It’s no secret that one of the best perks of studying abroad in Europe is the ability to travel to new countries inexpensively and easily. So far during my study abroad, I have been able to travel to multiple countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, and France. Having never been abroad or traveled before coming to Ireland, I have definitely learned a lot through these experiences. 

The best thing I have found to do when traveling around Europe is to be open-minded. There will be so many places you want to travel to, but some may not be as feasible. I wanted to go to all the major cities when I first arrived: London, Paris, Rome, and Athens. Although I have hit some of the major cities, I also have ended up traveling to places I had never heard of before. Four days before a flight some other international students and I booked a trip to Faro, Portugal. I had not even considered going to Portugal before I arrived, but the tickets were cheap so we decided to go. The town ended up being adorable with sandy beaches and amazing people. The trip has been one of my favorites so far. If you keep an open mind, you never know what you will discover.

Secondly, do your research (especially on transpiration). In most parts of Europe, getting around on public transportation is very convenient. Between buses, trams, trains, and planes, there is usually a way to get from one city to another at a low cost. However, when depending on public transportation it is important to have backup plans. It is not uncommon to run into transportation strikes, so always be aware of what is going on in the places you are visiting. In multiple countries, I have run into public transportation strikes. All forms of public transportation were down both times for me. Luckily, we were able to make other arrangements for our accommodations, but it is very helpful to be aware of these scenarios before arriving. 

Lastly, enjoy the country you are in. It is great getting to travel all around Europe, but remember to enjoy where you are studying as well. I have had the opportunity to explore more of Ireland than I initially thought I would be able to, and it has allowed me to really appreciate the country.

Faro, Portugal