Top 11 College Degrees That Allow You to Travel

Written by College Cliffs Team At, our team, comprising seasoned educators and counselors, is committed to supporting students on their journey through graduate studies. Our advisors, holding advanced degrees in diverse fields, provide tailored guidance, current program details, and pragmatic tips on navigating application procedures.

Reviewed by Linda Weems I got started researching colleges and universities about 10 years ago while exploring a second career. While my second career ended up being exactly what I’m doing now, and I didn’t end up going to college, I try to put myself in your shoes every step of the way as I build out College Cliffs as a user-friendly resource for prospective students.

Updated: May 30, 2024, Reading time: 22 minutes

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Perhaps the idea of being someplace away from your comfort zone appeals to the adventurous side of you. Leaving home may thrill you as it opens up opportunities for you to explore new things. Or maybe you’re sold on the fact that traveling lets you gain a better understanding of the world in all its vastness.

smiling american travelers with baggage sightseeing and smiling in autumn

The thought of fully knowing the culture and integrating it into your way of life may give you satisfaction. And with all the lessons learned, you see the world a lot differently upon returning home.

College Cliffs is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Staying abroad for days or months doesn’t instantly transform you, but wandering different streets for a few hours leaves a “cultural footprint” within you. Often, you find it either hard to ignore or recognize.

When people observe “something’s changed with you” or that “you’re different,” it could be an indication that the foreign culture you’ve immersed yourself into has significantly impacted your way of life.

Jonah Lehrer in Imagine has paralleled this observation with a similar study conducted by Kellogg School of Management and INSEAD. Curiously, the study also revealed that students who live abroad and engage in the local culture solve difficult problems more creatively than those who choose to live or study abroad without efforts to connect with their local environment.

The infusion of a different culture cultivates open-mindedness among students. This lets them realize that a single thing may have “multiple meanings attached to it.” Though it is hard to pinpoint if this is a causal or correlative finding, a vast experience influences us to look into a problem from various perspectives.

Multi-million dollar research spearheaded by the U.S. Travel Association launched the study called “The Travel Effect.” The research is still ongoing, but there are a few interesting ideas that you may want to take traveling seriously:

It boosts mental health.

travel concept

We know that dark chocolates have a positive effect on the body when enjoyed in moderation. But is this the case with traveling? Science says so.

Traveling and vacation are almost mutually exclusive. It’s exhilarating, and you’re excited to explore the place where you’ll be staying. In addition, evidence shows that traveling can boost emotional and mental well-being.

It is a stress reliever.

For students, studying can become just another daily routine. But traveling abroad as part of your educational journey offers a fresh take on the environment. It is a breath of fresh air, they would say. When you let your mind wander and explore places, you feel relaxed and content. It brings you clarity. As such, you can better reflect on your degree as it relates to your goals and pursuits.

It prompts you to reinvent yourself. 

When you’re uprooted from your usual setting, you are forced to adapt to your environment. A great adventure seeker finds guidance from locals. Your “feel” of the environment, how others think, and how you relate to them enrich your experience. Experiential traveling changes you into a better thinker in ways you had never known.

Traveling provides a “fresh start. “

If you’ve just had a major transition in life, traveling provides a “reboot” of sorts. If your previous environment wasn’t as supportive, this transition might offer opportunities you never imagined possible.

It gives satisfaction and fulfillment.

Traveling allows you to get away from the daily grind. New events and experiences stimulate your brain, thereby boosting your self-confidence and overall mood. Traveling gives you that feeling of “anticipation” of something new and different.

Want to Travel? Consider These College Degrees

Now that you’ve seen all the good that travel offers, it’s time to look into college degrees that lead to travel careers. Here are some degrees and majors that might match your needs:

Why Hospitality and Tourism? 

Hospitality and Tourism degrees can deliver high personal and professional satisfaction. You have various chances to grow and opportunities to work anywhere on Earth. 

Hospitality is a vibrant and diverse industry. It encompasses many businesses, from hotels and resorts to cruise lines and restaurants. It’s a perfect industry for those who want to explore new cultures, cuisines, and destinations. 

What You’ll Learn?

This sector is focused on giving customers outstanding service and making their visits unforgettable. Hospitality and Tourism degree programs give you a deep understanding of hospitality management, business operations, marketing strategies, and the latest technologies shaping the field. You’ll also explore topics like cultural awareness, sustainability, and global trends in travel and tourism.

Career Opportunities

With the hospitality industry constantly evolving to meet guests’ changing needs and desires, there’s a growing demand for skilled professionals in hospitality management. You can also have career opportunities in various positions across all industries. Some of the most popular positions for graduates who like traveling include: 

Hospitality professionals must be proactive, responsive, and efficient when dealing with guest inquiries and resolving issues, even when faced with unexpected situations. While this can be difficult, it’s also incredibly satisfying because you see firsthand how your actions shape positive guest experiences.


