So what did you do last weekend?
When you’re studying abroad, the answer to that question might range from relaxing on a beach in Buenos Aires to crawling the tapas bars in Barcelona, hiking up the side of a volcano in a Costa Rican cloud forest to attending Fashion Week in London or Paris.
And the only thing you regret? That your besties from back home aren’t there to see it all with you!
Luckily, thanks to a little thing called “modern technology,” you can easily share your as much or as little of your amazing study abroad adventures with your BFFs (and better yet, make your frenemies incredibly jealous). Plus, you’ll end up with lasting documentation of your overseas experience. It’s a win, win, win!
Here's the kicker: These 5 ideas aren't brand new ideas. But--maybe you didn't do them back home. Maybe you didn't see the need to cram your life into 140 characters or capture every sunset. It's funny how travel can not only change that, but so can the need to keep in touch with your friends and family around the world...in different time zones. Whether you have time to document every word, or just a few muy importante updates, you might want to rethink these options.
5 Ways to Share Your Study Abroad with Those Back Home:
Hands down, the best way to share all of those incredible experiences is by writing them down. Simply sign up for a free blog and get started. Treat your blog like a journal and document your stories, experiences, adventures, and even the day-to-day stuff that may seem mundane at the time. Include photos and videos to bring your writing to life and make it more interesting for your readers.
And speaking of readers, just remember that your blog is a journal that everyone and anyone (including potential future employers, parents, etc.) can read, and that anything you put online has the potential to stay online for a long time.
Don’t have time to keep up with a blog? Consider tweeting, instead! It’s amazing how much information you can convey in 140 characters. Plus, it only takes a second to let your mom know that yes, you’re wearing a warm coat when you go out at night, eating lots of veggies, and studying very hard.
Remember back in the day when people took pictures, developed them, then shared them in albums? (Don’t worry, no one else remembers that, either.) Today, we’ve got that magical thing called Instagram!
If you’re not already as obsessed with Instagram as we are, just give it time… ‘cause it’s inevitable. This social media platform is the perfect place to share all of those gorgeous selfies you’re taking in front of the Colosseum, Buckingham Palace, or the Eiffel Tower, not to mention all the delicious meals you’re eating.
Best of all, with the click of a button or two, your followers can instantly see exactly what you’re up to and, at the same time, Instagram creates a record of all of those amazing moments you experience while abroad. When you get back, it’s easy to take those snapshots and create collages, photobooks, calendars, coffee mugs, and whatever other fun things will remind you of your time overseas.
Letters and Postcards
Yes, we’re talking about actual letters -- made of paper -- that you write on with an actual pen. It may seem positively archaic, but think back to when you were a kid; remember the excitement you’d feel when you’d get a letter or a postcard in the mail? Sending off a handwritten letter every now and then is a great way to recreate that excitement and connect meaningfully with loved ones back home. They’ll feel good knowing that you were thinking of them!
Alternately, whenever you’re visiting a new location, buy a cheap postcard, jot a note down on it, slap on a stamp, and stick it in the mail… to yourself. When you get back, you’ll have a travelogue waiting for you! Simply place the cards into order in a scrapbook and you’ve got a ready-made souvenir to share with friends and family.
No matter which sharing method you choose, focus on experiencing the moment you’re in, rather than always reaching for your camera or seeing the world on the screen of your iPhone. After all, you traveled around the world to have a life-changing experience -- so savor every minute of it!
What are your favorite ways to share your study abroad experiences?
Read more about our CEA Content Creators.