North America is a fantastic destination for student travel abroad for several reasons. It's easy to get to, convenient to travel around and with English the main language, you might feel more comfortable than you would in other countries, especially if you're going away by yourself.
Don't make the mistake of thinking the USA and Canada are just about their large cosmopolitan cities, though. There are plenty of different tours you can go on that are that bit more off the beaten tourist track. If you decide to embark on volunteer work, you'll get to see a side of the continent other holidaymakers don't.
Below is a guide to some of the best destinations you can visit in North America when on a student trip abroad.
The Deep South
Home to the blues, hearty home-cooked food and states including Texas, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, the Deep South is a fascinating part of the USA that will seem worlds away from cities such as New York and LA. The southern hospitality is famous, so head to a Tex-Mex joint in Texas and fill up on tacos and spicy fajitas.
Take a tour of Louisiana's mysterious swamps and sample its renowned gumbo stew (which consists of meat or shellfish and vegetables coated in a strong stock and thick sauce). New Orleans is, of course, home to the blues and jazz, so while in the Louisianan city stop off at the famous Bourbon Street in the French Quarter and soak up the live music in one of its electric bars. Preservation Hall also hosts some spectacular shows.
Alabama and Mississippi will also likely be on your Deep South itinerary.
The Canadian Rockies
Canada is a stunning country and it is well worth heading up north to see its beautiful scenery for yourself. If you are something of an adrenaline junkie, this is the place for you. A hike is one of the best introductions you'll have to the Rockies, giving you plenty of time to enjoy your surroundings. It's now time to up the tempo, so consider exploring this corner of Canada on horseback or from a raft as you tackle white water rapids. Everywhere you visit in the mountains you'll be greeted by something new, from glistening glaciers and lakes to lush forests and hot springs. There's also the chance you'll come across some of Canada's locals, including the grizzly bear, moose and elk.
There are plenty of national parks for you to explore. Yoho, Jasper and Banff are perhaps the most famous, with the latter home to a tramway that will take you up Sulphur Mountain. As the name suggests, hot springs await you at the end of the journey.
When exploring the Rockies, you'll also be close to some of Canada's most cosmopolitan cities, such as Vancouver. This vibrant hub is surrounded by coastline and mountains, so you'll never feel too far from the great outdoors. Stanley Park is a great place to chill out after all of that activity, while a night out in the city's Gastown - a part of Vancouver filled with bars lining cobbled streets - is a must.
Down on the ranch
Imagine spending part of your gap year on horseback, riding through breathtaking scenery, and rounding off your evenings with a hearty meal around a campfire. Choose to volunteer on a working USA ranch and this will be a reality for you. You'll be taught all the skills that real-life cowboys need, including how to lasso, pitch hay, fix a fence and herd cattle. The American Rocky Mountain West will likely be your destination, with Wyoming particularly popular. In fact, it is known as the Cowboy State.
Yellowstone National Park is also nearby, so make sure you visit here during your spare time. Established in 1872, it is America's first national park and is home to bison, elk, wolves and grizzly bears.