In this week's post, Elizabeth gives 5 tips for starting a blog and chronicling your special study abroad moments.
Once your study abroad journey begins, time will start to fly by. Before you know it you are a month into your semester and start to wonder where the time went. Many people approach their study abroad experiences in different ways. Blogging is one of the easiest and creative way to preserve your memories as well as share your adventures with your family and friends back home!
By blogging you will be able to document all the places you will travel during your semester abroad.
Here are a few keys steps to make an awesome blog for your time abroad.
1. Find Your Proper Blogging Platform
Stepping into the blogging world can be slightly intimidating. You can start documenting your journey on a variety of platforms. It is possible to share your adventure through Facebook posts, a travel Instagram, or a traditional website blog. By doing a quick internet search, you can easily find a few web platforms to start your blog. Websites such as Wordpress and Weebly are designed for people who are just starting out on their blogging adventure! Don’t forget to look and see if there is a student blog in your study abroad program. At CAPA there is a program specifically designed for a few students to blog about their experience abroad (just like yours truly). Blogging for CAPA has allowed me to have an outlet to share my experiences with my family and future study abroad students!
A photo of me taking photos at the Cliffs of Moher.
2. Start Taking Photos
If you are like me, this step will not be too difficult. Once your plane touches down in your study abroad location your camera or phone will be attached to your hand. Whether it is the food you ate for lunch or a selfie with your friend, use these photos to tell your story and experiences. When walking through the city, remember to always take more photos than needed, this will allow you to sort through them to find your favorite. When deciding which photos to post in your blog, I would recommend choosing photos that are unique and engaging. Attempt to take photos that are of untraditional parts of your city.
This is when I was writing in a visitor's book at Marsh's Library. The inspiration never ends!
(Actually, I was just writing my name.)
3. Just Start Writing
Although it can be easy to upload all your photos online, the next part of the blog is writing. Attempting to put your experiences into words can be the most challenging part of blogging. You could have had the most exciting day of your semester and when you sit down to write...you hit a writer’s block. It may be hard to think of a specific topic to blog about, and that is okay. No one ever said blogging was entirely ‘easy.’ My personal technique is to just start writing and let my mind wander. I piece together my thoughts after they are on the paper and then form the blog post. Blogs allow you to write in any style you prefer. It is your story and you can tell it however you would like.
A photo of boats in the harbor of Howth.
4. Be Honest
These are your ideas and feeling. A blog can be a place for you to reflect on your experiences and how you feel while abroad. There will be positive and negative times in your journey and you have the right to be completely honest in your blog (if you want to). I remember writing my first CAPA blog on my thoughts about leaving home for a brand new country. I was honest about how I was (and still am) extremely excited to explore, but I was nervous and anxious before my departure. By writing down these emotions I was able to preserve initial feelings for my trip. These are your memories to look back on and it will mean more if they accurately reflect how you feel.
Keep your family updated on any events while abroad. This is a photo taken during a lull in Hurricane Ophelia.
Share your blog with others! Social media is the best way to share your journey with friends and family at home. It allows them to check and see what you are doing abroad. Do not forget to tell people about your blog and post updates whenever there is a new entry. Your friends and family will love following your adventure digitally!
Do not forget to have fun! This photo was taken on our trip to Howth.
Blogging is an easy way for your to remember your time abroad. You have the option of filling a page with as many words and photos for you to tell you story. By the end of the semester you will want a record of what you did and how you felt because time will fly by before you know it. Blogging is like a digital scrapbook but without the glue; something you will want to preserve for your future self. I hope these tips helped you start your own study abroad blog!
Elizabeth's journey continues every Tuesday so stay tuned.