Case Study: Be funny and helpful

Before arriving at Pamplona, there were tons of things to prepare. But I had no friend to prepare things together because I was the only student from my university. So I started to search some bloggers who can help me out.

It worked. They helped me out from the scratch: booking a cheap flight to Pamplona, receiving a student visa, buying a USIM card, finding a piso and even finding a supermarket to order Korean food from Madrid to Pamplona without a delivery fee!

Now I want to help out other exchange students who would probably be as frustrated as I was several months ago. And I want to introduce two blogs that inspired me. One is “Nationality Unknown” by Amarens Elise, a 20-year-old Dutch student, and the other is “No todos los días son iguales” by an anonymous Korean student. The former focuses more on general advice to enjoy exchange student life and the latter focuses more on specific information about receiving a visa and booking a flight.

One interesting thing about “Nationality Unknown” is its use of memes.

For example, this is the link to its post about 12 tips on how to be a good exchange student. The title —”12 tips to get the most out of your exchange” — itself may sound like a cliché. But her use of playful memes capture the readers’ attention. It is a powerful way of telling a story, because the readers of “Nationality Unknown” would be in their twenties (who are planning to study abroad in foreign countries) and we know they love memes.

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One outstanding feature of “No todos los días son iguales” is its use of links, lists and maps. One of his posts actually helped me a lot go through a complicated and stressful process of receiving a 6 month-long student visa.

There were some bloggers who wrote long paragraphs to explain this process in detail. But we all know that most readers skip or skim through those paragraphs. However, this blogger was different. He divided the process into several sections to let the readers choose which section to concentrate more. Then he added a variety of information including links, lists and maps to enhance the readers’ understanding.

For instance, after summarizing the information in the official site of the Embassy of Spain in Korea, he attached the link to this website for the readers who want to double-check facts or know more details. Also, he used the photos that he actually took instead of  the photos on the official website in order to show the exact place to submit the application form.

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Because I know how much I was panicked to prepare everything on my own and I received a lot of help from these bloggers, I want to be a little help to some readers as well.

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