BLOG, TWEET, FB STATUS, VINE, INSTAGRAM, SNAPCHAT, ETC…

How will you stay in contact while abroad?

Are you a current or prospective international student and curious of ways to stay connected to your family and friends back home? I have a few tidbits of good advice from the perspective of a world traveler and current international student. Here is a helpful guide for travelers for best communication and expression during your journey…

(1)           Identify purpose & audience: What do you want to say and how? What kind of information do you want to share: factual, informational, personal, critical, etc. Also, do you want to communicate through words, pictures, videos, or drawings? You have the freedom of expression. I decided that I wanted to communicate general information in a personal format with writings and pictures. I thought, there has to be a good way to reach all of them without having to repeat myself many times. Therefore, I needed to choose the most efficient way to communicate to all my friends and family back home.

(2)           Social Media outlets; which is the best fit?: Word press, google blogger, xanga, live journal, blog loving, buzzfeed, twitter, etc. There are many different ways to use social media while abroad. For instance, I use skype, facetime, and google+ hangout to have face to face communication with friends and family. I also use facebook and google blogger for outlets of communication. The media outlet I would like to promote the most is blogging. Blogs are essentially a great tool to communicate to a large group of people with little effort. There are many different types of blogs as well…

  1. Types of Blogs: Personal, microblogs, corporate and organizational, genre, media type, device, reverse, etc… All are used for different purposes, but can be great while travelling. Check out “Blog” on wiki for more information on types of blogs.

Blogs can also be used as a personal journal. That is how I generally write in my blog.

i.e. These are funny quotes/thoughts/things to remember from one of my adventures.

Things To Remember…

Puerto Viejo is a mini Jamaica

Watch out for creepy scuba Steve

Find Alberto for a tour

**Stay at Puerto Viejo Hostel; it is cheap and in the middle of town

Do not mix Guaro and Horchata…

Roger is awesome! Go to the coffee shop on the next visit

Do not wear flip flops around PV

Watch money spending at touristy places, i.e. Beach

Do not sit in the back of the bus… Enough said.

“Is this a virgin Piña Colada?”

“Es no necesito”

“Verdad?”

tak tak tak

Try to go a weekend that not everyone in Vertias is going. Verdad?Image

(1)           Help Hints:

1. Write about everything: weekends, holidays, school, volunteer, events, all experiences (that are appropriate?).

2. Keep a balance: I prefer to balance writings and photos. I like to remember the backstory of my photos and details that I would normally forget.  **Hint photos take up more space, so keep that in mind if you are at a loss for words. Remember, a blog can be your own personal diary or sorts.

3. Update, update, & update!: Make sure that you are constantly updating your blog. Once you get behind, it can be hard to catch up.

4. Inspiration: If you feel uninspired, look to your host families/friends for ideas. Look back at old posts. Find one topic and explore it. Have fun with it.

5. Express yourself!: This is your blog, so use your voice in your writing. It will make your writing fluid and easier for others to read and understand. On the other hand, do not stress about grammar, this is your voice.

i.e. This is a bleep from my most recent post during my trip in Manuel Antonio, one of the many wonders of Costa Rica,

Once we were all together, we headed to the national park only a short walk away from the hotel. Esteban, the other CR director of API, was our tour guide during the hike. Upon our arrival, we were already greeted by beautiful wildlife. Right inside the entrance, we saw a doe feeding on some special plant. Yes, there are deer in Nebraska, but the doe we saw was very domesticated. There were many tourists taking pictures two feet from the doe, and it was not phased. Once everyone got their tickets, we headed into the park. Just on the main path through the park, we had already seen a ton of wild life. i.e. frog, snake, crazy insects, birds, A MOM AND BABY SLOTH, etc… No big deal… Except we saw a baby sloth! It was incredible! The sloth was hanging from the tree, like sloths do, feeding on the tree leaves they like, and as she turned we saw her baby hanging onto her stomach. It was awesome! TUANIS!

(2)           Things to keep in mind when blogging:

– Blurring mass media- make sure not to spread any rumors whether they are on a small or large scale. This is for your own personal use, but should not be an outlet for slander.

– Behavior- According to wiki, there is a “blogger’s code of conduct” that bloggers consent to follow in order to be responsible for your own words and the comments of others. The code of conduct has a few words of advice that I strongly believe about anything I put online, “Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t say in person.”

– Personal Safety & Privacy- Many bloggers keep themselves anonymous, but it depends on the blog. My blog is not anonymous, but it is not accessible by everyone. It is important though to not reveal all of your personal life on the internet; it is a good judgment call. Also, be sure to give pseudonyms for people’s names in our blog. Not everyone wants their name posted on your blog. Also, be sure to check with people if you can post pictures of them on your blog. It is common courtesy. Here is an example of a blog post using a pseudonym name.

Whom ever decided that college students are too old for field trips was seriously mistaken… Well, our Profe decided that the day before spring break should be spent conducting some serious business… Learning about the woods of Costa Rica… Many of us purchased beautiful souvenirs for family and friends at the wood factory. How could you not? Everything was handmade from the most beautiful wood I have ever seen: jewelry, wind chimes, whistles, guitar pics, etc. You name it, they make it.

(3)           Ways to Measure Success: The google blogger is great for me as it keeps track of the amount of page views, posts, etc. It is very organized and is a way to view my progress through my blog adventure. i.e. 425 page views! Woot woot! Not bad for a personal blog. It is also great when people leave comments or share pieces of advice, but it is not common on my personal blog. I can always ask for my readers to leave comments; it is all about communication. Image

Explore different media outlets. Blogging does not work for everyone, but it is a tool I would highly suggest. Follow me and if you have any questions/comments/concerns please email me.

This is a link to my blog…

http://costaricaloca.blogspot.com/

Here are more established blogs… Take a look!

http://www.delapuravida.com/

http://www.anewlifeincostarica.com/

http://livinglifeincostarica.blogspot.com/

http://blog.therealcostarica.com/

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