There are certain ways to preserve your study abroad memories. Here are 15 different ways to keep your study abroad memories while still enjoying your time there.
1. Take pictures.
It might sound obvious, but I have so many moments where I forgot to take pictures that I wish I did. I have hundreds to look back on and they take me right back to that place, with those people, and that feeling.
2. Take videos.
Pictures are great, but videos give you visuals and sounds of the memories you make and at the end you can put together a compilation of all the ones you take.
3. Audio recordings.
Use your phone to record the sound of the streets and restaurants you frequent the most, so you can recall the sound of the language and unfamiliar sounds of the country you study in.
4. Journal & blog.
Even if you don’t like writing, capturing a memory in your own words on paper as something you can go back to read again is so valuable. Or create a blog online so everyone else can see too!
5. Collect postcards.
While studying in Florence, I collected a postcard from every city I visited and they’re hanging on my wall back at my home university now so everyday I see the places I made memories in. City maps are good to collect too!
6. Send letters.
Write letters to family and friends or even yourself and seal your memories in envelopes that you can read later.
7. Picture book.
At the end of your semester abroad, you can put together a big picture book with all of your pictures. Put it on your coffee table for when you want to look at your pictures in a book rather than digitally.
8. Keep your receipts.
I have a couple receipts from some of my favorite cafes in Florence and other places I went to in other countries. It reminds you of where you were, what you bought, and how many euros it was.
9. Keep train tickets and boarding passes.
Half the fun of traveling is getting to that place, and keeping your tickets can remind you of the adventures and views you saw on the way.
10. Make a playlist.
We often associate music with memories. I have a long playlist of songs I listened to while abroad, and a playlist I listened to while traveling on trains and airplanes. I can pin moments and memories to certain songs and it brings me right back.
Everyone loves a good excuse to buy something new. Get a sweatshirt or t-shirt from your host city or university, or a favorite café or shop you visit.
Italy’s famous for leather, so before I left I made sure to get a cute little leather bag to use back home.
13. Favorite foods & drinks
Throughout your time abroad, you’ll fall in love with the food and drink of the country. In Italy, the wine and olive oil was outstanding, so my family and I brought some home when they came to visit. Or even keep recipes of your favorite dishes unique to the culture you’re in.
14. Keep in touch.
The friends you make abroad will be your friends forever. My friends and I made a group on snap chat while we were there and every now and then we’ll use it to reminisce.
15. Tell your stories.
Everyone knows the classic “When I was abroad” line but telling your stories helps you keep those memories. Find other people who studied abroad and compare your experiences and stories.