"Blogging Abroad" is especially devoted to students who are currently, have already, or are planning to, study abroad through the Office of International Programs at Southern Miss!
Interested? Great! We would love you to blog about your adventures, and so would the hundreds of students who will study abroad after you either on the same program or a different one.
Be a featured blogger, or simply submit one entry before, during and after your program. Whatever your level of interest, people want to read about your experience!
Sign up now, include your blogging preferences, and someone from our office will contact you with further information.
Blogging Tips and Recommendations
Students who blog on behalf of the university have the unique job of telling others their Southern Miss story through a university-promoted platform. The content you generate will be used to tell others about your experiences through your perspective and will not only be reflective of yourself, but also of the university simply through your affiliation as a student. The purpose for our blog is to use your experiences to show others how life-changing our Study Abroad Programs are and potentially recruit others to join our programs. Below are some tips and guidelines to help you through your blogging journey.
TIPS FOR BLOGGING SUCCESS
Keep it Short
- Don’t be too lengthy unless it’s purposeful – aim for 300-500 words.
- Be sure to break your blogs up in paragraphs. Several short paragraphs are easier to read than a single- length paragraph.
- Use bullet points and lists when applicable.
- Write inverted pyramid style (journalistic style). This means write the most important things first and save the details for the end, but be sure to remain conversational – no news releases.
- Proofread your posts for errors and areas that may need additional detail or explanation.
Include Photos and Video
- Use pictures and videos to help tell your story when possible.
- When using pictures, be sure to add captions so readers are aware of what they are viewing.
- Limit the length of videos – it is unlikely that you’re going to have a lot of people tuning in to watch a 10-minute video.
- Be conversational and personal in your writing.
- Add value to the program. Consider that many people reading this may be thinking about participating in the Study Abroad Program.
- Be excited. Generate content about experiences that impacted you; otherwise, your lack of enthusiasm will be reflective in your writing.
- Above all else, have fun! If you’re not having fun, people won’t have fun viewing your content.
Share Your Posts
- Share your posts with others. Once you have constructed each blog post, promote it through your social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.) so that others can read about your adventures.
- Do you already have your own blog? Help the university share your posts. Let the Office of International Programs know that you’ve created a new post so the university can share it through its platforms.
Identify that you are a student in the Southern Miss Study Abroad Program. Also, be sure to identify the program you are a part of for clarity purposes.
Always be mindful that your content (words, photos and videos) represent Southern Miss and the Study Abroad Program; therefore, care should be taken to ensure your content will be viewed in a positive manner.
Avoid profanity, offensive speech, mention of illegal or vulgar activity.
Make sure your content is positive; do not use the blog to vent issues with the university or the Study Abroad Program. We have formal channels that you can use to voice any concerns.
Avoid copyright issues by ensuring you have permission to post any copyrighted items to in your blog posts. For example, you don’t have permission to download photos from a search of Google Images and then post those photos to your blog. Disclose any sources you borrow or quote material through properly attribution.
Respect the privacy of others in your postings – do not include information that someone would not want made public knowledge. Also be aware of any privacy laws in the countries you are traveling and take care not to create blog posts that might lead to legal issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What should I blog about?
BEFORE: What was the application process like? Do you have any tips for students planning on using Financial Aid? How long did it take you to get your passport? Did you fly with a group or independently? What did you pack and was it enough? Did you book your non-program travel before you left the country or after you arrived?
DURING: What's an international flight like? What was your impression when you landed and did it change at all during your time abroad? Where did you travel? Where did you live? What was the program like? Did you speak the language (for foreign language programs)? Did you experience any culture shock? Were things really that different and if so, what and how?
AFTER: Did you want to return? What was it like coming home? Do you keep in touch with friends from the program/host country? If you could give one piece of advice to someone considering studying abroad, what would you say? How much extra money did you take and was it enough? Looking back would you do anything differently?
Q: How many entries will I be expected to write?
This is entirely up to you – of course WE want to hear more from you, especially if you enjoy writing. Essentially we hope you will commit to at least one post pre-departure, one or two during the program, and one after you return, reflecting on your adventures and time abroad.
If you’re really in to it, we can talk about making you a feature blogger with a profile and more!
You can indicate the amount of interest you have by completing our online form.
Q: Where do I sign up?
Sign up here.