Time to Study the World
By Max Milano *
This year American students are ready to hit the road and see the world. Savvy students have discovered the cultural benefits of international travel and that just a few weeks of foreign travel can be more educational than months in the classroom. We have compiled a list of the top five summer destinations trending with US students booking on Vayama for the summer of 2012.
Just a short ferry trip from southern Spain, Morocco appeals to students for its inexpensive hotels and food, beatnik cachet, exotic medinas (markets) and the chance to pick up some Arabic. Casablanca has the real Rick’s Cafe (based on the movie Casablanca), Marrakesh offers the largest medina in Morocco and Tangier the opportunity to stay at the hotel where William Burroughs wrote Naked Lunch.
Istanbul, Turkey is an open air history classroom. The old capital of Byzantium and of the Ottoman Empire is virtually dripping with over 2000 years of history. Straggling both Europe and Asia, this forward looking but yet traditional city has much to offer students, from Turkish Baths to Turkish delights. Student travelers can also head down to Turkey’s Aegean coast to enjoy some of the best beach resorts in the Mediterranean without having to pay Eurozone prices.
Go east young man (or young woman). With global economic power shifting eastwards, American students will do well for themselves by familiarizing themselves with China’s most exiting city. Shanghai is a thriving megalopolis where east meets west and China’s nouveau riche party and shop. Shanghai’s 24/7 activity, 1930’s European architecture and 21st century high tech glass towers, will give students travelers a crash course in liberal economics. Also a great chance to pick up some mandarin, the new up and coming language of business and commerce.
Don’t cry for me Argentina. Buenos Aires’s air is very good indeed. With international students from all over the world, the capital of Tango is one of the best places to learn Spanish on a budget and still enjoy the affordable sophistication of a world capital. Buenos Aires channels a bit of New York, Madrid, Milan and Paris. The city speaks Spanish with a Neapolitan accent and displays a lively southern European vibe. During the months of July and August, student travelers can head up to the Andean ski resort of Bariloche for skiing and apre-ski galore, or drive south to Patagonia to admire the majestic blue glaciers and sub-arctic wildlife (including killer whales and seals).
Thailand is the epicenter of budget travel. A perfect place for students travelers. Thailand is exotic and laid back and extremely cheap for travelers on a budget. Bangkok’s Koh San road offers everything your average student traveler would need: From budget hotels to cheap eateries and travel agencies selling low cost flights to Phuket (Thailand’s party island) or nearby countries like Vietnam, Cambodia and Singapore.
* Max Milano is the Author of “The Mechanicals of Recoleta”Available at Amazon