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How to Write a Study Abroad Blog: 5 Tips for Success

June 29, 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?

At ISEP, we know quite a bit about study abroad blogs! And we’re here to help you — here are five pointers to get you started:

Write on the regular! This handy clock at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris can help you stay on schedule.
Write on the regular! This handy clock at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris can help you stay on schedule.
  • Write. Like, 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.

  • Reflect on your experience. Sometimes it can be hard to come up with a topic 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.

ISEP student Andrew Martinez is (obviously) reflecting on his semester abroad in Chile
ISEP student Andrew Martinez is (obviously) reflecting on his semester abroad in Chile
  • Share photos. Pictures are worth a thousand words (it’s true). 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 (really!). 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.
ISEP student Lucia Hernandez shares a super fun (and super grandma/work appropriate) photo of her dancing in Amiens, France.
ISEP student Lucia Hernandez shares a super fun (and super grandma/work appropriate) photo of her dancing in Amiens, France.
  • 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 (seriously). But at the end of the day,

“Today I woke up and then I went to the store and then I went to class and then I went home and then I did homework and then I ate dinner and then I watched TV and then I went to sleep”

isn’t nearly as compelling as,

“Today in class, we rappelled down a ledge.”

BAM.

  • 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. And who knows, you might even inspire others to study abroad one day!

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