By Noah Ravan ’23
Seventy-five Wofford College students are studying abroad during the fall semester, and a few are offering insights on their experiences through blogs.
Ten students are blogging, and it’s proven to be a good exercise for them to journal and help the college’s faculty and staff identify challenges students might experience.
“The reason I chose to start blogging while studying abroad is because I thought it would be a great way to allow myself to reflect on my experience here,” says Daisy Humphries ’22, a French and psychology major from Cowpens, South Carolina, who is studying in France. “Life passes by very fast, and sometimes we can lose track of how it has changed us.”
It’s an experience that she recommends for others.
“I would definitely recommend other students to blog while abroad,” Humphries says. “It will help them to share their experiences, preserve their particular thoughts and feelings, as well as give them a platform to be themselves.”
Bence Bays, a study abroad advisor, says that all students studying internationally can write about their experiences.
The Office of International Programs guides bloggers through their writing experience as they reach certain milestones in the semester.
“We put together a list of prompts that students respond to throughout the semester on a set schedule,” Bays says. “The prompts are ordered in an intentional way to hopefully match with the students’ level of cultural adjustment and integration at that point in the semester.”
Students can write about anything they want, but the best response to each prompt wins a $25 Amazon gift card.
According to Bays, these blogs also help advisors understand the unique challenges students face while abroad.
“My hope is that these blogs are not only a place for students to record what they are experiencing abroad, but also a place for students to process and reflect on those experiences,” Bays says. “I’ve really enjoyed reading the blog posts each semester; I feel like I get to know the students on a deeper level while seeing our study abroad programs through their unique lenses and experiences.”
Olivia Free ’22, a sociology and anthropology and Spanish major from Moncks Corner, South Carolina, recommends blogging to reflect on an experience and to help other students.
“I would highly recommend it,” Free says. “Not only are you documenting your experiences and what you've learned for your future self, but you're also bringing to life your experience abroad for prospective students.”