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Uni Holidays- what on earth can I do? What to do during university holidays
Posted by Carly Bennett | November 03rd 2011

It’s nearly that time of year again. Exams are in full swing, and all those final assessments are being handed in as we gear up for the much-awaited end of semester. Finishing uni for the year not only means the relief of no more assessments or stress, it means a three month holiday! But before you get into party mode, have a think about what it is you want to get out of these holidays. Whether you choose to do  absolutely nothing or use every minute of your uni break in a productive way is your call, but I’ve come up with a few ideas to get you thinking…

Get a Christmas casual job. Earn yourself some good money with no strings attached. The best thing about a Christmas job, is the fact that you are on a short term contract -  usually from late November to early January. That is just enough time to earn yourself some dough for the summer months, plus you still get to enjoy the festivities and sun. You’ll meet some new people, get out of the house (and away from the parents!) and get some extra job experience, which is awesome for your resume. Check out career sites like Seek or head directly to  company websites. Places like Woolworths, Coles, Myer, David Jones and other department stores do an annual Christmas Casual Recruitment, so keep your eye out for opportunities as they arise!

Do something different! Let’s face it, we’re not going have the luxury of a three month holiday once we’ve graduated and are out in the big wide world, so why not make the most of the uni break by exploring and doing all those crazy things a nearly-graduated-responsible young adult dreams of. I’m not specifically talking sky-diving, base jumping or paragliding, but hey, if you have the guts, go for it. Really what I mean is, go and explore a part your city you’ve never seen, do a bar course, learn to dance, go out clubbing on a weeknight, take a road-trip, drive a rally car, go to a music festival ( Summer is the music festival season, so check out which one is coming to a city near you!). We’re only young once. Even if you aren’t the daring or party-type, go out and do something that challenges you, scares you, makes you laugh, and gives you a buzz. Don’t get yourself stuck in a rut, because once that final semester is done, and your graduate job is around the corner, work life will take over. So live the holidays up while they last!

Keep your brain stimulated. The last thing we want to think about after finishing uni for the year, is doing anything involving our brains, but come on, we are the smart bunch, the ones who actually gave a damn about our education and dove into uni, so let’s not throw away our smarts. Let’s keep our heads ticking over the break. I’m not hinting that we should be writing a daily essay or studying our fifth year physics textbook (is fifth year physics even possible?!). What I mean is, in between watching back-to back seasons of Gossip Girl, find some time to read the newspaper or a novel, watch the news, keep up with the world. Because February rolls around pretty quick, and before you know it, the uni books are back out and we somehow have to get our heads back in study mode.

Volunteer overseas. So I did some research and found this amazing company called Antipodeans Abroad, which have a volunteering program called UniBreak, especially designed for university students on their summer break, where students can go for a four to eight week volunteering stint in destinations such as Peru, Nepal,  Thailand, India, Mauritius, Maldives and Kenya. Volunteer projects range from teaching, helping build houses in small communities, social and health work to wildlife conservation and even sports coaching. I’m tempted to sign up just reading about it! What an awesome experience, and invaluable way to spend your uni break?  Not only would a program like this challenge and teach you amazing skills, it can give you the opportunity to travel and meet new people in a completely foreign environment. Head to the Antipodeans Abroad website for more info and to read about other people’s exciting adventures.

Do charity work. Christmas time is always a time for giving,  and what better way to give than volunteer your time to help others? From helping gift wrap at your local shopping centre, to giving up a few hours at your local op-shop or even just donating a gift under one of the many in store charity Christmas trees. Charities like Oxfam, World Vision and Vinnies have sponsorship programs, gift appeals and volunteering opportunities for all willing to put their hand up. It will cost you nothing, and the warm fuzzy feeling you’ll get from making a genuine difference is hard to beat.

Explore the beautiful country we live in! If you are exchange student (or just curious to see what Australia has to offer), make the most of the long break to travel our sunburnt land. From the tropics of North QLD to the outback Northern Terrritory, there is so much to see and do in Australia. With low cost airlines like Tiger Airways, Virgin and Jetstar, you are bound to pick up a cheap domestic flight to get your adventure started. If you’re on a budget, check out backpacker accommodation or maybe a newfound friend at uni has contacts in another part of Australia, that you could bunk with for a while. Whatever your financial situation, there are so many low cost options, there’s really no excuse. So go on, get out there!

Check out these great sites for more info on travelling Australia:

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/australia

http://www.australia.com/

http://www.jetstar.com/au/en/home