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Anouk van der Vorst

Anouk moved from The Netherlands to Australia to undertake an exchange program at Deakin University. She now works at IDP as a social media specialist.

How to use apps and social media to record your study abroad memories

Studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime experience – one that you’ll want to remember for the rest of your life.

And while it’s important to be present and ‘live in the moment’ while you’re overseas, documenting your study abroad adventure is well worth your time and something you won’t regret.

Fortunately, there are many apps and social media platforms to help you keep your memories alive for years to come. These are some of my favourite ways to record those special moments abroad.


Start a blog or vlog

Have you always wanted to try your hand at blogging or vlogging? Studying abroad is the perfect excuse to take the leap and give it a go.

A blog or vlog will not only allow you to capture your memories, but it’s also the perfect way to keep friends and family up to date on your overseas adventure.

Blogs and vlogs come in many forms, but they all serve the same purpose: to engage your audience with great content. Whether you like to take photos, record videos or write about your study abroad experience, remember to focus on storytelling.

Popular and easy-to-use blogging platforms include Medium, WordPress and Squarespace, while vlogging mostly takes place on Vimeo and YouTube.

If you’re interested in taking it a step further, find out whether your university is looking for international student ambassadors or join IDP’s influencer community and get rewarded for sharing your experience with others.

My favourite platform to start a blog? Wix.


Take photos – lots of them!

Ever heard the expression, “A picture is worth a thousand words”?

If you’re not a writer, then photography is a great way to capture memorable moments. Whether you use the camera on your phone, a point-and-shoot or a DSLR, photos allow you to tell – and relive – a story.

My top three tips?

  1. Carry a camera with you wherever you go. Sure, lugging around a camera is a little inconvenient, but the weight of it will serve as a constant reminder to take photos. And you know what they say: practice makes perfect!
  2. Store your photos and videos on a cloud-based platform, either at a small fee or for free. These websites help you store and organise your content, freeing up valuable space on your phone or camera.
  3. Lastly, play around with photo editing apps like Snapseed and VSCO, which allow you to apply filters and enhance your images before sharing them on social media.

My favourite apps to take, edit and store photos? Adobe Lightroom CC and Google One, respectively.


Get social

Once you’ve decided what content to share with the rest of the world, it’s time to pick your social media channel(s) of choice.

From popular platforms like Facebook, Snapchat and TikTok to storytelling apps such as Cameo and Steller, it’s important to choose a platform that best suits your needs.

My go-to is Instagram, a platform that really does it all! Whether you choose to focus on your Instagram feed or dip your toes into Instagram Stories and IGTV, Instagram allows you to capture, edit and share photos, videos and stories – all within one app.

Keep in mind that Instagram is a visual-first platform, so try and curate your feed by focusing on certain colours, themes or types of content. Start a selfies series, for example, and capture yourself in the same pose at every new location you visit. Or pick a weekly theme, such as ‘graffiti in Melbourne’ or ‘beaches in Sydney’. 

Get creative and don’t forget to use hashtags to increase your reach and engagement! 

My favourite apps to get social and take things to the next level? SCRL and Unfold.


Take notes

There’s a good chance that in one, five, or 10 years from now, you won’t remember all the places you visited, things you did and people you met while you were studying abroad. And that would be a real shame! 

This doesn’t mean you have to keep a detailed diary. Instead, try using a journal or notebook to simply jot down your favourite or most memorable moment at the end of each day. 

Or better yet, use your phone’s Notes app. Chances are you’re always on the go while studying abroad, so being able to quickly note down the name of that cafe you visited or mountain you climbed, without having to rely on Wi-Fi, will make life a lot easier. 

My favourite app to take notes? Google Keep.


Crete a playlist

Whenever I hear ‘Skinny Love’ by Bon Iver, I’m instantly transported back to my time spent in an international share house in St. Kilda, Melbourne, Australia.

Like smells, music can trigger memories and remind us of people and places that matter to us. So, what better way to reminisce about your study abroad experience than by creating a playlist?

Whether you use Apple Music, SoundCloud or Spotify, start by adding that local band you discovered while studying overseas or that song you danced to with your new friends... Before you know it, you’ve created a playlist that will instantly take you back to your time spent studying abroad! 


Did you find this article helpful?

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



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