Freelancing an answer for students who want to travel

By Nick Koski, Contributing Writer

For college students who dream of traveling to foreign countries, but are unsure of how they can make money with this nomadic lifestyle, freelancing might be the answer.

Ryan Astaphan, a history graduate from the University of Florida, has spent the past few years traveling the globe and working online as a freelancer. He said it all started a bit after his first backpacking trip in Asia when he asked himself, “How can I continue this lifestyle, make more money and have more free time?” After the trip, Astaphan started working online in 2013 to maintain a more unique way of life.

“I liked the lifestyle.… That was more important to me than the traditional career path,” he said.

Astaphan said that it is important to find something that will advance you towards your goals and, ideally, fit your major. He said there are many benefits to freelancing over your normal college job such as financial gains, résumé building and increasing your value to employers post-graduation.

Astaphan explained how there are freelancing jobs available for almost any major.

“There’s market research, accounting help, video production, editing, commercials, logo design … really so many opportunities,” he said.

Astaphan said that “on the job boards, the levels of experience are not so high.”

Astaphan explained how easy it is to start doing this at college. If you have a friend with marketing skills, another with coding and someone who can write, “You already have an agency right there.”

“Generally, students don’t realize how valuable their skills are and how they stack up on Upwork,” he said.

Astaphan said that Upwork, a website where freelancers can find jobs and receive feedback on their work, is probably the best place to get started.

“Have respect for your clients .… It’s about them,” he said. “Focus on talking about what you can do for the person.… Your job is to serve. For travel, don’t be stupid and have fun.”



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