Cultural Experience | Resources

Don’t Let Your Study Abroad Experience Go Undocumented

Go beyond social media and scattered souvenirs.

Studying abroad will most likely be one of your most memorable long term experiences. You’ll be grateful to yourself for choosing a unique and concrete way to capture and gather the many parts of this adventure! Here are a few suggestions of how you can create a collective memory of your trip:


This classic way of logging your thoughts and experiences is especially valuable while traveling. You can look back at your first entries and better see how much you learned and changed throughout this journey. It is also a way to remind yourself of the little, but important, memories you may otherwise forget.


Don’t let the numerous ticket stubs, baggage stickers, and destination pamphlets you accrue over the months get scattered and lost. Scrapbooking all of these what seem to be odds and ends, will actually help bring your memories and stories to life once you get back home. there are loads of scrapbook supplies to make the project your own.

Blogging/ vlogging

One of the best ways to capture an experience is to share it with others. Let your family and friends in on the adventure by posting regularly when you take weekend trips or encounter something new. This can even be a way to develop your sills or career aspirations in photography, video, writing, or marketing, etc. the list goes on. Sign up for an author’s profile on College Tourist to create your own portfolio of travel articles.

Travel picture message

This is a really fun idea if you have someone to thank or a quote that inspires your travel. Make signs for every word in a sentence and hold one word up in each place you visit. This will produce a creative group of photos and a piece specific to your unique experience.

Souvenir art

One idea that you wont regret putting into action is collecting a similar souvenir in every place you visit. When you get home you have a real physical catalogue of all your travels. If you want to take it a step further, you can combine them in a creative way to showcase the overall experience. Some ideas would be to collect pins and create an art piece out of them, get t-shirts from each city and make a t-shirt quilt, or gather shot glasses from different countries and place them in a display together.

Bring it home with you

There’s no more authentic group of souvenirs than a natural one. Be sure to respect historical and natural sites but if you have the opportunity, bring home some pressed leaves from Austria or some beach pebbles from Greece. These collections will prove more and more valuable to you as your study abroad trip moves farther away in your memory.

Do an experiment

Last but not least, get a little creative and find a way to reach further into each culture you visit. Perhaps you could do the same act of kindness or ask the same questions when you encounter locals in each place you visit. Chronicle the results and compare and contrast the differences/similarities throughout different societies. This is a concrete way to remind yourself of the diverse lessons and experiences you encountered while studying abroad.


Documenting your Study Abroad


Emily Roth

University of Connecticut | 6 stories

Emily is a current UConn senior and Political Science major, deeply in denial about graduation. She studied in Nottingham, England for a semester of her junior year and feels super lucky that she was able to travel around Europe. She hopes to pursue a creative and entrepreneurial career which allows her to make actual change in people's lives. She can often be found enjoying cheap wine while consuming excessive amounts of home remodeling shows.

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