Blogging

Are you interested in blogging about your study abroad experience? Then consider becoming an official Study Abroad Blogger! Some of the benefits of becoming an official study abroad blogger include:

  • Enhancing your writing portfolio with published work online
  • Representing the UI while abroad and being the voice of UI students
  • Give future study abroad students real insight to the program and country
  • Free Iowa Study Abroad t-shirt

We will handle the online publishing and editorial suggestions. All you have to do is supply us with your thoughts, comments, stories and pictures/videos! Blogs may be shared on our online journal, International Accents, as well as through our newsletters and social media.

Requirements

  • Attend a mandatory blogger orientation prior to study abroad departure 
  • Send us at least two blog entries each month (we will never turn down more!)
  • Blogs should be 300-500 words each
  • Include a title for each entry
  • Include at least one photo with captions or video with each entry

*Student blog entries posted to this International Accents page may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UI Study Abroad and International Programs.  The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space. UI International Programs reserves the right to make final decisions about what is shared through UI International Programs publications and social media.

Apply

If you are interested in applying to become a Fall 2018 blogger, please complete this application form. The application deadline was May 4th, 2018.

Blogging Ideas

Before leaving

  • Why did you choose to study abroad?
  • Why did you choose your study abroad program/destination?
  • What are you doing to learn more about your host country?
  • What are you most looking forward to?
  • What are you most nervous about?
  • Do you have anything you want to accomplish while abroad?

While in the host country

  • Paint a picture of what your morning ritual is like in your new country.
    • What do you hear/see/smell in the morning and on your way to class?
  • Describe your new home/apartment and roommates or host family. 
  • What did you pack that you wish you'd left behind? 
    • What do you wish you'd packed?
  • Does your host culture have a different concept of time or space than you're used to?
  • Tell us about the food. What do you like? Anything interesting? Shocked about liking? 
  • How do you spend your free time?
  • Are you picking up the local language? How is that going? 
  • What did you find valuable about your new learning environment/academic culture? Classes? Professor? University life? 
  • What tips would you give a student who wants to meet the locals and get out of the “American bubble”?
  • Does being abroad make you think any differently about what it means to be "an American"?

Upon returning

  • What's the best thing about being home?  What's the hardest?
  • How was your experience different from what you expected? 
  • Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give a student heading out on the same program/to the same host country?
  • Did traveling/studying abroad make you think any differently about your identity or your place in the world?
    • What did you learn about yourself?
  •  Was there anything that you accomplished while abroad that makes you proud?
  • What do you miss most about your host country?
From our current bloggers
Even though it was 9 a.m., it was already 101°F at the mosque.
6/6/2018

Inside the Sultanate

After three days of orientation, 18 hours on planes, and two hours driving, I am finally in Ibri, Sultanate of Oman! This summer, I will be studying intensive Arabic (both Modern Standard and Omani Dialect) at the Noor Majan Institute after being awarded a Critical Language Scholarship through the U.S. State Department.
Author 
The classic orange rooftops of Prague
5/14/2018

The top 5 things I’ll miss about living in Europe vs. the top 5 things I’ve missed about living in America

At home in Des Moines, I drive almost everywhere I go. In Iowa City, I walk more, but maybe only a few miles each day. While living in Prague, I walk around 7 miles every day, and always more when I travel on the weekends. My record in one day is sixteen miles in Paris! My feet do feel pretty destroyed after four months of this lifestyle, but the constant movement and exercise is so refreshing (and helps shed off some of that weekly gelato).
Author 
5/9/2018

A beautifully chaotic semester

Travel can be stressful. Foreign languages can be stressful. Bus schedules can be stressful. New places can be stressful. This semester I’ve realized that traveling isn’t always the sunshine and rainbows that we see on social media or that people like to highlight. Sometimes it takes a couple mental breakdowns in a bathroom stall in an airport to get to that point. If you can’t tell, I speak from experience.
Author 
5/5/2018

Things I wish I'd brought to Uruguay

Knowing myself, I should have anticipated breaking my phone. When it happened, I really regretted bringing my old phone or an iPod touch so that I wouldn’t be without a device for a long period of time. Electronics are very expensive to buy in Uruguay and it is close to impossible to get electronics shipped here from the States. It would have been much easier if I had brought one just in case.
Author 
4/30/2018

How a Subway sandwich made me realize my language growth

Coming to Uruguay, the only sort of background I had in Spanish was a few short Duolingo sessions on the plane ride there. I figured it would be a “learn as you go” type of experience. Needless to say, my first day in Uruguay was somewhat of a reality shock for me, when I attempted to greet my non-English speaking host family and could only smile and nod.
Author