“Nice was really good. My cousin ran a marathon from Nice to Cannes, I went swimming in the ocean and visited the Matisse Museum-”

“And next weekend?”

“I’ll be in Berlin, and Bologna the weekend after that”.

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The above is a real life conversation that I had. Ridiculous, I know… in Australia, it takes over 3 hours for me to drive to Sydney. I can hop on a plane and travel 5 hours to Perth, and I still won’t have left the country. But it’s not ridiculous when you’re living in Europe (oh, the joys). I have reached the point where I am excited for my next free weekend (late November), because I have done so much travelling.

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Now I realise that this may just seem like I’m bragging about all the travel I’ve done, but it’s more an attempt to express my gratitude to Global Programs, for the ability to be living and studying in the Northern Hemisphere. In Europe, travelling to a different country for the weekend becomes a reality.

During exchange, I’ve travelled to numerous places in Italy (including Rome, the Amalfi Coast, the Dolomites and Sicily), as well as Switzerland, Romania, France and Germany. Better yet? I’ve travelled with some wonderful people that I’ve met on exchange, making it more entertaining, wholesome and for those watching their pennies, more affordable.

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So, some tips:

1. In Europe, it pays off to book in advance. You can score some cheap flights on EasyJet, Ryanair and Wizz Air (I’m sure there are others, but I’ll leave these for you to research).

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2. Trains > planes. If you can, check out whether there is a train route and opt for the cheapest ticket you can find. You often save time on airport transfers (most being an hour long in Milan) and it takes you to the central station, leaving you in the heart of the city.

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3. Make some like-minded friends and book some trips with them! Don’t be afraid to take the lead and check travel prices. Although 6 months may seem like a long time, it’s actually not. I found there were many more places I wanted to visit, but not enough time.

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4. Don’t be afraid to embrace solo travel, either. My friend and I had initially planned to go to Morocco, but by the time we were ready to book, the flight prices had gone up. She decided to go to Stockholm and Copenhagen, whilst I opted for a solo tour of Naples, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. Best decision ever. I had a wonderful time, which you can check out via my Instagram.

Until then,

Ciao for now x

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