Your summer abroad will be one of the most memorable times of your life! You’ll meet friends you’ll stay in touch with for years! You’ll see sights others only dream of seeing! You’ll have a whole new perspective on not only your field of study, but the world in general. While students return from their travels wiser, more well-rounded, and glad to be home, many who study abroad find themselves often missing the life they had that summer overseas. Check out these tips on how to preserve the best memories from your time abroad!
When you’re out with your new friends at a new, scenic restaurant, ask someone to take a picture of everyone. As you enter the dark theater in which you’ll view your first foreign film, place your ticket stub somewhere safe. When you and some classmates hike to the top of a mountain overlooking foggy forests, pick up a fallen leaf from the trail and place it in your pocket. These little tokens can create a scrapbook full of your best memories.
Keep a personal journal on your trip to reflect on the world around you and how you fit into that world. Before the plane ride there, write about your expectations. What do you plan to get out of this trip? What are you most looking forward to? What is your biggest fear while studying abroad? All throughout your experience, continue writing about your adventures, the things you learn, and the people you meet. Don’t forget to read it from cover to cover when you get back, and over and over again after.
With a blog, you can write about your experiences for yourself as well as others to read. Upload pictures and videos to your blog. Include quotes. Describe the places you visit in detail. Your family and friends can’t be there with you, so do your best to illustrate to them what your life is like abroad. They’ll also appreciate getting all this information as it happens as opposed to when you get home. And if you set your blog for public viewing, you could be helping other students who are thinking about studying abroad!
If writing about your experiences isn’t your thing, a picture is worth a thousand words. Take lots of pictures on your trip and upload them to Instagram, or another photo-sharing site for your friends to see.
Your friends can stay updated on your travels on their way to class, during lunch, and on the weekends by reading your frequently composed Twitter updates on your experiences. Use Twitter to post your thoughts on a class, what you’ll be doing that evening, and on the new, authentic foods you’re trying! Twitter’s “in-the-moment” speed can seem more personal than a blog you post every night, or the pictures you share when you get home.
Even a 30-second video recorded with your phone can be one of the most powerful tools of all when it comes to remembering an experience. Storing memories on your phone can let you remember your summer abroad practically anywhere!
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