The world is one big oyster
December 20, 2012 4:16 AM Subscribe
7 months to spare before starting med school – help me plan an adventure somewhere abroad.
posted by pikeandshield to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
23 year old female. I’ll be free from all commitments from end of January until end of September 2013. This is the longest stretch of stress-free time that I’ve ever had and I would really like to use it as a time to discover new things, experience new cultures etc before the rat race begins. I have about £4000 in savings (~$6500), which I’m prepared to use up, but beyond that it would be better to be self-sustaining. It doesn’t have to be one 7-month project either; I can break it up into 2-3 different things.
I don’t want to go ‘travelling’ in the backpacker sense. I’ve done short stretches of solo travel before, and I don’t find it fulfilling to go from place to place, or have no-one to share my travels with. I want to ‘live’ in a place for a while, make longer-term connections, and ‘do’ something beyond being a tourist – volunteering, taking classes, learning languages, working etc (I have EU and US citizenship). It would be ideal if it can be loosely related to my future career goals to work in global health, e.g. fieldwork in a developing country, but I’m not sure if I have enough time/experience to organise this. (I have a MPH, some technical public health skills (Stata etc), and some experience in global health policy, but no field or developing country experience.)
I did think of using that time to brush up on a language, specifically French, and thought about spending some time in a language school in Paris or something – but that’ll be quite expensive (even if I could supplement with part-time work) and maybe not as culturally eye-opening as I would hope. On the other hand, I don’t want to do a volunteering project abroad that ends up being a ‘voluntourism/gap yah’ type of thing with nothing to show (except nights out raving in Bangkok...).
Any suggestions, experiences, advice – general or specific – would be really helpful. The fact that I have hundreds of options and could literally do anything is actually overwhelming and makes me anxious that I must ‘get it right’ (yes, I know I have anxiety problems...!).
PS: not too keen on WWOOFing, and not China/Korea/Japan as I’ve spent some time there already. Otherwise, please shower me with suggestions.