Jose: The secret to studying while travelling on a student budget

Having run away to join the circus (literally!) at age eight, Jose Bishop is living proof that you can be a successful USQ student from anywhere in the world. Jose can speak five languages, loves learning about different cultures and sees university study as just another adventure.


Many people think travelling while studying is near impossible and that travel and productivity don’t go together. Well, I’m living proof that it is possible! The key to succeeding as a travelling student is making the decision to prepare and get organised before semester starts. Here are a few tips to help you succeed:

Plan, plan, plan!

Make sure that when you leave to go travelling you pack all your textbooks and stationery; you don’t want to have to orchestrate the shipping of a hundred-dollar textbook overseas! More often than not, it won’t arrive in time for that assignment… or at all. It’s also important to make sure you will have reliable internet access so you can access course materials, participate in student discussion forums, submit assignments and get in touch with your lecturer if you need to.

Choose the right travel buddies

Nobody likes travelling with a bad group of people, so ensure you travel with people you enjoy spending time with but who will also respect you and let you study when you need to.

Choose the right university

Make sure your uni provides you with great online support and flexibility, because you will constantly be on the move.

Be realistic and set goals

Before embarking on what could quite possibly be the greatest adventure of your life, schedule how much time you want to allocate to study and how much time you will have for exploring your destination. And be realistic. There’s no point in sitting down to study for 5 hours and only getting through 2 pages because all you can think about is the local Marrakesh markets outside!

Be realistic about your budget
Being a uni student isn’t cheap, and neither is travelling the world! Therefore, it’s important you are conscious of your budget and learn some tricks to help you save money. These are my top tips:

  • Mention you are a student as often as possible! People often love to help out students when they’re travelling, because they know what it’s like trying to see the world on a student budget
  • Keep your student ID on you at all times. It will serve you as well as your passport in terms of getting discounts!
  • Prepare some fun university stories to tell your hosts or the local barista. By sharing your experiences you’re likely to make new friends and maybe even get shouted a coffee!
  • Don’t get lured into buying cheap ‘local products’ you think you’ll be able to resell… you may not even be able to get them through customs when you return home!

Enjoy yourself
It’s really important that when you are travelling, you make the most of the experience and have fun! To help you do this, these are my top tips:

  • Keep a notepad with you and take it everywhere so you can write down things you like or things you want to know more about.
  • Take your textbooks everywhere you go unless you have to.
  • Take lots of photos
  • Don't be so attached to your tour guidebook that you miss experiencing the places you travel to for yourself. You are a student, so explore and learn everything you can about the places you visit based on your own experiences.
  • Use your head, be smart and think before you do anything

We only have a limited amount of time on this earth, so let’s make the most of it and enjoy ourselves!

If you have also spent time studying while traveling, I'd love to hear your stories!


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