At SPI, we realize some of the most influential moments during a student’s time abroad fade too quickly after the experience, never to be remembered again. Keeping a record of your personal thoughts, cultural observations, and emotions is an essential way of understanding and sorting through the many experiences you will have while studying abroad.

An important part of the study abroad experience is being able to analyze what you see and experience. Your e-journals will not only help you with this, but past SPI participants have used their journals for college essays, writing contests, and editorials in local publications. It is also really fun to look back at all your experiences in one place!

You will set up your own e-journal, blog, or website. We have created 6 main journal entries to be reflected upon throughout your experience.

Select a site to use for your e-journal: blogger.com, studentsgoneglobal.com, wordpress.com, tumblr.com, weebly.com
Set up and personalize your e-journal and make your first post!
Login to the Student Login of SPI’s website and submit your e-journal/blog information to SPI

All students who elect to submit an e-journal/blog about their study abroad experience will be entered into SPI’s ‘Cultural Experience E-Journal Contest’!
E-Journal must have at least six entries


  • Contest will be judged on entries made between May 1st, 2013 and July 31st, 2013.
  • E-Journal must have at least six entries with photos.
  • Judging will be based on the quality of posts that reflect the LESCANT model and the suggested journal entry topics.
  • You must list SPI High School Study Abroad at least 1 time with a link to our website parking.spacechimpmedia.com/spi

FIRST: $100 SECOND: $75 THIRD: $50

Journal Entry


Journal Entry #1: 

Pre-Departure Reflections

What are you excited about?  What are you nervous about?  How have you prepared?

Journal Entry #2: 

Arrival Assessment – What’s New?

What is you first impression?  What cultural differences have you noticed in your first few days? The neighborhood? How is the town different than your hometown?

Journal Entry #3:

Everything’s Different!

Upload a photo reflecting a cultural difference you have noticed. What does your picture represent? What other cultural differences have you noticed?

Journal Entry #4:

My Homestay Experience

What is your homestay like?  How are they similar to your family?  How are they different?  Have you had any miscommunications?

Journal Entry #5:

Reflections of Your Home Country

What do you miss about the United States? Do you feel you’ve improved your foreign language skills? Do you plan to keep studying the language when you get home?

Journal Entry #6:

What You Loved and Will Miss…

What aspects of the culture did you like during your study abroad experience?  How will they impact your life when you return home?