Why you should make traveling a priority this summer

By Jess Carnprobst

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One of my new favorite quotes is, “the world is a book, and those who don’t travel only read one page.” To me, this couldn’t be more true. Traveling broadens your horizons and helps you to grow as a person. Summer is the perfect time to travel, so start planning your next trip and get out there! Here are some tips to make this your most exciting summer yet.

Don’t let the money stop you. Even though we have college tuition to worry about, traveling doesn’t have to be a huge expense. There are plenty of sights to see close by. I just found out that there’s a Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, and it’s only about 2 hours away from where I live! It’s OK to just take a day trip or only stay one night. Sometimes that’s all you need. If you’re traveling far, you can always opt to take a road trip instead of flying. Take little stops along the way to make your car ride more exciting. You can also look into staying with relatives or friends if you can’t afford a hotel. Another option is to sign up for a rewards program because that will definitely save you in the long run!

Stop planning and just go. This is something I really need to work on. I’ll sit at my computer and dream up all of these places that I want to go but then never book the trip. If you want to go somewhere, simply book the trip. It won’t do you any good to look at pictures from your living room. Find out a time and price that works for everyone and make it happen! You’ll be glad you did in the long run.

Step out of your comfort zone. This is what traveling is all about. Go places you’ve never been and try things you never have before. Eat crazy exotic foods, go on the longest hike of your life or backpack around Europe for a month. I try to step out of my comfort zone at least once during each trip; that’s what makes it so exciting and memorable!

Travel with the ones you love. Everything is 10 times more fun when you’re surrounded by the people you care about. Whether you choose to travel with your family, friends or significant other, you’ll be glad you did. It creates a bond unlike any other, and you’ll be left with unforgettable memories to be shared at reunions or get-togethers for years to come.

Don’t forget that life is about the journey, not the destination. I know it’s hard to be patient when you’re waiting in a line that seems to go on forever, or when you have unexpected car problems, but moments like these will (hopefully) give you something to laugh about later. If every trip you went on went exactly as you planned, it wouldn’t be as much fun. Try not to get impatient the next time something unexpected comes up. Just hold on and remember that the ride is beautiful as long as you’re sitting in the right seat.

Make traveling a priority this summer. Find a new place to go and some new sites to see. It’s easier than you think to be the person that is always posting exciting pictures instead of the one who is constantly living vicariously through others.

 

Follow Jess on Twitter at @jess_carnprobst

Tips for Saving Money While Traveling Abroad

By Lindsey Zimmerman

Euros There are some things that just can’t be learned in a classroom – you have to go out into the world and experience them firsthand. Whether you’re with a study abroad program, a volunteer project or simply traveling independently, international travel is one of the absolute best experiences money can buy.

 The costs of traveling internationally might seem daunting, especially to a first-time traveler, but this shouldn’t deter anyone from setting off on the adventure of a lifetime. With some research, careful planning and awareness of where your money is going, a little bit can go a long way.

  • Set a budget. I wish I had done this before my study abroad trip last summer. I had the most incredible time, but certain trips and activities ended up costing me more than I was expecting. It might not seem like the most exciting idea to sit down and plan out how you plan to spend your money while abroad, but it can be extremely helpful so that you don’t dig yourself into a hole. At the very least, come up with a rough draft based on your travel plans. If another trip or opportunity presents itself, adjust your budget accordingly.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. This is a given no matter what – it doesn’t just apply to finances. However, knowing where your wallet and other important items are at all times is extremely important, especially in a new city. A bit of awareness could save you an overwhelming amount of time and money if, God forbid, you fall victim to a pickpocketer or other thief.
  • Take advantage of student discounts. Use that student ID while you can: it can get you some amazing discounts on everything from museums to transportation. If you’re headed to Europe, make sure to check out the youth discount for the continental train system, which could save you hundreds of dollars while traveling from country to country.
  • Get to know the locals. Chances are, they’ll know the best places in town to get great deals. Local friends can also help watch your back and warn you if you’re about to fall victim to any kind of scam.
  • Research accommodations beforehand. Every style of accommodations offers something different in the way of experience. Sites like Hostelworld are great for comparing prices on hostels and hotels in different cities around the world, and can be super convenient when it comes to looking for good value for your money. Staying in a hostel is a great opportunity to meet and connect with other travelers from around the world. If you’re feeling more adventurous, Couchsurfing offers you the chance to stay with a local resident for free.
  • Familiarize yourself with the exchange rate. That way, there won’t be any surprises when you check your bank account. Exchange rates rarely stay at an exact, constant number, but having a rough idea of how much your local currency is worth compared to the U.S. dollar will help you stick to your budget.

