Are you a student or aged 18-30 and fancy spending summer 2016 having an adventure to remember?
I have been working with a charity called ARC for the last four years. ARC have teams around Europe and projects in countries like the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium and Spain. On your project, you’re teamed with people of different nationalities and, in return for your food and board, you will give tours of the local cathedral in your own language. If you’re an art, history, literature, language or architecture buff, this is a great chance to get to know a new area, meet people from different cultures, explore a new city, learn and for a change of scenery before you go back to uni, leave uni or just to break up your working year!
There are lots of projects, from Paris to Erfurt, Oxford to Florence, Luxembourg to Madrid and Venice, and each project has between three and eight participants in their team. You will spend about three to five weeks on the project – just enough time to truly eat, breathe and sleep the culture! You don’t have to speak their language fluently, as you will be giving tours in English, but it may be a great opportunity to expand your language skills!
In 2012, I went on one of the summer projects to Bordeaux, France, and it was one of the most memorable summers of my life. I had just finished university and before graduating and running off to London in search of work, I decided I wanted to spend some time abroad. With ARC this was the perfect opportunity… I turned up and met my fellow guides – a German, a Spaniard and a Dutch participant, and we settled into our town apartment, minutes from the high street and the Cathedral, minutes from the river the other way, and overlooking a quirky little french square of restaurants and musicians. The weather in this part of France is amazing in summer and between giving tours we spent time exploring the city on foot and on bike, enjoying the Bastille Day fireworks by the river and with day trips out to the seaside. We shopped in the local french markets, we spend our nights out dancing by the river with hundreds of others and we explored the local galleries, museums and (for me – oops!) the shops! The time flew by, but I definitely felt that, by the end, I had made great friends, learnt so much, I felt relaxed and ready to enter the working world and I had made memories I’ll never forget!
If you love to meet new people, try new things and have an adventure, these projects are a great way to do that – and on a budget, as we don’t all always have the money to travel as much as we’d like!
Why not opt for a different kind of summer holiday this year? I promise you won’t regret it!