On Being the Ultimate Chronicler: Making Memories Last

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Studying abroad is all about exploring: exploring yourself as an individual and a young professional; exploring new places; exploring cultures and the world around you… exploring yourself within the culturally diverse world around you!  Each day abroad will bring about a multitude of memories that will forever be a part of you. However, memories fade, and as much as we’d like to be able to bottle them up in a jar and keep them precise and perfectly in-tact forever, we can’t, which is why the value of some sort of documentation throughout your study abroad trip is exponentially heightened.  Check out our list of various ways to be a top-notch chronicler on your study abroad adventure!

  • Journal.  Journaling not only allows you to document the happenings of your study abroad experience with a sense of personal intimacy, but it also gives you a space to vent, reflect, ponder, and track your developmental process throughout the journey.  It is a beautiful tool to getting thoughts and ideas off of your chest, even if you’re not quite ready to share them with the world.
  • …but maybe you are eager to share your thoughts from abroad with the world?  Start a blog!  Blogging is a handy e-version way to document your trip in both words and pictures and share it with your friends, family, and possibly even strangers who may be curious about your location, program, or studying abroad in general.  This also will prevent you from having to repeat your stories over and over again to your curious loved ones.  If they question you about what you’ve been up to, direct them to your blog!  Commonly used free and user-friendly blog hosting sites include Blogger, WordPress, and Weebly.
  • Vlog.  Video blogging or vlogging is the new version of blogging.  Grab your video camera and record yourself talking, exploring, and going about your day-to-day!  Vlogs can be easily shared for free through YouTube.  For inspiration, check out a vlog series from EIU’s very own Rachel R., who is currently studying abroad in Seoul, South Korea!
  • Intimidated by committing to a consistent, in-depth journal?  Keep a daily one-sentence journal that is manageable and allows for brief documentation of each day’s most memorable moment summarized in one simple phrase.  Even consider using an e-based version like a daily Instagram post.
  • Collect the little tangible memories from your adventures (ticket stubs, public transport cards, coins, pamphlets, maps, brochures, receipts, business cards, preserved flowers or leaves – anything your heart desires!) and compile them to create a DIY travel scrapbook, like this one here!
  • Instagram.  Whether you create a separate account for your travels or use your personal account, get creative and post photos on Instagram.  You know what they say, a picture’s worth a thousand words!

How else do you like to document your experiences?  Share them below!

Ciao for now,
EIU OSA

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