Ideally, you should be able to sell your old textbooks. Sometimes, though, it doesn’t work out that way. A new edition may have just come out, rendering your textbook obsolete. Perhaps you’re in a highly specialized field, and not many buyers are biting. Whatever the case, you have other options for reusing or re-purposing your old textbooks. Take a look at these three ideas.

Donate Online

If you know where to look, you’ll find plenty of websites that accept old textbooks. This donation method lets you get rid of your textbooks from the comfort of your home. The downside, however, is that most of these organizations only accept certain types of books.

Books for Africa accepts fiction and nonfiction books, whether they are hardcover or softcover. It accepts most college textbooks that have a 2002 or newer publisher date. Certain subjects — like law and medicine — must have a 2007 or newer publisher date. As its name suggests, this organization sends books to students in need in Africa.

Books Through Bars sends books to prison libraries. It accepts mostly paperbacks, and the most highly requested subjects include African-American studies, trade skills, small business, and urban fiction. If you would rather donate your books to soldiers, make sure to check out Books for Soldiers or Operation Paperback.

Donate Locally

Donating your textbooks to a local business or organization is a great way to help your community. It does involve lugging around a bag of heavy books, but you’re also more likely to get rid of them faster.

Try contacting the library to see if it accepts donations. In most cases, the staff will be happy to take your old textbooks off your hands, either to add to their bookshelves or to sell during fundraisers. You could also donate your books to a local thrift store or to charitable organizations like The Salvation Army.

Are you feeling ambitious? Go a step further, and collect other people’s used books so you can run your own book drive. Running this type of event would look great on your resume.

Upcycle Your Textbooks

Makers, crafters, and artists have come up with some really cool ways to repurpose old books, and they were kind enough to post instructions online. Do you have a nosy roommate? Try turning a textbook into a secret safe, or make a hidden drawer out of book spines. Do you like to show off your unique style? You can turn old books into jewelry, wallets, or even a tablet cover.

Other upcycle projects include book lamps, picture frames, headboards, wall art, and iPhone charging docks. If you get good enough, some of your pieces may even be sellable to other students on campus or through Etsy.

Your old textbooks don’t need to gather dust in a forgotten corner. You paid good money for them, so why not make the most of them? You can find an organization that wants your textbooks, or failing that, you can transform them into something fun and useful.

If you don’t have a summer job lined up yet, now is a good time to start looking. You may as well use your newly freed-up time to earn some cash, right? Or maybe you want to start gaining experience in your field of study. Whatever your goals are, you’ll find the job you want more easily if you start early. Here are a few ideas to help you with the hunt.

Stick to Your Goals

Before you even get started with a job search, you need to know what your idea of a “perfect” job is. Do you want something that’s related to your major? Is the pay rate your main concern? Do you want to continue working in the fall? The answers to these questions will give you an idea of where to start your job search.

Seasonal positions are great for students who want to stop working when school starts. If you want to keep part-time hours during the year, look for nonseasonal work that offers flexible hours. Did you move back home for the summer? The manager at a chain store might be willing to transfer you to one of the stores in your college town. If experience is your main priority, a summer internship might be just what you need.

Target the Top Industries

According to, certain industries are more likely to hire students for the summer: construction, landscaping, tourism, recreation, hospitality, and office work.

Some of the more seasonal positions include summer camp counselor, water park attendant, construction worker, landscape worker, and tour guide. If you work at a hotel or a restaurant, you might have the chance to stay on part time in the fall. Offices aren’t as likely to take you on permanently, but you might get your foot in the door as a temp worker.

Look Beyond Online Postings

While it doesn’t hurt to search for jobs online, not all job postings end up on the internet. Start with your college’s resources. Check the job board. Attend any networking events or employment fairs taking place on campus. Consider stopping by the career center to speak with a career advisor.

You can also tell friends and family you’re looking for a job. They may know of an opportunity or be willing to recommend you to their employer. If you enjoyed your previous job, contact your old boss to see if there are any openings.

Make Your Own Job

Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. However, if you think it would suit you, you should go for it. Buying items such as books or video games and reselling them for a profit is one way to earn money. You can even use the CampusBooks Buy Vs Rent tool to buy cheap books, and sell them for a profit. If you’re artistic, you can sell your wares on Etsy. You could also start a company that walks dogs, cleans houses, or provides guitar lessons — the possibilities are endless. You’ll have more responsibilities working for yourself than for someone else, but you’ll get to set your own hours and pay rate.

It’s never too late to get that perfect summer job.  Start hunting for your summer job today!

Are you thinking of signing up for a study abroad program? Spending a semester or two outside the U.S. can be the experience of a lifetime. You’ll meet new people, have the chance to learn a new language, and see a different part of the world. However, it tends to be costly, and you’ll probably feel homesick. Read about these pros and cons of studying abroad to see if it’s the right choice for you.

Con: Homesickness

Speaking of friends, you’ll be leaving them behind. You’ll likely experience culture shock, too, which can make feelings of homesickness more intense. The first few weeks in a new country will be the hardest. You’ll need to learn how to get from one place to another, the food will be different, and you’ll have to adjust to any cultural differences.

Fortunately, there are ways to decrease culture shock and feelings of loneliness. There will likely be other U.S. students in the same city as you. Reach out to them. Try to make friends with the locals. You can also keep in touch with family and friends back home using Skype or any other video-chat software.

Pro: Learning a New Language

Whether you want to improve on the language you’re already studying or you want to try something new, you’ll learn faster by immersing yourself in it. Learning a second (or third) language is useful, even if it’s not part of your degree requirement. It can open up doors for you when it’s time to look for a job. And, of course, you’ll also be able to impress your friends when you go back home.

Con: Cost

When you study abroad, you have to deal with more expenses. You’ll have to pay for the flight there and back. If you’re planning to go sightseeing, you’ll need to account for that in your budget. Depending on where you travel, the exchange rate could hurt your wallet even more.

There are ways to make your study abroad program more affordable, however. It’s possible to transfer financial aid to the cost of the program, and there are scholarships or internships you can apply for. Just make sure to apply for programs and funding early, so you don’t miss any deadlines.

Pro: Traveling

By staying in one location for one or two semesters, you’ll have more time to explore the city than you would on a regular trip. Along with visiting the usual tourist attractions, you’ll also get to see how the locals live.

Another perk of studying abroad is how close you’ll be to other countries. You can make the most of your trip by visiting other places on the weekends. For example, if you’re staying in France, you can easily take the train to Austria or Germany. Are you studying in Australia? That puts you that much closer to New Zealand.

These are just a few factors to consider before you apply for a study abroad program. The most important thing is to do your research and make preparations well ahead of time.