With a little bit of planning and budgeting beforehand, along with keeping a close eye on your expenses while on your trip, international travel can be a reasonable goal. The experiences you will have and the friendships you make along the way will make the expense worth every cent.

Happy traveling!

Why every PR student should study abroad

By Erin Golden

The benefits of studying abroad as a college student can be described just like the places you can go: unlimited. At the risk of sounding like every other student who’s had the privilege of traveling, stepping out of my comfort zone and living in a foreign country for a semester changed how I look at people, the world and even PR.

With endless opportunities available, many students are overwhelmed and don’t know how to start their journeys abroad. Especially with the amount of work that PR students do, taking a semester or summer off to study abroad can seem like too much. But the positive lessons that can be learned from traveling, taking pictures, map-reading, cobblestone-walking and mistake-making are numerous. I wouldn’t take back my experience for anything, but I will give some pointers to my peers who are contemplating starting a journey abroad.

1. Look at life through a different lens. Whether it’s a 2-week-long spring break trip to Ecuador, or a year-long exchange in Leipzig, Germany, exposure to how other people live can help you to understand how their societies operate. Understanding people means understanding their views and opinions, making it easier to put things in their perspective. I never thought I would have so much in common with a fifty-something woman from Toledo, Spain. And although it may come as a surprise to many Americans, not everywhere operates the way we do – and sometimes, their ways might be better. A little exposure to different elements never hurt anyone.

2. Be self-reliant.  When you’re in a foreign city, GPS and iPhones aren’t a reliable source for getting directions or Googling questions. Using paper maps and asking people for directions are a lost art in the days of technology. Many young adults don’t know how to read a map anymore or figure out their locations without their phones. Exploring new cities and countries while abroad is the perfect place to get lost and learn how to find yourself. Trust me, the amount of times I got lost is laughable, but I always found my way.

3. And when you can’t rely on yourself, trust others. When traveling, you learn how to rely on yourself, but you also learn that people all over the world are, for the most part, genuinely kind. If you need help, ask someone. Or lean on the shoulder of your travel buddy. Learning how to compromise and make decisions as a group can be extremely difficult, but after traveling in a group and being forced to come to a collective decision in a timely manner, working in a group is much easier. “Give a little and take a little” can be a good motto for school, PR and life.

4. Materialistic things aren’t as important as you previously thought. With limited space in your backpack or suitcase, it’s just not possible to bring everything you own. And backpacking from hostel to hostel means no laundry – re-wearing the same clothes will become a reality. Plus, when money is tight and your backpack is small, it makes more sense to spend money on experiences rather than things. If I could extend only one piece of advice to future study abroad students this would be it. Memories of the sky-flight over Madrid will most likely last longer than the keychain you bought at the palace. Experience trumps things, every single time.

In any line of work, experience is key. It’s not always the degree you have or the title it comes with, but the projects and work you’ve done before. (And as Scripps kids, we know this well.) However, studying abroad can be the trip of a lifetime – and may teach you things you never would be able to learn walking the streets of Athens (as much as we love those beautiful bricks). The whole world is out there; it’s just up to you to decide your destination.

Travel and PR… What could be better?

By Michelle Reinold

travel PRAsk someone older what their biggest regret is, or what they wish they had done when they were younger, I promise that most people will say, “travel.” We all know the endless things PR students can do after graduation. Traveling is a rare opportunity for people in general, but PR is needed all around the world, and fortunately, we can go along for the ride.

There are many benefits of travel in PR. The obvious one to me is seeing the world. PR is one of the lucky careers where you can pick to go wherever your heart desires. You just have to do the research on a company and BOOM! You can be on a plane to Italy the next day. PR is something we all clearly love to do. Now add exploring, site seeing and traveling into the mix, what could be better then that? To me, the most important thing a person can do is experience other cultures, and explore life beyond the comfort zone. The benefit of having an international PR job is that you can do these things without taking a year off after college or spending tons of money.