Why Business Management? 

Business management info

Business Management is a versatile and highly sought-after degree that opens doors to a wide range of domestic and international career opportunities. With competition becoming increasingly stiff and competitive, business degrees are in high demand. 

An eye for global shifts in businesses can make you a skilled consultant in companies and firms across the globe. A genuine passion for business and thirst for knowledge on current market trends may land you suitable employment everywhere in the world.

It’s a top degree for travel and global engagement. But before you start looking into jobs in one of today’s most sought-after industries, you should familiarize yourself with the curriculum in a Business Management degree program.

What You’ll Learn

Simply put, the program will cover all the foundational education and skills needed to succeed in the industry.

As a Business Management major, you can expect to learn critical business principles, organizational behavior, data analytics, and human resource management.

It is essential to take these courses seriously. You will gain a competitive advantage in this dynamic industry and eventually enter career opportunities abroad.

Career Opportunities 

Business Management or International Business degree internships are afforded to select undergraduates who display exemplary achievements and dedication to community involvement to alleviate the socioeconomic status of their community.

But what can you do with a Business Management degree that involves a lot of travel? 

These jobs are among the many exciting career paths available to individuals with a Business Management degree who seek opportunities to travel and work on a global scale. 

UK concept targeting Russia. British flag pricked on Russia on globe. The United Kingdom focused on Russia on the map.

Why International Studies?

If you want to have a career in foreign affairs or diplomacy, you’ll be traveling to various places overseas to help citizens living abroad. Since you’ll be stationed overseas, you will be representing the foreign policy.

International Studies major, while complex, is an exciting degree to pursue. It is an interdisciplinary program that links different social sciences, which builds your diverse academic background.

What You’ll Learn 

Gain foundational knowledge in Economics, Political Science, and the environment by which the current international relations are created in the current international state of affairs. Having the right academic background is essential for you to excel in an increasingly complex and global job market.

As an International Studies major, you are expected to understand and analyze the different aspects of world issues. This is where you can apply your knowledge in the various social sciences.

Career Opportunities 

As a student of international studies, you can build your cultural competency, which will help you for a job in the government, specifically in international organizations, journalism, community development, foreign relations, and human rights advocacy.

It is a perfect opportunity for you to study current world affairs. As a strong advocate of cooperation among states, an Internal Studies degree will make you an asset in any workplace.

Diplomats are quick to think and solve problems under pressure. The work entails you working independently and resolving issues quickly. Learning a new language to fit where you’re stationed would be a great plus. In-demand languages like Russian, Chinese, and Arabic are some you may want to look into.

Diplomats have a global mindset with broad knowledge of economics, sociology, business, and foreign languages. As a diplomat, you will also need to be good with numbers as you’ll oversee logistics and budgeting. Perks also include travel allowances, language tuition, and accommodations.


Why Public Health?

Public health major

Public Health is one of the most rewarding career paths, both professionally and personally. You have the opportunity to address health disparities, tackle global health challenges, and advocate for policies that can improve the lives of millions. This major allows you to travel to places with other medical professionals to help impoverished communities. 

What You’ll Learn 

Public Health focuses on how to develop or improve a community’s capacity for disease prevention. In essence, the degree is committed to the overall improvement of human life.

Career Opportunities 

As a career, public health is broad, thereby generating various work opportunities. Public Health majors can take on careers as Epidemiologists, Health Educators, and Public Relations.

Most public health professionals assigned abroad also collaborate with fellow medical professionals, NGOs, hospitals, and government institutions to address global health problems. Work may also include educating people and teaching communities about disease prevention, particularly in places where breakouts occur.

Undergraduate study in Public Health also prepares students for social work or jobs relating to public policy.


Why Arts and Graphic Design?

Arts and Graphic design info

It’s incredible how technology has evolved in the digital era–with modern artistry at the forefront. It is not a surprise that first-year college students choose to major in Fine Arts. 

Artists travel the world for various reasons, mainly to explore new perspectives and embrace niche-specific opportunities. Moreover, with more people working remotely, graphic designers can enjoy a flexible schedule and good pay. 

While travel isn’t usually a big part of graphic design jobs, it’s exciting to think about if you ever get to work on a project abroad. This is one of many reasons graphic design is such an excellent field. 

What You’ll Learn

Graphic arts is a highly technical degree program that can be studied through either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree program.

You will learn how to combine the latest design innovation with your passion for art and design in both programs. Through this, graphic artists can create visual communication.

