Reflecting on a Semester Abroad- Hannah

March 16, 2017

This post comes to us from API Alumna and current Global Leader, Hannah Bowman. Hannah studied in Lisbon, Portugal and is a student at the University of South Carolina. 

Bullet journaling is a take on traditional journaling. Instead of full sentences and paragraphs that summarize your day, a bullet journal’s primary base are bullet points. This can develop into a variety of layouts that all seem connected to each other. My personal bullet journal is full of to-do lists, wish lists, ideas, favorite quotes, and other things that strike me as inspirational. Some pages are just artwork, and some serve a larger reflective purpose, like the one I’ve shared here.

I created these pages for my study abroad reflection (to reflect on my time as a study abroad participant in Lisbon, Portugal) . I knew of specific things that I wanted to include in the reflection but I didn’t know how I was going to lay them out. To me, the format is one of the most important parts of any entry in my journal. I enjoy using a variation of ‘fonts’ and sticking to a color theme.

To begin, I wrote out the heading. On the right page, I knew I wanted to include the weekend excursions I went on and my favorite places in Portugal. Below each place, I wrote bullet points summarizing the location, what we did, a cool fact, or a distinct emotional feeling.

The left side was going to be more of an emotional reflection. I started the page with my expectations of my study abroad experience. I then worked on summing up the biggest lesson I learned which was self-sufficiency. This focused my reflection onto the last two weeks of my study abroad program, which can be seen in the photo.

To me, keeping a bullet journal is an effective way to release some creative energy, in addition to keeping a record of my every day and those once in a lifetime experiences.


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