Not only is seeing the world while working a benefit, but so is experiencing PR in other parts of the country. Think about the knowledge you could bring back to Ohio after spending a year in Paris or London. Things are never the same in different cultures and incorporating those differences into your work ethic will make you unique and desirable to a company.

What do you want out of this crazy career and life? Who wouldn’t want to talk about the work they did in Germany when trying to impress a client or employer? Not only will you impress them, but you will be happy that you took advantage of the world while you still could.

PRSSA National Conference 2012: Fast Facts

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Bridging the Gap in San Francisco, California #PRSSANC

Interested in attending PRSSA National Conference and need more details? Below you will find information regarding the conference with thoughts about attending from past and present PRSSA members.

Who: All Scripps PRSSA members are welcome to attend (Non-PRSSA members can also attend, however they have to pay an additional fee). National Conference is not solely for juniors and seniors: it’s highly recommended for underclassmen as well. There are speakers and sessions for all public relations levels.

What: PRSSA 2012 National Conference: Bridging the Gap. This year’s theme will help unite PRSSA chapters across the country.

“This year’s Conference, hosted by Sacramento State, will give students the chance to network and connect with their fellow peers and their mentors while developing a professional image through various motivating sessions and distinguished speakers. Students will thrive off the multitude of opportunities that San Francisco has to offer the public relations field.”

Where: This year we have the opportunity to see the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge in San Francisco, California. Known as ‘The City,’ San Francisco “thrives upon its diversity, artistic values, rich history and endless opportunities.”

When: October 12-16, 2012 – Although we’ll be missing Homecoming at Ohio University, those who have attended National Conference can guarantee that this weekend will be one for the record books. Plus, California in October; who could pass that up?

Cost: The cost of the trip can be broken down by transportation, hotel, conference, food and extras. Please note: the trip in total is a little pricey; however, those interested in attending will have the opportunity to fundraise.

  • Transportation: Start researching flights today. In a quick search on 7/15/12, I found a flight through United Airlines for $352 (Oct. 12-Oct. 15). Prices may vary depending on the day, airport and airline.
  • Conference: Full registration for PRSSA members is $295, which includes professional development sessions, networking events, socials and catered events. Non-members registration is $330. If you cannot attend the full conference, you may register for a single day ($170 for PRSSA members).
  • Hotel: Rooms are $229 a night. We will have 4 to 6 people per room. (3 nights: roughly $138 per person, 4 nights: roughly $184 per person and 5 nights: roughly $229 per person)
  • Food & extras: Plan to spend anywhere between $15-25 per day for three to five days: $75-125. A continental breakfast is provided during the conference, yet lunch is not provided. As a chapter, we may venture out into the city where individuals may shop, attend a movie, get dinner, etc. Please plan accordingly.

Registration: Registration can be done online, by fax or by mail. If registering by fax, send completed forms and payment to (212) 460-5460. If registering by mail, send completed forms and payment to the PRSSA National Address.

If you are interested in attending, please email PRSSA President Allison Jordan (ajordanm91@gmail.com) so she and the rest of the PRSSA Executive Board can began organizing fundraisers. Also, please see the Facebook page set up to help attendees organize the trip!

Importance of National Conference…from current and past PRSSA members!

“Attending PRSSA National Conference is extremely beneficial to any PRSSA member. To me, it felt like an entire year of PRSSA meetings crammed into one awesome weekend. Business aside, PRSSA National Conference is an amazing tool to meet other PRSSA members from across the United States. There is a mixer held the first night o the conference. At this mixer, each chapter dresses similarly and gives away items from their college (t-shirts, pens, buttons, etc.). It is very informal and a fun way to network! Also, each PRSSA National Conference is held in a city– so, once the sessions are over it is nice to go out and explore the city!” – Bethany Scott, 2012 Scripps Graduate

“It was cool to learn about how different firms and chapters operate. A lot of the things that I have accomplished were a result of national conference. People within your chapter will be really impressed with you and the fact that you even attempted to go.” – Heather Bartman, ImPRessions CEO

“At every single conference I have made a ton of friends, and have built a strong network of professionals. National conferences are on a larger scale, all different chapters have different diversities, so we can build off each other’s ideas and make friends. We become connected on Facebook and Twitter, and on LinkedIn. I came home with a stack of business cards and pages of notes.” – Nicole Bersani, 2012 Scripps Graduate

Conference Websites: Follow these links to find out more information on the conference.