Career Opportunities

Despite the fierce competition in the global arts and graphic design industry, a few exceptional individuals have excelled in their careers everywhere in the world.

Graphic designers are in demand, but it has become a saturated market for them, particularly in the freelancing arena. Arts majors usually work in the fields of technology and design. There are also “unconventional” uses for Arts majors in investing and management should this pique your fancy.


Why Marine Science?

Marine Science info

This is for those who are curious about sea life and passionate about protecting it. As you very well know, 70% of the Earth’s surface is made up of water.

This only means that a degree in Marine Science will be a rewarding path for you to take. But If you want to become a Marine Scientist, you need to focus your academic training on marine biology and oceanography. 

What You’ll Learn 

Most colleges and universities in the country offer Marine Science as a minor. The curriculum is designed to complement both science and non-science college majors.

This means you can take a degree in Humanities or Social Sciences and can still become a Marine Scientist and explore the world’s oceans.

You need to complete Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Geology, and Economics courses, and Sociology. This way, you can learn about the relevant contemporary environmental issues and concerns that affect us today.  

On the other hand, Oceanography covers a wider scope as you’ll need to study the effects of environmental changes on marine life. You’ll be expected to travel to various parts of the world and gather data in remote places.

Career Opportunities

A degree in Marine Science leads to several opportunities that allow you to travel. With a deep understanding of marine ecosystems and the skills to analyze data and conduct fieldwork, you can have various job prospects. You can work in research and conservation, policy-making, and education.

You can break into the same market with an oceanography degree or even more. In addition to marine science jobs, you can pursue careers studying phenomena like ocean currents, climate change impacts, and underwater geology. 

A word cloud of social science related items

Why Social Science?

With a degree in International Development or Social Policy, you will get a better understanding of real-world issues that will prepare you for many job opportunities that will allow you to see the world. If you share the growing concern about poverty, inequality, or social exclusion, a degree in Social Science with a major in International Development or Social Policy is the perfect choice for you.

What You’ll Learn

The major offers an interdisciplinary critical approach to analyzing the problems in social policy and structural formation. Expect to gain expertise in Sociology, Politics, and Economics. In addition to those core subjects, you’ll delve into areas like anthropology, psychology, and geography to gain a better understanding of the complexities of human behavior, societal structures, and global dynamics.

Career Opportunities 

Graduates take on jobs in international development, social welfare, and community development. Your duties may include creating reports and fundraising activities, and collaborating with public authorities and NGOs. Field workers need exceptional communication skills for effective dialogues with communities and authorities. They also need to be capable of handling pressure and exhibit good decision-making abilities.

If you’re pursuing this degree, you can look into job opportunities in the field of International and Developmental workers.


Why Biology?

Young pretty woman agronomist checking soil quality on field

With the advancing technologies in scientific research and medicine, Biology majors have an advantage in tackling the issues that impact human lives and other living organisms.

If you have a passion for protecting wildlife, pursuing a study in Biology will give you a broad spectrum of opportunities in this field.

What You’ll Learn

In general, Biology focuses on examining living organisms and how they interact with the environment. While it is a complex subject, it remains an exciting field where you can incorporate other critical sciences.

You acquire foundational knowledge in Anatomy, Ecology, Chemistry, Botany, Genetics, and Pathology.

Career Opportunities 

A degree in Biology will open a multitude of opportunities for you. You can land a career in Medicine, Agriculture, Genetic Engineering, and Zoology.

Your work entails a lot of time outdoors, collecting and analyzing data and developing actionable strategies to preserve wildlife habitats and inhabitants. Pursuing a career as a Fish and Game Warden could land you a job in various places in the world. Because there is a law component to this job title, a degree in Law is a plus.


Why Environmental Engineering?

Environmentalist information

Environmental Engineers are highly-regarded professionals, especially today as the world faces climate change. Expect a busy but rewarding career while designing and implementing innovative measures to remediate threats to the environment.

You will spend a lot of time outside your office and be out in the field instead. Those pursuing a degree in Environmental Engineering course may find themselves landing a job that requires a lot of planning and traveling – and keeping the environment clean and green!

What You’ll Learn

Environmental Engineering degrees tackle key areas like reducing pollution, managing water resources wisely, building sustainable things for the environment, and assessing how our actions affect the world.

But it’s not just theory – you’ll get your hands dirty with lots of practical work. Think of field trips, experiments in the lab, and projects where you solve real environmental problems. Throughout it all, you’ll learn how to use science and engineering to develop smart solutions that protect the environment and ensure we’re living sustainably.

Career Opportunities 

Graduates can pursue positions in global companies focused on alleviating pollution through waste reduction. You’ll play a big role in finding long-term solutions to remedy environmental conditions.

