Studying abroad means embarking on a journey that will take you to new places and help you reach new heights, both literally and figuratively. While a picture may be worth a thousand words, starting a study abroad blog is a creative and expressive way to catalogue your experiences and share your adventures with the world. Read on for the top 5 reasons to blog while studying abroad.
#1 – To keep in touch with friends and family
While most people these days stay in touch through Facebook and Instagram, there are certainly people you may want to keep updated, just not with every single picture or post. In my case, my parents and grandparents aren’t on social media, but I still wanted to share stories, pictures, and sometimes even short video clips of what I was up to abroad. By updating my blog every week with appropriate content from my trips, my parents could stay in touch, comment (usually about schoolwork inquiries…) and feel like they were a part of my journey too.
#2 – To explain what’s going on in your travels
While social media outlets are great for sharing photos and short quips about your adventures (how can you explain a weekend in Madrid in 140 characters?!) posting regular entries on a blog can go several steps further by including hyperlinks, references, and even linking back to previous posts. With a blog you can explain the places you go, show off some knowledge, and express your feelings about what’s going on in (and outside of) your photos.
#3 – To build an online presence
What better way to show off your writing skills than to write about your exciting, interesting, and challenging experiences from around the world? As a public relations and marketing major, I use my blog as an example of current writing samples and skills on social media that I feel comfortable with potential employers viewing.
#4 – For your own records
Many people go abroad with the intention of keeping a written journal of their experiences, but it can be difficult to stay committed if it’s not part of your normal routine. With a blog, you can add pictures you’re already uploading to your computer, and you can even link social media accounts like Instagram to blog platforms such as WordPress. Also, when the adventures are over and it’s time to come back home, having an online record that won’t get destroyed by a leaky water bottle, be stolen out of your backpack, or lost on a train is a great way to relive your adventures wherever life takes you next.
#5 – To share with other travelers
If it weren’t for a simple Tweet sharing my personal blog entry with The Abroad Guide last September, I wouldn’t even be writing this article! Keeping a blog about your personal abroad adventures can serve as inspiration for anyone going abroad, going back to a place they once visited, or just dreaming about escaping to a far off place. Because you can include hyperlinks to the exact hostel, restaurant, club, or historical site you visited, every blogger becomes an expert and a reference to other travelers.
Before I went abroad to Spain last fall, I followed Bucket List Publications on WordPress, and watched/read as the author checked off going on an African safari, seeing an active volcano in Hawaii, and visiting one of the Seven Wonders of the World from her 2013 “Bucket List.” Seeing how much travel writing inspires others (along with the reasons listed above) helped me get my study abroad blog going, and it has since added value to my online presence and served as a source of recommendations for my fellow travelers.
Will you be blogging while you study abroad? Let us know in the comments.