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QUT Student who studies Information Systems in a dark academia setting. Lives on coffee, strawberries and binge-watching anime.

9 creative ways to record your memories of studying abroad

Studying abroad is an incredibly blessed experience and it’s vital to record these so we can look back and remember our college experiences overseas.

Fortunately, there are many ways to record important aspects of your life as an international student, and from a study abroad scrapbook to a study abroad photo album, here are my top suggestions for college students to record memories in a creative way.

1. Photographs

Memories captured and saved inside a photograph can speak a thousand words, from the first day of College to the first meal in a new country, and the first outing with your new-made friends, all these moments can be captured and stored away inside your folders.

Photographs are the most common method to store away your memories since they will hardly fade. You can store your photos on drives, cloud or social media, and even organise photo printing as a physical reminder of your time in college.


2. Scrap book memories

Scrap books come in handy and can bring out your creative abilities since there are so many ways to create or design your scrap book.

A way that I mostly create is a get an old book and print out my most memorable photographs and paste it them with the date and title. A small paragraph of the background of the picture can be written under each photo for more context. The pages can be bind using a thread to optimize the aesthetics.

3. Polaroids

Polaroids are a great way to hoard memories with your college friends. A picnic, a BBQ, camping or when you go on a simple jog with your housemate or college mate, these can all be captured and instantly printed.

Later on, your polaroid photos can go into scrap books or can be used to decorate your bedroom. Being surrounded with lot of positive memories will have a good impact on your mental health as well.

Polaroids have the added benefit of lasting longer when compared to traditional photo prints. So, these Polaroids can be looked at fondly well after the end of your study abroad adventure as they will last forever (if not exposed to high UV-rays).

4. Making small videos

 If you are the person who loves moving pictures or videos, your best option is to create small videos and edit them out using an editing software or various applications out there.

Social media and apps are great for this. For example, TikTok is a great way to effortlessly edit your videos with pre-made filters.

Capturing your memories in short videos is a great way to spend your time as well since editing videos can bring out your hidden creative abilities and you will learn a whole new skill set. And one day, these videos can be played by your future self and you won’t regret the time and effort that went into capturing these memories.

5. Study abroad diary

If writing everything out is one of your greatest passions, then, grab a pretty notebook and write all the funny, sad, happy and surprising emotions you felt each day or every other day in your notebook (with the date mentioned).

This can help you in long term to retain memories, boost your creativity and improve your writing skills as you can use explore your thoughts and feelings with words. You can write down your positive memories of your time abroad so you can relive it in detail years down the track.

Further, your study abroad diary can be decorated with polaroid photographs, cute stickers, little beads, newspaper/magazine clippings, dried leaves and flowers. Anything and everything that will remind you of your experience studying overseas.

6. Collecting souvenirs

While travelling, most people tend to do is buy souvenirs that are unique and authentic to that particular place.

For college students, we can get creative instead of paying a huge amount of money on overpriced tourist trinkets and merchandise. For example, when I was visiting beaches around the country, I bought a few empty hour glasses and filled in them with sand from each and every beach and named them the ‘hour glass’.

Moreover, another suggestions is using sweets such as candy or chocolate to fill up a jar with little notes attached to them. Each country has authentic candy or chocolate that brings fond memories in the locals’ minds as they might have grown up eating these.

Using sweets is a very special way to record memories as you might have developed fond memories that link your time abroad with the taste of those local sweets, especially since it’s been proven that taste and memory are very linked in your brain.

7. Weekly vlogs

Videoing everyday things you do every day for a week and compiling it into weekly vlogs can be another special way to record your memories.

You can step your game up and upload these memories into YouTube and share all these wonderful memories with your friends, peers or your followers who are dreaming of studying abroad.

You can also start a social media channel with weekly vlogs that document your time abroad, such as an Instagram or TikTok account.


8. Disposable camera

Another way to capture lovable memories is using a disposable camera and developing the photos. This is a cheap and old-school way to create tangible memories if storing photos on cloud is not appealing and you want to avoid using a polaroid camera.

Disposable cameras can be bought from a large department store, camera store or various other stores at an affordable price. The photos can be taken with flash and should be taken between 150–300 meters for clear photos.

You can also purchase an album with it so developed pictures can be stored or laminated for the photos to last longer or add them to your scrap book. This was how memories were captured back in the 80s and 90s, before digital photography, smartphones and social media.

9. Background music/songs

Music can have a deep impact on our memories and adding songs can be a dear way to evoke those memories. Songs or music can be added for any of your videos or moving pictures if that song has a special meaning behind for your memory.

You can also set up playlists that reflect your time abroad. The playlists can be sorted according to themes that only you can come up with, that way it can include your personality so it’s much more unique to you. Following a theme can be a very creative option and will play a big role in recording your memories in a creative manner.

Studying abroad is a unique and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity so it’s important to record these memories in some way so you can come back to them years later. Whichever methods you choose, one thing is for certain: the most important thing is that it suits you and will evoke the best memories you have of your international college experience.

Did you find this article helpful?

You can explore more stories by international students in our blog.


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