Travelling abroad may seem like a distant memory for some, but I’ve been fortunate enough to spend time in both France and Spain for internships in the past year, whilst obeying all the rules to keep safe in Covid times. Here’s how I did it!
How did I fund my internship abroad?
I’m a student so I was eligible for an Erasmus grant for traineeships, which I applied to through my university. To be eligible, you must do a traineeship that’s at least 2 months long, and you must eb a student or a jobseeker. The grant gave me 470 euros per month which covered the essentials – rent, bills and food. My university also paid for the covid tests I had to take to travel. It’s worth checking with your employer or educational institute to see what costs they will pay for. But please know that you will be on a budget either way: my internship was not a holiday where I could eat out every day and hit the bars, it was everyday life with an everyday budget.
How was I allowed to travel in a pandemic?
Honestly… at first I wasn’t allowed abroad! I was due to start my internship at a time when there was a travel ban on passengers from the UK to Spain, so I couldn’t start as planned. I’ve learnt over the past year that if you want to travel or work abroad in a pandemic, you have to be flexible. I decided to start the internship online and after a month of doing that, restrictions eased enough to allow me to travel to Spain – although I did have to make a quick stop in France along the way to stay within guidelines – I’ve taken what feels like dozens of covid tests in the last four months of my life! You definitely learn to go with the flow more and take challenges as they come.
Is travelling in a pandemic still worth it?
One word: yes! You need to be prepared to take a lot of covid tests, fill out more forms and follow all the rules but I had a really rewarding experience all the same. In many cities, you can enjoy the parks, the architecture and the landmarks in a Covid-safe way. And here in Europe we’re lucky enough to have access to lots of vaccines, even if this sadly isn’t the same in every part of the world. So as long as you carefully consider your safety and other people’s safety, and accept that it will be different to another time, you can still have a really worthwhile experience – safe travels!