Take a stroll down memory lane

By Alison Mohn
Published December 9, 2011

Now that you made your way back to American soil, the first thing you will probably want to do is relax after the long flight/s home. Once you've readjusted to the time zone and fought off the lingering effects of jetlag, you will likely be very eager to answer all of your friends and family's number one question: How was your study abroad trip?

While you will likely be happy, and probably eager, to share your stories of your most daring adventures, funniest moments and long lasting friendships you made while abroad, after the first few weeks you may start to feel a bit repetitive and begin to become nostalgic for your time abroad. In an effort to avoid those nostalgic feelings and to enhance your storytelling, here are some fun ways to truly celebrate your time abroad and create some keepsakes while you're at it. Studying abroad is, after all, a once in a lifetime opportunity and you will want to be able to look back on it often in years to come. Remember, the best time to document your trip is immediately after you get home so the memories are still fresh!

  • Create a scrapbook: Take a trip to your local arts and crafts store and pick up some crafty items for you to create a scrapbook of your trip abroad. Include pictures, objects that you brought home with your most memorable quotes from the trip. You can also create a scrapbook online by easily assembling your desired pictures without having to purchase any arts or crafts. This is a great way to let your book tell your story.
  • Put together a photo album: When you buy a photo album you can place all of your pictures in chronological order from your first day abroad till the very last day before departure. Tell your story while you flip through the pictures so the listeners can really get a taste of your experience.
  • Make a collage: Out of all of your photos, pick some of your favorites and assemble them in a large picture frame. Once your collage looks perfect it is time to hang your amazing frame for display!
  • Develop a slideshow: A slideshow is a great way to put your pictures on a disc and explain to each listener what the significance of each picture means.
  • Make a calendar: There are different applications on computers or you can download a free trial online to make a calendar for yourself. This is a great way to document your trip and keep you most memorable pictures as you flip through the pages of the year. 
  • Produce a movie: You can use a variety of computer programs to create a movie of your trip. Upload all of your pictures while recording your voice to narrate the significance of each picture. This is a great way to sit your friends and family down to watch a fun video of the life you lived for time you were abroad!

Coming home and telling your story to everyone is one of the best ways to reflect on your time abroad, and being able to show it makes it even better. Get your creative juices flowing and start creating!

Looking for more information? Check out our study abroad student guide to learn more.

Alison Mohn studied abroad in Rome, Italy in 2010. She is a 2012 graduate of Temple University.