One week till Easter? ALREADY?
With that in mind, I think it’s best to start sorting out my plans for the upcoming summer!
Seeing as uni summer holidays are between 4-5 months long (£9,000 a year for what you say??), this is definitely a time to use effectively. Many people opt to undertake internships and insights in the industries that they are hoping to enter upon graduation. This is perfect as some internships are well over 3 months long which means you can comfortably do these plus the normal summer job. Not only is this an invaluable experience to add to your CV alongside your studies, but some of these are paid which means you are not only working, but doing something worthwhile!
Alternatively, others (like me) decide there is no better way to spend the summer than going volunteering in Fiji! Cardiff University hosts a fantastic global opportunities department which basically does what is says on the tin and offers a huge diversity of, well, global opportunities. Included in this are study abroad options for both the summer and semester times, plus volunteering projects. These include Vietnam, Fiji, Japan and Cambodia to name a few. There is even an opportunity for you to work at a summer camp in the US for 12 weeks where you can obtain a bursary to go, AND get paid while you are there!
Cardiff places a lot of value on the benefits of going abroad, whether for study or volunteering and this is why they offer a substantial bursary for most, if not all their global options. Therefore, there is no reason for you not to give it a go. Volunteering will not only be a great character builder and confidence booster, but it is again, something you can add to your CV to (cliché) make it stand out.
As I mentioned, I decided to use my first summer at university to go volunteering in Fiji which will not only be challenging but hopefully life changing. From what I’ve heard about the project, it should be incredible. Working with the charity Think Pacific, I will travelling to the other side of the world to provide one to one teaching aid for children between the ages of 6-14. I will also be doing sports coaching in the afternoons, which for many of the children, will be their first time experiencing this. I am beyond excited! A month in the sun does not sound bad at all eh? Even if I do have to sleep on the floor and have cold bucket showers every morning.
In addition to this, I have also applied for a Journalism insight at Hay Festival; an arts and literary event where I will potentially work alongside industry professionals to provide coverage for it. Exciting stuff – now I just need to keep my fingers crossed that I get the job!
Having a 5 month long summer is something that you will probably never have again for the rest of your life (well until your retirement), so it is something that you should completely take advantage of. Use it, work, have fun, volunteer, get in more debt, but at the same time make it as memorable as you can because these types of opportunities don’t come around often.