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Don’t say no to a winter holiday❄️⛄️

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We get that summer isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, especially an Aussie summer. Yes, it can be pretty great the first couple of weeks (if it lasts that long) but if we’re being honest here, they’re also a lot of downsides to summer. Let’s assess, shall we?
Sweaty sleepless nights ✓
Sunburns ✓
Peeling yourself off every piece of furniture you sit on? ✓
Sitting in an office/classroom where the AC on blast and you’re freezing, then walking out into the sweltering heat and nearly passing out ✓

Discovering that 1 out of 3 people don’t like wearing deodorant but DO like standing very close to you in elevators and trams etc ✓
Going to the beach on a hot day and realising its TOO hot and it’s super windy and there’s sand in your eyes and ears and everything burns and you’ve lost your thongs so you try to run to the water but its too far away and oh god, you’re on fire, then your life flashes before your eyes ✓✓

I could go on but I'm trying not to be biased here, can you tell?

Maybe you like those things – maybe you’re not human, who knows!
The point IS that summer isn’t always great and that’s okay, because here at YMCA Global Study we are running winter study abroad programs in January for those who want to escape the summer heat and B.O.
AND if skipping a few weeks of summer isn’t enough, here are a few good reasons why winter holiday can kick a stereotypical summer vacays butt!

Snow activities

Winter in the USA and the UK usually means snow, lots of it! Which is why is such an appealing place for people who love skiing and snowboarding. Scotland has some of the best outdoor skiing and snowboarding resorts in the UK, accessible from all the main cities and offer runs that accommodate beginners to advanced skiers/snowboarders. Check out Cairngorm Mountain, Glencoe Mountain, Glenshee, Nevis Range and The Lecht.
If skiing and snowboarding is old news to you, Michigan has a few more tricks up its sleeve with plenty of snow activities to offer, some a bit more extreme than others. Ever climbed a waterfall? Well, you can in Michigan because “ice climbing” is a sport, along with “ice luge” which is often called the fastest sport on ice.
Here’s a video of ice luge for your viewing.

Obviously, these sports are for adrenaline seekers or those who prefer to live on the edge – or not live at all, but if you do value your life, never fear! Ice sailing and ice surfing are also considered winter sports and they look super fun!! Think kite surfing; except the chances of drowning are minimal when you’re knocked off.
If you prefer to kick it old school there’s ice hockey, which is fun to play and even better to watch, and of course SLEDDING!! NO SKILL REQUIRED.

YMCA Global Study - Winter - Pond hockey - Study abroad

Pond Hockey

YMCA Global Study - Sledding - Winter - Study Abroad - Student

Stacks on sledding

YMCA Global Study - Winter - Sport - Student - Study abroad

Ice Climbing

Winter Aesthetic

Let’s be honest, there’s nothing better than a good winter aesthetic.  Think ice skating, winter markets, gluhwein, hot chocolates and fireplaces – not to mention snow! Seriously, snow can make any cityscape look incredible, but combine that with beautiful European architecture and you’ve got a fairytale. Imagine going to Edinburgh University during winter, you might as well be attending Hogwarts. #yurawizardharry

Another bonus of choosing a winter study abroad program with Global Study YMCA is that you get the chance to see the Northern Lights!

If you choose to study in Edinburgh, you may get to see the lights from Calton Hill or Arthurs seat depending on how strong the aurora is. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, take a trip to Barns Ness Lighthouse or North Berwick – both are less than an hour away from Edinburgh and have insanely beautiful views of the lights, or as the Scots like to call them, “Mirrie Dancers”.
If you choose Michigan, you can head up to Marquette for an overnight trip and get a spectacular show!
And honestly, its really not that hard. Google the city’s name with “Northern Lights” next to it and you’ll find plenty of links and information on how to get to the lights. DEFINITELY well worth it. In fact, we’d suggest an overnight camping trip if you’re blessed with good weather.

Getting the full study abroad experience

AND finally, probably the best part of choosing a winter study abroad experience – you get the full university experience! Most international universities do not run their semesters in accordance with Australia’s; which means that most Australian students who decide to study abroad mid-year usually go to summer school and only get a limited international college experience. Choosing a winter study abroad experience means you get to immerse yourself completely in your host university’s culture. This means experiencing orientation week aka “Welcome week”, college/frat parties, planned activities, BBQ’s and ample opportunity to make local friends.  It’s a totally different vibe!

So there you have it. Do your future self a favour and register for one of our awesome winter study abroad programs to escape the summer heat for a week or two!
To view our offered programs click here. If you’d rather browse via destinations, click here. Don’t forget to check out our previous blog articles for travel tips and information on our courses.

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