How Social Media is changing the Studying Abroad Experience

My mom used to tell me that when she traveled in her early 20s, she could only contact her parents every few weeks. She could only show her parents pictures after she returned home and had them developed. Now it is 2017, and I can send my parents a self in front of Park Güell when they ask what I have planned for the day. In today’s age it is all about recording the experience and sharing it online  by staying connected with your following base  through different social media platforms. Now we cam keep up with our peers and family by the simple click of a button. There is such an advancement in technology because I can now easily access the internet from my smart phone almost anywhere if I have wifi. I recently downloaded the app, City Mapper which is an app that indicates the best use of public transportation in each city I visit. For example, I can pull out my smart phone and figure out which metro stop would be fastest to take in order for me to get to the beach. The era of paper maps is nearly dead, and everyone is either using google maps  to get to certain walking or driving destinations.

My personal thing is #food. I have almost used instagram not only to post pictures of food but to find out more information on restaurants I want to visit. My mom visted me this past weekend and she wanted to go to this place called Brunch and Cake so I simply #brunchandcake on instagram to see what type of food options they had. I use instagram a lot to research certain restaurants or places I want to explore in Barcelona. The hashtag has vital importance because it helps you connect with other people and see what type of experiences they are having. One of my best friend is in studying abroad in Botswana, one is in Florence and they other is in Sevilla. For me to see what they are up to, all I have to to do is simply scroll down on my instagram feed to look at their latest posts. It’s a great and simple way to quickly see how they are enjoying their abroad experience.

I have always found that Facebook is useful to connect with family and peers around the world but it has been especially helpful during my abroad experience. I can use Facebook to find out about  activities, events, and certain brands and business that is local to the Barcelona community. I am in many different Barcelona Cea Facebook groups that has even helped me make friends in Barcelona and in my dorm. Also Facebook is very useful because it allowed me to post a status saying that I will be in Barcelona for four months and a good way to contact me is through my new international number or Facebook chat. Facebook chat is also a good way to communicate if you do not have someone’s phone number it is so easy to search them on Facebook.

Overall, I think this blog will help me share what I will learn and experience during these four months that I am studying abroad. Without all of these social media platforms it would be hard to stay connected with friends and family if we were only could make phone calls back to the states. Now my mom can text me everyday and suggest some resturaunts I should check out in Las Ramblas. My mom only had the chance to call her and update her parents a few times while she was studying abroad. Everything is changing so rapidly and social media platforms are becoming so accessible and useful for everyday life. For me it has enriched my studying abroad experience and has even helped me decide which metro to take in order to make it to class on time.