If you choose to major in Environmental Engineering, you will design technologies and processes that will control pollution and find ways to eliminate and eventually remove existing contamination. 


Why English and Education?

Education travel jobs

Teaching is a noble profession. Teachers do not only mold minds; they also shape the future through the students they teach. If you want to play an active part in ensuring that the younger generation becomes equipped to face the future, a degree in education is the way to do that.

When you choose to major in English or Education, there will be numerous opportunities to gain international teaching experience. When you do so, you will improve your institution’s capacity and preparedness to host international students.

What You’ll Learn

In your studies, you’ll explore language, literature, teaching methods, and how people learn. You’ll dive into books, language structures, creative writing, and effective speaking. These programs allow you to get better at thinking critically and expressing yourself clearly.

Career Opportunities 

You can choose to major in either Elementary or Secondary Education. Both undergraduate programs are designed to prepare you for acquiring teaching credentials in the country. If you are considering a major in English or Education, you have an opportunity to land a job as a TEFL teacher abroad. Even without a transferable qualification, having these two degrees will allow you to teach English as a second language.

TEFL teachers usually teach in foreign countries like Asia. Primarily, you will be teaching kids and adults with little to no knowledge of the English language. Individuals pursuing this career choice should be well-organized in creating lesson plans fit for a classroom setting.

They should also be able to handle classes independently. Salaries usually vary, but your dollar goes a long way in places like China and Thailand.


Why Medicine?

basic medicine elements to travel abroad

Just like international workers, Medicins Sans Frontiere (MSF)  is not for the faint of heart. A passion for helping underserved communities in different parts of the world should be your driving force.

Doctors without Borders are modern-day heroes who deserve all the recognition they are given. The MSF-USA lives by the commitment to the principles of equity, inclusion, and respect for diversity.


First, you should have a medical degree and a medical license to qualify. You will also need at least two years of medical practice. This degree (and job) requires strong leadership, flexibility, quick decision-making skills, and impressive management skills. Perks include language tuition and professional training needed before deployment to a specific country.

Career Opportunities

Expect living conditions to be very modest, with scanty resources for comfort. Doctors pursuing this career aren’t keen on building wealth but on enriching themselves with experience through immersion in impoverished communities. Some professionals take this opportunity to experience different cultures and make a difference.

Doctors who commit to the cause carry out their social mission of serving their patients with respect and free of any prejudice. If you want to be a part of MSF-USA, you must embody these principles and prepare yourself for a rewarding and eye-opening experience in the field.

Preparing for Your Travel-filled College Life

College life

Before finally deciding on your University of choice, here are a few tips to make college life easier:

Check the bus routes. 

Unless you own a vehicle, you might be spending time using the bus for transportation. Ask locals for the bus routes and look for the quickest ways to move around town. Look into bus prices and alternative routes to get you to your locations faster. This may seem like a tedious task, but it’s going to be worth it later–especially if you’re not a morning person.

Save as much as you can. 

You will likely be provided with accommodation and allowances for moving during college. While you could use help from mom and dad, you should learn how to budget. Avoid eating out all the time and get a job to earn money while attending college.

Wash your clothes. 

This is a simple skill that most college students ignore. Just like budgeting, washing your clothes can save you money.

Learn to love your own company. 

It can (and it will!) get lonely. Being away from those you love and far from where you grew up can make you homesick. Though you can essentially find new friends in college, you will still miss the comfort of your home. Make peace with being on your own. Keeping hobbies that you enjoy either with others or on your own during your “alone” time will keep loneliness at bay.

Stick to a routine that works for you. 

This will provide a pattern for keeping your life organized. It provides the framework for keeping your social and school life in balance. Will some Netflix binge help you avoid the dreaded burnout? After a nerve-racking exam, calm your mind by heading out to the beach with your friends. Keep yourself motivated while staying on track with your goals.

Are Travel Jobs Right For You?

Before you go for a college degree that allows you to travel, it’s best to know first if travel jobs are suitable for you in the first place. Several factors will help you determine if these types of careers are suitable for you. Before you determine what degree and where you will attend higher education, evaluate first what is involved in careers that involve traveling before you finally make a decision. 

Pros and Cons of Travel Jobs

We also have a list of Student Exchange Programs you may find interest in if you are a student wanting to travel.

What are the best ways to travel while in college?

Yes, there are many ways to travel while in college. Depending on the college, you may be able to take part in study abroad programs, internships, or student exchange programs. You can also look into taking a gap year or semester off to travel or take a summer job that allows you to travel.

You can also use your vacation days or weekends to explore new places. There are also plenty of ways to save money while traveling, such as couchsurfing, using public transportation, and using budget airlines.

ALSO READ: The 18 Best Reasons To Major In Foreign Language