What should a student do during the vacations? Rarely people choose to work over relaxation, socializing with friends, and healthy sleep. And for good reason: university vacations are the best time for an internship at a future place of work or a paid volunteer program abroad.
Work in the student squads
Many students try to find a part-time job at least for the summertime. You could become an assistant, essay proofreader, babysitter etc. Indeed – what to do during the vacations, if not to work or at least not to continue their studies? But there is a serious problem: employers are reluctant to hire students. Minors (and therefore with short working hours and full pay) who need time off for exams and diplomas (and sometimes for internships). Temporary work in student squads is a great way out.
Here’s what kind of work awaits a student who decides to take advantage of this opportunity:
- construction of the country’s largest projects: spaceports, soccer stadiums, and Olympic venues;
- educational work in summer camps and major children’s health centers;
- medical care in children’s camps, sanatoriums, diagnostic centers: students are hired as junior and mid-level employees;
- service work: accompaniment of events, work as conductors in long-distance trains;
- agriculture, cattle breeding, harvesting, and fish processing.
The most valuable thing is that if the profile of your studies coincides with the work you get; you can count this time for industrial practice at the university. So student squads, no matter how you look at it, are a very useful pastime: you’ll get to know real production, evaluate your future career, and be able to earn extra money.
Volunteering (abroad and close to home)
Volunteer programs are another option for students who don’t know what to do over the vacations. There are plenty of events every year for which volunteers are always being sought. You can find a nice option for yourself based on your education profile, area of interest, or location. Volunteers are needed at conferences and youth forums, at city days and public events, for work in nature reserves, at championships, and archaeological excavations. All volunteers are provided with free accommodation at the site, pay for travel and meals. Of course, for such volunteer activities and volunteering extra credit, you will not get automatically. But there are still benefits to participating in the programs:
- teachers will take you more seriously (especially if they have participated in the programs as guest experts);
- if the program coincides with the training profile, you will get excellent practice, and thus tighten your studies;
- very useful acquaintances are waiting for you (not only fellow volunteers but also the organizers and numerous guests of the events or production owners). I probably don’t need to explain how they can benefit you in the future.
If you like this option, we suggest you look into volunteering at the UN in the future.
Other countries accept volunteers over the age of 25 with excellent knowledge of a foreign language. But under the contract, you will be reimbursed for all expenses, travel, and accommodation, vacation once a year, health insurance, and salary after the end of volunteer activities.
Maybe you want to work in a kindergarten in Barcelona? Or dreamed of working for the European Social Committee in Brussels? If you have an excellent command of English, a student exchange program for internships is ideal. There are many active internships and grants for students with temporary relocation opportunities. Depending on where you work, you may be able to return home after a couple of months or a year. If you’ve done the program you’re interested in, you can take a sabbatical from your home university. That way you can return home in two years and resume your studies again (if it’s still relevant to you).
Depending on the country, the type of work, and the level of responsibility, applicants have different requirements. Some programs accept anyone with knowledge of English. Others accept anyone with knowledge of the job profile (e.g. future teachers or doctors), at least a certain age, and with a complete higher education. For example, for internships for young scientists in Germany, only Ph.D. students or candidates of science who have actual interesting projects are accepted. But they fully pay for travel, accommodation and provide a grant of 10,000 euros. You can get a paid internship at Google – here the requirements will differ depending on the place of your temporary work. And the Vulcanus program for internships in Japan can not get in without a recommendation from teachers in your university.
In short, the options to spend vacations with the benefit are many. In addition to all of the above, you can try to get a job at your university, apply for internships in businesses friendly to the university, try to enter another university for the same time training, to take training courses in completely different professions. In the end, you can simply take care of your future diploma. But it is still worth trying to take advantage of the opportunities that are open to you at this time. In a few years, many programs for you will be closed. What if an internship at Microsoft this summer is the most important part of your career? Think about it.