyjamas, there are a hundred better ways you can spend your valuable time. Here are just a few ways you can make the most of your summer break.
Find a summer placement
The summer holidays are the perfect time to find work experience or an internship; with so many weeks off, it’s possible to do a placement and still have some free time before you have to get back to studying.
Taking the initiative to acquire work experience during your summer break will certainly be something that makes your CV stand out from the crowd when it comes to the search for employment. It will demonstrate your willingness to learn and your determination to succeed.
As well as contacting companies you’re interested in working for directly, there are several websites that catalogue what placements are available for students. Rate My Placement and Student Job are good starting points for finding a placement that’s relevant to the sector you want to work in.
Volunteering is one of the things that can make a potential employer view you favourably in comparison to other candidates. As well as any skills you might acquire, the fact that you have volunteered your own time for a greater good speaks volumes.
There are a variety of different roles for volunteers, from working with the elderly to working with animals, or even activities such as gardening in your community’s public spaces. To find volunteering opportunities available near you, you can visit Do-it or Volunteer Team London, both of which are supported by the government.
Summer break is a great time to get yourself organised and deal with those tasks you’ve been putting off since you started studying.
Perhaps your CV needs an update – you could add modules you have already studied to demonstrate the topics you have knowledge of or add any work experience you’ve already done. Maybe you’ve learnt some new skills at university; they can go on there, too, along with any extracurricular activities you participate in.
Think of any other things you’ve been meaning to do for a while, for example, giving your room a clear out of any unwanted items or making a budget for the following year. With all those free hours, there’s no excuse not to.
Try something new
Whether it’s a sport, a cuisine or a language, trying new things is the only way to keep life interesting, and when is there going to be a better time to experiment?
It’s good to consider things that will enhance your CV, so try learning a new skill that you think could help you find a job. Languages are a great CV-booster, as are technology skills such as coding.
Don’t limit yourself to things that will help you gain employment. Look into activities you’ve always thought about trying, whether it’s dance classes, painting, cookery – having the confidence to try new things will certainly make you feel good about yourself and you might even make some lifelong friends at the same time.
Travel as much as you can/work abroad
With a whole world out there to explore, summer breaks are a great time to visit places you haven’t had the chance to see before. Obviously, a student budget might not stretch to a round-the-world cruise or an all-inclusive luxury trip, but there are ways to see the world that are less damaging to the bank balance.
You can often find two-night, European city breaks for less than £100. From Dublin or Edinburgh, to Amsterdam or Prague, there are plenty of cities you can experience on a tight budget. If you fancy somewhere further afield, keep an eye out for flight sales, where you can sometimes pick up long-haul tickets for as little as £300.
There are also lots of opportunities to work abroad. One of the most common programmes among students is Camp America, which gives you the chance to spend 9 weeks working at a summer camp at one of many locations across the US. Although it costs between £700 and £800 to participate, this includes flights, transfers, accommodation, food, medical insurance, and visa. On top of this, you’ll also be paid $600-1200 (£420-844), meaning that you can earn back a big portion of the money you spent.