“I’m going to Russia through a program called CIEE. The original cost of the program was rather intimidating and almost kept me from applying. However, I did apply and entered a sweepstakes and ended up winning enough money to cover about three-fourths of the cost of the program! That was a huge relief for me and my parents and now I don’t have to borrow any money for it. There were also need-based scholarships to help cover airfare and visa costs. Check to see what the programs have to offer and reach out with concerns because they want you to go.” – Sabrina Tannehill, 2019

This section is about study abroad and traveling during breaks. For transportation options in St. Louis, please refer to the “St. Louis” section of this guide.

Study Abroad
How to Travel on a Budget
  • Travel Locally: One of the best things about being in the Midwest is that you’re driving distance from some of the coolest cities in the U.S. (i.e., Chicago, Nashville, Kansas City) and they’re all so different from each other. The cheapest way to get to these cities is probably to drive and split gas costs among your friends. If you don’t have a car or are going by yourself, Amtrak and Megabus have some more affordable tickets. Airbnb will usually cost a lot less than hotel rooms in these cities, especially if you’re splitting a room with friends.
  • Stay with Friends: Students at WashU come from all over the world. If you know someone who lives in the city you want to visit, ask if you can stay with them for a few days. Not only will this cut costs, but you’ll also have someone to explore with and take you to all the local hotspots. This also applies to friends who are studying abroad.
  • Cheap Flights: Be flexible on where you want to go and when you’re going and you can get amazingly cheap flights. Google Flights and Skyscanner can be used to scout out deals. Make sure you are signed up for reward miles with whichever airline you fly with so you can earn miles to treat yourself to a vacation. Flights can be way cheaper when you’re flying out of a bigger airport, so taking a train or bus ride to Chicago for $20-40 and flying out of there can save you money, especially if you’re traveling internationally. The MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Belleville, IL (about 35 minutes from WashU) offers some cheap flights to select locations (Orlando, Tampa Bay, Las Vegas, Ft. Myers, Destin, Jacksonville, Myrtle Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, and Phoenix). 
  • Workaway: Places that you can work in exchange for housing and meals, such as HelpX and WWOOF
    • “I did this in Panama during winter break and only spent $250 for the month I was there, excluding flights (which were paid for using frequent flyer miles).” – Lien Tran