Tips & Tricks: Blogging Abroad

There are ample opportunities to spend time abroad while affiliated with Ohio State. The Office of International Affairs offers more than 100 study abroad programs on six continents as well as additional options to work or research in a foreign country. We’ve seen students study architecture in London or work toward a rabies cure in Ethiopia. Regardless of where your journey takes you, one thing is certain – you’ll want to document your experience.

The thought of creating and maintaining a blog can seem daunting, especially when it’s one of many bullets on your pre-departure to-do list. That’s where U.OSU steps in.

The straightforward format allows you to present your content in a professional manner without fussing around with catalogs of templates (because we know time is of the essence). It may seem like more effort, but in the long run keeping a blog is a better way to update friends and family than bloated status updates, forgotten postcards, and international phone calls that cost more than your rent.

Review this list of writing tips and check out the Resource Center for U.OSU how-tos.

9 Ways to Keep a Killer Travel Blog

  1. Take it easy on the superlatives – Describe what you’re tasting, smelling, seeing, don’t revert to calling everything, “The BEST ____ ever.”
  2. Be a journalist – It’s not all about you (it sort of is but hear us out). Of course your friends and family want to hear about your daily routine, but try to talk to other people, hear their stories, you never know what they may have to share.
  3.  Experience first, document later – Keep ideas in mind as you go about your day but don’t let blogging hold you back. As long as you’re mindful of posting often you don’t need to be worried about constant monitoring.
  4. Multiple nugget posts > Five-course-meal post – Readers will appreciate frequent, short updates more than epic monologues about the past four months. However, if you do find yourself with a precious chunk of WiFi time, go ahead and write a bunch of posts and space out their publication dates.
  5. Create a schedule – Think you can commit to a post a week? Twice a week? Make a plan before you go for accountability but don’t sweat it if you skip a week or triple post the next; the blog is what you make it.
  6. Visuals for the win – Photos and videos are the superstars of the Internet. If nothing else, use the blog as a virtual photo album.
  7. Be honest – Christine O’Malley is an advocate for the personal post. Stay mindful with opinions but don’t feel as if they aren’t valid points to publish.
  8. That being said, keep it clean – If you need to vent, keep a journal on the side. Your blog shouldn’t become a dumping ground of complaints.
  9. Remember to read it over – Spell check and a quick glance for errors are always a safe bet to ensure you maintain credibility.
Ohio State students participate in O-H-I-O during a study abroad trip.Tips and images compiled from the following resources: Aric Visser, ISEP, and USA Today College, and oia.osu.edu.