Starting today, Monday, July 29th, it is my last week in Cork and I can honestly say that the time went by faster than I ever expected it would. The last weeks of any school year or study abroad are usually rough because it requires a balance of schoolwork/homework and socializing with other people. Although the pressure from the last week of the program may seem to shadow the fun times that you had during the program, there are ways in which you can remember all the good times you had.
One way to record your study abroad memories is through journaling. Starting a journal from before your study abroad experience until the end of it can help you reflect on how you felt before, during, and after the program. It allows you to see the growth in yourself and how you may have adapted to a different environment and new people. It also can hold small memories that you may have forgotten. Although blogging is a great way to document the experience as well, I think that journaling provides more of a private environment that will allow you to truly express how you may have felt in a situation without the concern of having other people read it. Journaling lets you document everything and anything that you want rather than considering what other people may want to read about.
Nowadays technology is a large part of our lives and although it can be a distraction, it is also useful. Taking pictures and videos allows people to look back to moments during the program and to share them with everyone, both locally and internationally. These photos can be used to make an album on social media sights such as Facebook or Instagram or even used to make a scrapbook with small subtitles about each picture. Pictures can last to allow you to share the memories up to years after your study abroad experience.
Another option to document these memories is through a blog or a video blog. These have similar effects to both the journaling and the picture taking recordings. As mentioned earlier, a blog may not be as private as journaling, however, it allows you to share your experience with other people who may want to experience something similar. On the other hand, a video blog creates the same effects as taking pictures however you have the context of the event explained by someone on video and you do not have to worry about remembering where or why a picture was taken in a certain location.
I think it is important to remember your study abroad memories as you may not have another opportunity to have that experience. Furthermore, it is good to come back with memories not only for yourself, but to share with family and friends who want to know more about your experience in the country that you lived in.