The One Thing You Need to Bring When Studying Abroad

May 6, 2018

When studying abroad I knew I wanted to write down which countries I went to and the general places I went, but I had never been good at journaling, and I doubted that I would start at the busiest time in my life. But, my aunt gave this beautiful notebook, and I felt determined to fill it with memories from this trip, and I am so happy I did.

For those who don’t think journaling is for them- I know your argument is going to be I journal through my pictures and saved stories on Snapchat. And while I love those mems too, you are missing something special that only a pen and paper can give you. Journaling gets so many more memories down that you just can’t remember in a picture.

  • Random funny things that happened
  • Cultural norms and differences from America
  • My emotions, thoughts, struggles
  • Why I liked certain countries/cities (or didn’t)

Some of my friends in the rotation have made very aesthetically pleasing journals filled with colors and drawings and tickets. Mine is just filled with my messy handwriting, and each entry usually ends with a sentence along the lines of-

“I am physically and emotionally exhausted but so incredibly excited.”

SO many emotions these past few months. But it has been so therapeutic being able to write out all of these feelings and look at them on a piece of paper, and then sort them all out. Don’t say you will get to writing stuff down, trust me there have been times when I did that, and I know I missed some memories. Write it down that day or night. While everything is fresh, it is a good way to unwind after a long day, or on a long bus or train ride, it helps it move along faster.


If you are thinking about studying abroad, I’m sure this isn’t the first time someone has drilled you about bringing a journal. Trust me; I’ve been there. But, we are all emphasizing the importance of this for a reason. You will want these memories to last a lifetime; you have the resources to remember all of your memories inexpensively. Don’t limit your memories to just a picture on your phone.

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