Capturing your Gap Year Experience

Hello gap students!

High School Study Abroad and Gap Year Programs Programs in Argentina, China, Costa Rica, England, France, Ireland, Italy, and Spain - Antique books

Your memoir needs to start somewhere, right? : )

At this point, you’ve been abroad for a few weeks, and you’re likely going through some defining moments in your study abroad experience:  you’ve probably just finished processing all of the new information you learned during your orientation, you’re finally settling into classes, and you’ve noted some of the bigger cultural differences that exist between your host country and the U.S.   There’s a lot going on right now, both on the outside and within.  How will you ensure that you remember everything you’re learning, a few months (or even years) down the road?

The answer is actually pretty simple–write down your thoughts and feelings now, as you are experiencing them!  One of the easiest ways to do this is to set up a blog (I’d recommend WordPress).  Or, if you prefer to go old school, you can jot your notes down in a journal.  There are a lot of ways to record–and even share–your experiences.

If you think that blogging is something you’d like to do, but you don’t know where to begin, have no fear!  Here are a few prompts to get those wheels turning:

  • How did you decide to take a gap year?  Why did you choose to study abroad?
  • What made you decide to study in your particular host country?
  • What is different from your classes abroad than at home?  Have you noticed anything different about the way students act at home vs. in your host country?
  • What is it like taking classes with international students?
  • Describe the neighborhood where you are living, and the sights, sounds and smells you’re experiencing.
  • What do you miss about the United States?  What do you think  you’ll you miss about your host country when you return?
  • Did you study your host country’s language in high school?  How is the learning experience in a classroom different from an immersion setting?
  • Did you experience culture shock when you arrived? Do you think you’ll experience reverse culture shock when you return?

And of course, we’d love to share your thoughts on the Aspire blog too! 😀  If you are interested in submitting an entry, send us an email at [email protected] to find out more information.

Happy writing!

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Flashback to our Fall API student's first days in Spain. Madrid orientation with our friends from api_granada, Salamanca guided tour, and lunch tapas (+first days of classes!)

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📷 by @api_salamanca
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