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How To Measure Your Growth While Living Abroad

Posted by Auvi Evans on 8/20/17 12:00 PM

living abroad

We're not talking about height here! While living abroad you will grow in ways you'd never imagine.

What attributes do you acquire abroad? How do you grow spiritually or mentally? That type of growth can be a bit harder to measure than just marking your height on the wall, but here are some ways to see how you change, grow and learn during your time abroad.

Have you ever thought about taking a Gap Year? Click here to learn about what a Gap Year is and why you should take one! Because, really, how cool would it be spending time volunteering in Ukraine, or spending time away in China?!

  • Make A Vision For Yourself
  • Journal Daily
  • Write Your Future Self
  • Video Blog
  • Coming Home


Make A Vision For Yourself

First of all, you need to make a vision so you know where you are headed! This can be done is so many different ways. Get creative and make it something you can see daily. Here are two things that have worked for me. 

  • Write it out - I simply like to write it out. A line down the middle of a piece of paper, on the left write some things about yourself that you would like change or become better at. On the right you can write what you would like your end result to be.

I like to look at those and make daily goals that help reach those. For example: If you are really shy you could write "Shy around new people" on the left,  and "Comfortable talking to new people" on the right and have a goal to talk to two new people everyday. I love this because it can be totally customizable.  I like to put it by my bedroom door so I can look at it every day before I leave. Once you feel like you've become better at that thing, cross it off and move on!

  • Make a collage. Again, hang this on your wall so you can see it daily. Add things to your collage that represent who you would like to be, what attributes you would like to gain, etc. You can even do a little paper next to it with each part of the collage's meaning and what goals you have to get there.

living abroad


This one may seem obvious, but really stay consistent to journaling (especially during a semester abroad when you're making memories and pushing out of your comfort zone every single day). Journaling is different for everyone - maybe you jot down a few bulleted points of that day or maybe you write novels! However you do it, this seems to be one of the easiest ways to track your growth. Reading back on old journal entries is really eye-opening (and embarrassing!!) and can help you see how you are changing and have changed.

Write A Letter To Your Future Self

At the beginning of your trip abroad is the best time to do this. Like maybe on that 10+ hour flight you have?! Write your future self a letter. Add what your hopes are for yourself during your trip, how you would like to become better, what  things you would like to see change. Seal it up and  hold onto it until the end of your trip.

On your flight home crack that letter open and read through it! Reading your letter can be quite an amazing experience. You will be able to see where you started and where you are now. Its an awesome way to reminisce on your time abroad and think of specific experiences that helped you grow.

semester living abroad

Video Blogs

Like journaling, this is a super easy way to see your growth and progress but if you're not much of a writer this could be your thing instead. Keep a consistent video log of what you are doing, how it is living abroad and things you are learning. Looking back on these videos is really fun and you can see yourself really change even just through the confidence you have in your videos.

Coming Home

One of the easiest ways to truly see your progress is when you actually get home!  You'll percieve things differently and people tend to notice a difference in you as well. A semester living abroad  will have forever shaped you.

humanitrian programs

Ready for that trip abroad? Volunteer with International Language Programs(ILP) for a semester!  ILP offers humanitarian programs and exchange programs all over the world. Click that button below to learn more!

International Language Programs

Topics: Life Abroad, Finding Your Best Self

Exploring The World For Over 25 Years

Over the years of assisting more than 6,000 volunteers in their desire to travel and make a difference in the lives of others, ILP has seen what works and what doesn't.

We've gathered our tips here for making your semester abroad a successful one.


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