School Sparkle: How To Decorate Your Space While Studying Abroad!

22 August 2013

Hi lovelies! Can you believe how much Summer has absolutely flown by? For most of us, it's already almost time to go back to school! So while I take a few moments to mourn the end of another summer break and gear up for the new year, I'll be bringing you guys a brand new series of back-to-school posts courtesy of some of my very favorite guest bloggers! 

First up is Trina from Tales of a Fluorescent Adolescent to share some super useful tips for decorating your room while studying abroad! 

I am fortunate enough to be studying abroad this fall semester in the fabulous London, England! Besides having a slight (big, huge) packing crisis, I've also been worrying about making my room a true home away from home. At the moment I still don't really know what space I'll be working with, and packing picture frames, bulletin boards, and twinkly lights just isn't going to fly (literally and figuratively). That being said, I love to decorate. Decorating my room freshman year of college was one of my favorite parts of getting settled. I loved picking out unique posters from Etsy, decorative pillows from boutiques, and printing out my favorite pictures to surround myself with memories. At school, my room, in part because of my decorations, is my ultimate source of comfort! How can I obtain the same perfect combination of creativity and comfort without bringing any of my collection of decorations with me across the pond?

1. Postcards 
This is one of my favorite tips for decorating at home as well! Postcards are a godsend! I never leave a museum without going through their selection first. It's a way to bring home your favorite pieces of art in the perfect dorm room size. Bonus, while abroad, they are a cheap, compact way to fill your room with warmth and culture! Keep an eye out for postcards for special exhibits. I just bought some amazing postcards from the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Punk exhibit. All you need is some tape to help display memories of your favorite art, cities, and photographs! Also check out unique cards from galleries and shops!


2. Souvenirs 
While abroad, or just enjoying college life, take the time to gather your memories. Restaurants, hotels, shops, and more often have business cards or a similar paper representative of the brand. Now, this isn't as boring or tired as it sounds. Businesses often have amazing designs and typography to represent them that will spice up your room and serve as a reminder for your very favorite spots. Similarly, tickets, brochures, maps, shopping bags, and more can serve as easy, cheap, packable materials to decorate with. If you keep an open mind you can turn almost anything into a decoration! The best part is that you can just collect these along the way of your adventures.


3. Clothes
Please, take this with a grain of salt. This is not a suggestion excusing a messy pile of clothes as "decoration!" However, when utilized correctly, certain clothing items could add just the right pops of color to a room where you need to be creative about decorating. Scarves and necklaces are perfect for this! Scarves can be wound around bedposts or hung around the room - embrace some drapery and your room will be as stylish as you are. Push pins are perfect for necklaces and rings to pop on your walls for a touch of bling.


4. Magazines 
Let's face it, your savior on the flight is going to be a magazine, maybe two. Similar to postcards, these are easy peasy and cheap! You could cut out letters and put a quote on your wall or if there's a particular ad campaign that you enjoy, give it a little love by displaying it.


5. Photographs 
You're abroad or in college! Photo opportunities and life experiences abound and you've got plenty of your own memories to pepper your walls with. All you have to do is find somewhere that will print photos at the right price!

I do think that everyone going to college or studying abroad should bring at least 5 photos (for those going abroad, sans frames) of family and friends. When things get tough or you're feeling a little lonely (hopefully you won't, but just in case), having friendly faces surrounding you is often just the trick you need to remember your favorite people and how good you feel with them! However, leave room on your walls and in your life to make memories to always take with you!

Good luck with traveling and college, I'll see you on the other side!

Your own Fluorescent Adolescent,

This month my Ultimate Sparkle Sponsor is Carly Tati. To find out more about advertising on Sparkle & Mine, click here!


  1. This is great!! I love the decor ideas :)
    <3 Hannah

    1. So glad you enjoyed it Hannah! Be sure to check out Trina's blog, she's wonderful! :)

  2. Great advice and such fun ways to decorate your temporary space:) have a great time studying abroad. London is one of my favs

    1. Glad you liked the post Carly! I still have not gotten a chance to go to London, it sounds amazing!

  3. Really great idea of decoration! I would love to make the clothes one, if I got a lot of pretty clothes lol

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  4. Fantastic ideas for study abroad-- and this blog is just too cute! Great job !


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