A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Are you planning to go, or already going, on an exchange? That’s awesome! One of the best opportunities Leiden University has to offer is spending a semester in a different country, and, for many students, a different continent.
But this journey carries another opportunity as well- travel. And I don’t mean the traveling you’ll be doing once you’ve reached your destination. No, that’s elementary. I mean traveling on your way to your destination. How can you do that? Discover below…
I was accepted to one of my top choices for an exchange program- Sydney, Australia. Knowing that Sydney is (quite) far away, I realized that the journey will be tough- cheap flights will probably have many connections and layovers, and that seemed like a tiring way to begin the semester.
Instead, I realized an opportunity presented itself: why not stop and actually travel my way to Sydney? What I mean by that is this- if the connecting flight stops in, for example, Bangkok, why not stay there for a couple of days and explore?
The amazing thing is that the flight prices either remain the same or actually drop if you do this. Of course, you have to pay for a hostel or a hotel, plus the usual costs of traveling (food and attractions), but the nice thing is that most of Asia is quite cheap, so it might actually turn out to be cheaper for me to travel through Asia than to stay in the Netherlands!
This is not something unique to the Amsterdam- Sydney route. You can do this with every destination- Canada, Brazil, the US, China, New Zealand, etc. While the exact details will change, it’s always possible to stop somewhere along the way, and to me, it seemed like a great way to spend my summer.
It’s only fair to give you a warning- this is not easy. Finding the correct flights, calculating days, looking in dozens of websites, comparing routes, thinking of costs, finding out the weather, deciding where you want to go… yeah. It’s a lot. But, hey, you get to travel at the end of this process, so it’s definitely worth it!
After about a month and a half of thinking and research, I settled on an exciting path- Amsterdam -> Taipei (Taiwan, 10 days) -> Hong Kong (3 days) -> Sydney. And I swear, the flight prices- Same as a simple Amsterdam -> Sydney, with stops. Great deal, no?
~~ would you like to hear more about exchanges in Leiden? Or about an exchange in Sydney? Or maybe more about travel opportunities? Let me know!