10 Educational Spring Break Alternatives

Tropical vacations can seem tempting when spring break rolls around. They're fun, relaxing and much more. But those can be expensive and do nothing to help your college education. There are alternative things you can do during this spring break that are both fun and educational. Most won't empty your wallet either.

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By Laura Allan

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Take an Online Course

One of the most obvious things you can try is to take an extra course. Maybe you're behind in your major or you need to fulfill a gen ed. If your advisor gives you the green light, look into classes you can take online during short periods of time. Whether you're getting college credit or you're just brushing up on a problem subject, you'll find the rest of the semester comes a little easier to you.

Do a Museum Road Trip

Feel like getting away from home? You can still take a fun vacation with friends and learn in the process. Pick a road trip route and look for museums along the way that either sound really fun or have something to do with your field of study. Then head out alone or with friends, stopping at each museum. If you're near Washington D.C. it should probably be your first stop. This can last just a weekend or the full week depending on what your finances allow.

Visit a Friend at Another College

Not all colleges have spring break during the same week. Contact friends from high school that went to other colleges in different parts of the U.S. If they are willing, consider going to stay with them for break. You'll get to see a new area and will be able to sit in on some interesting classes. You won't be taking tests and doing homework, but you'll get to see how other colleges are run and maybe learn some new study techniques from old friends.

Test Your Language Skills

Have you been studying a language in college? Let's see how much you've really learned. Take a trip to a country that mainly speaks your language of choice and immerse yourself. It doesn't even have to be that expensive. If you learned Spanish, head to Mexico rather than Spain. If you learned French, try parts of Canada rather than France. If you can find a language class there, it will make a great addition to your studies.

Try a Study Retreat

Camping is inexpensive and fun when done with friends. You'll be learning little skills like how to build a fire and how to cook over an open flame, but you can add more learning to that. Choose a certain subject (your major is a good one to pick) and bring your textbooks with you. You and your friends can study away from most distractions and have fun in the process.

Tour Grad Schools

Have you considered your life after college? Maybe now is a good time to start. Grad school can be necessary depending on what profession you want to go into. Look into what sort of grad schools you might want to apply to and set up a trip to go visit. Know what you're getting into before you even apply. Sometimes they will even feed or house you for a night, making the trip less expensive.

Take a Volunteer Trip

You don't have to be part of a church to go help people in another country. Sign up for a volunteer trip to help an impoverished area. It can even be in the States if you'd like. You'll be learning about another culture, possibly another language and will be gaining skills you'd never have known otherwise. These experiences are valuable for personal growth and can also look great on grad school and scholarship applications.

Get First Aid Certified

If you haven't been certified in first aid there's no time like the present. Take a course in CPR, first aid and emergency response techniques. It can last a single day and can be used for college credit on some occasions, so talk to your advisors. What you learn could even save lives someday.

Learn a Craft

Even though it doesn't get you college credit, educating yourself in a new craft is still valuable. Pick out something you've always wanted to try and start researching. Pick up books and watch some YouTube videos. It can be anything from learning how to build model airplanes to training yourself in slacklining. Be creative and commit yourself.

Research Internships

Internships look great on resumes and grad school applications, so start researching. Look to see what's available in your field for someone with your qualifications. You may even be able to find a week-long internship that you can participate in during break. You can further your career and learn more about your field of study, or at least know what your next step is after graduation.

Concerned about your social life? Don't be with these tips for developing lifelong friendships while in college!

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