Pack your bags, board a flight and begin your first stop to various cultures. Webster’s campuses are situated on multiple continents around the globe, so take advantage of the popular destinations nearby and cross another city off your bucket list. The following lists prepare you for the next memorable journey once you’ve landed at your campus.
Depart: Leiden, The Netherlands
Arrive: Barcelona, Spain
Defined by its quirky art and represented by the famous Sagrada Familia church, the cosmopolitan city of Barcelona offers imaginative food and street life.
- Take Eurolines, a cheap bus service with over 600 destinations, from Den Haag, The Netherlands, to Barcelona, Spain. A round-trip ticket will be around $95, and the journey will take about 23 to 24 hours. But don’t fret! The scenery along the way will add a spark to your long bus ride.
- Check into Hostel Pere Tarrés Barcelona, which has rooms for as low as $13 per night.
- The best way to get around the city while sightseeing is using public transportation. Choose from the metro or bus. Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) offer the Hola BCN! travel card; a three-day unlimited travel card is around $24.
- Visit Park Güell, where you can admire the modernista architecture by Antoni Gaudí, a Spanish-Catalan architect with an individualized and distinctive style.
- Grab lunch or dinner at Euskal Etxea, where you can get authentic grub like empanadas, a bread or pastry stuffed with meat. Another option is tapas, finger foods with various toppings on bread held together with a toothpick or skewer. You can’t go wrong with tapas, which you can find in almost any local restaurant.
Depart: Saint Louis, Missouri
Arrive: Chicago, Illinois
Home to famous actors like Frances McDormand and Vince Vaughn and the filming location for major movies like The Dark Knight and The Vow, Chicago is a movie lover’s paradise. Situated just a few hours away from St. Louis, Chicago is an urban oasis ready to show you Lake Michigan and its bold architecture.
- Take the Megabus, a daily express bus service in the US, on a round-trip ticket from St. Louis to Chicago for a total of $30 (or less if you’re lucky!) The bus ride will take about six hours.
- Hostels are the best bet for cheap lodging in this big city. For a great price and location, stay at IHSP Chicago Hostel for an average of $28 per night. IHSP is northwest of The Loop in Wicker Park, one of Chicago’s trendiest areas.
- The buses and train services under the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) are the most popular public transport.
- For a short stay of around 3 days, CTA offers an unlimited-ride pass for $20.
- Don’t be afraid to be a tourist. Visit Millennium Park, located in the heart of downtown, where you can find the famous Cloud Gate sculpture, also known as “The Bean.” The Art Institute is right next to the park, where some of Picasso’s original works can be found. Before heading home, end your day by hitting up the riverfront on the Navy Pier.
- You can’t leave Chicago without trying their famous deep-dish pizza. Visit Lou Malnati’s at one of their several locations in downtown Chicago.
Depart: Cha-am, Thailand
Arrive: Sapa, Vietnam
Still in Southeast Asia, Sapa is located in northwest Vietnam. Sapa will offer an unfamiliar culture, exotic food and picturesque views. Sapa is 1,018 miles from Webster’s campus in Cha-am, Thailand, bringing visitors into the embrace of its hills and mountains surrounding the small town.
- Fly round-trip with Asia Air, a Malaysian low-cost airline, from Bangkok, Thailand, to Hanoi, Vietnam. It will cost around $45, and the flight time is just under two hours.
- From Hanoi, use the Vietnam Railways System and take the overnight train F to Sapa for $12. Overnight trains provide beds for travellers to sleep in for the seven-hour trip.
- If you choose to hire a tour guide — which is highly recommended — accommodation will be set up for you. Alternatively, Sapa Graceful Hotel offers a good deal at $13 per night.
- As Sapa is a small town of mountains, the best way to move around is on foot. Plan at least a two- or three-day trek with Sapao Chau, a trekking guide service. If you’d rather explore on your own, be sure to check out the Love Waterfall and Silver Waterfall, where you can see monkeys and the occasional elephant roaming around.
- The local foods in Sapa may be quite extreme for some — local stands sell dog meat. Michell Restaurant offers set meals for about $7. The menu includes local favorites like spring rolls, shrimp and noodles, and pork curry.
Story by Megan van Vegten
Illustration by Romana Mrzljak