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How to Write a Study Abroad Blog

October 4, 2016

You’re getting ready to study abroad. Let’s be honest — you’re probably going to have an awesome time. You might want to share your awesome time with others — family and friends at home, strangers on the internet and maybe even your future self. So you decide to start a study abroad blog. How exactly do you do that? What are the ingredients necessary for a great study abroad blog?

Here a few tips for a successful study abroad blog:

Write regularly

Creating your own blog space will only get you so far — you have to publish posts! Once every other week is great, although getting in the habit of posting once a week can encourage you to document your experience consistently.

Student in Savoie, France looking out on the French Alps.
Student in Savoie, France looking out on the French Alps.

Reflect on your experience

Sometimes it can be hard to come up with a list of ideas to write about. What you did that day or that week is always a good starting point, but try to go deeper. How were the day’s activities different from what would have happened at home? Instead of just documenting your adventures, ask yourself what surprised you or what you learned. Writing in-depth blog posts will help you digest your experience as you live it. And who knows — once you’ve returned home, your thoughtful blog could allow you to better articulate what you learned to a future employer.

Blue mountains rise above a lake in Chambery, France.
Blue mountains rise above a lake in Chambery, France.

Share photos

Pictures are worth a thousand words, so snap away! Photos are a great way for your readers to get an inside look at your studies abroad, and could even help you boost your resume. Of course, use your best judgment when sharing your images. Ask yourself if you want your grandmother (… or a future employer) to stumble across any photos you post.

Complex stairway leading up to the Born Jesus do Monte in Portugal, Spain
Complex stairway leading up to the Born Jesus do Monte in Portugal, Spain

Keep it short

Your mom probably wants to read every detail of your life, down to how many times you went to the bathroom in any given day (okay maybe not). Others… not so much. This is true especially if you’re aching to be the next blogging superstar — keep your content to what is most exciting and noteworthy. That doesn’t mean you can’t blog about the small things: some of the most intriguing differences and learning moments you’ll experience during study abroad revolve around pizza toppings, bus schedules or other “small" things. But at the end of the day, a list of every building you went to in a city isn’t nearly as compelling as your reflections on the interactions you had while going to some of those buildings.

"A few kilometers or so below the Akosombo dam on Lake Volta, locals fish from canoes with line and hooks in the dark deep waters lying intermittent to the green hills.  My first journey in Ghana brought me here for a relaxing getaway.  From sunup these men could be seen on these waters tirelessly trying to bring in fish."
“A few kilometers or so below the Akosombo dam on Lake Volta, locals fish from canoes with line and hooks in the dark deep waters lying intermittent to the green hills. My first journey in Ghana brought me here for a relaxing getaway. From sunup these men could be seen on these waters tirelessly trying to bring in fish.”

Be honest

Write with your heart! Being true to your feelings — even if you’re feeling down or homesick — is the best thing you can do. Writing will help you work through any difficult situations, and when you look back on old entries, you’ll be surprised at how far you’ve come and how much you’ve learned.

So give your study abroad blog a try — share your study abroad journey with the world.

Do you already have your own study abroad blog? Share it with us in the comments!

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