Why you should keep a blog while studying abroad
Keeping a blog while studying abroad is one of the most rewarding and productive ways to document your study abroad experience.
It’s a great way to share your experiences with others
All your friends and family are going to want to live vicariously through you during your study abroad experience and will likely be pestering you for details about everything you’re doing. Keeping everyone updated on your travels is important, but sending out individual emails and messages gets time consuming and calling home can be expensive. Keeping a blog is an easy way to keep everyone informed about your life abroad and posting regularly (once every week or two) will keep requests from family for more photos and more information to a minimum.
It’s a great way to document your experiences
Blogging is a great way to keep track of your study abroad experience and it gives you something concrete to look back on when you get back home. It’s really cool to reread your blog, check out all your fun pictures, and reminisce about all the amazing thing you got to see and do when you’re time abroad comes to an end.
It’s a relatively small commitment
While keeping a journal during my time abroad was something that appealed to me, and is something that works well for lots of people, setting aside to write each day did not work out for me. Often I was too busy, too tired, or simply forgot to take the time to scribble out all that happened in a day. But, writing out the highlights at the end of the week was a really nice way to reflect on my experiences and was much more manageable for my schedule.
It encourages you to take pictures and seek out exciting experiences
I certainly do not advocate doing things simply because they’ll look good on social media, but that being said, the desire to entertain your readers can encourage you to go out and try new things. Weekend trips and program excursions all made great blog topics but seeking out new experiences in your day-to-day life in your host city will give you something to talk about in your weeks off from traveling, not to mention providing you with the prospect of an exciting new adventure.
It’s a great way to reflect
Blogging gives you the chance to sit down and think about how your study abroad experience is going. It gave me the opportunity to see how the things I was doing each week were stacking up to what I wanted to get out of my study abroad experience. Whether you’ll be gone for a month, a semester, or a year, study abroad flies by and it’s import to check in with yourself and your goals before it’s too late, and putting your thoughts in writing can be a great way to do this.
Blogging can lead to some great opportunities
Blogging can open up a lot of unexpected opportunities. Your blog might make you realize how much you love traveling, writing, food, or photography. You’ll have a wealth of writing samples, a list of cool things to do if people ask you for recommendations of what to do abroad, and the beginnings of a personal brand. You also have the option of sharing your experiences with a huge audience. Submit your blog posts to your school’s study abroad office, your study abroad program provider’s website, or a wonderful site like the College Tourist :).