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Blogging abroad

A Web site managed by a USF graduate aims to shed a new perspective on studying and living abroad in Europe.

Whether’informing students on where to eat, how to get passports or where to study, (SIE)’intends to be a complete guide to studying and living abroad.

USF alumnus Laura’Carroll, who graduated in fall 2008 with a degree’in magazine journalism, is the managing editor of the site, which fields seven writers on staff in locations around the world. These students usually study abroad as well.’

Carroll has held the position since September, saying she took it because of her interest in traveling. She still does other freelance work on the side.

To give a better look at aquiring writing opportunities like Carroll, she and SIE staff writer Sarah’Harding, who has’studied abroad in Ireland and Greece,’talked with”The Oracle about traveling the world and studying abroad.’

Oracle: When did you hear about SIE?’
Carroll: I heard about SIE right after I graduated. I was looking at this Web site I use a lot,, and it usually posts freelance opportunities. I saw that SIE (was) looking for contributors, so I started contributing to them, a few articles about my study abroad in Paris and other trips I had taken.

O: Did you work at other papers’before SIE or have any previous experience?
Harding: When I was’getting my undergraduate'(degree), I did a lot of writing. I’submitted some of my’pieces to my university’s’literary magazines. I won a university short story’contest and have done a little’blogging of my own when I studied abroad.

I’ve had some experience traveling with my friends and family and when I saw the ad for SIE, I thought this could be a wonderful way to share my’experience with students.

O: What has changed most for you since working for SIE?
C: This job ‘hellip; gives me the opportunity to constantly read the works of others in my field. It’s made writing such a huge part of my life, rather than it’being something I liked to do and wanted to do.

Now, it’s my job and I feel like I’m building a career out’of this.

O: What do you write’for SIE?
H: The main places I write about are the places I’studied abroad and specific places I’ve visited while there. A lot of the pieces are about my time at the University College Cork'(in Ireland) or my favorite’restaurants in Athens.

Right now, I’m working on ‘Great cocktails of Europe.’

O: What is a tip that you would like to give to students wishing to pursue a similar career abroad?’
C: The first thing is deal with the fact that you have to work for free for a while. I did an internship in Tampa and it was a lot of work, but I didn’t’get paid.

One summer I worked at a contemporary art center in New York. I did an internship there in the press department. I did press releases and it was also unpaid, but having it on my’resume has been a huge help.

H: The biggest thing is to write all the time.

When I was in college, I worked at (the) writing center. I feel like being a tutor’really helped my ability to write,’because then I could see places in other peoples’ writing that didn’t make sense, and then I could see how I was making those same mistakes.

By writing all the time and editing all the time -‘either my work or others – (it)’really’ helps you understand how’writing comes together. Once you do those two things, it may take you some time (to learn) how to write for a’newspaper or magazine, but you can adapt if you are good at’getting the word on the paper and knowing (how) to edit.

A lot of students are afraid to edit because they think they’re’ writing geniuses and it’s’going to be brilliant. Usually, it’s my fourth draft that makes it to the blog – edit a lot.’


For more information about’SIE, e-mail