Unique Souvenirs to Bring Back from Your Study Abroad Experience

By Brittany Loeffler on December 21, 2017

When you study abroad in another country and experience another culture, you want to be able to come home and share these experiences with your friends and family. It’s hard to find something that represents an entire culture that will fit in your suitcase, though.

Rather than wandering through an overpriced souvenir shop in a touristy area, bring something that is authentic and special home to your family. With these unique souvenirs, you will be able to bring home a piece of the world to share with your friends and family.

via Pixabay

Keep a Journal or Scrapbook

While you are studying abroad, keep a journal of your experiences. Try to write something down every day so you can bring it home for your parents to read. Add in pictures of you at famous sites or eating your favorite meals. Jot down your observations about the country you are residing in and how you feel about the culture.

This is a great way to save your memories and bring them home to your family. It also ensures that you won’t forget a thing!

Piece of Art

In many cities, you will see local artists selling their paintings on the street and sidewalk. Keep your eyes open for a piece of art that captures the atmosphere of the city to bring home to your family. Try to find a painting or picture of a famous site or building you’ve been to.

Not only are you supporting local artists, but you are bringing a piece of authentic and unique art home to your family to decorate their walls with. Don’t forget to make sure it fits in your suitcase!

via Pixabay

Local Recipe

Eating local food is what studying abroad is about! You’ll try so many different plates, snacks, and desserts that it’ll be difficult to pick your favorite. Once you do find your favorite dishes, try to find the recipes. Ask a restaurant or local resident if they would share the recipe with you to bring back to your family.

When you arrive back home, make a night of making your favorite dish and telling stories about your experiences. Who knows, if your family likes it as much as you do it may become a new family staple!

Handmade Jewelry

Just like with the local art, find some handmade jewelry that captures the feeling of the culture to bring home to your parents. If you are studying in Venice, head over to Murano to pick up some glass-blown earrings. Maybe the country you are staying in is known for a specific gemstone or metal that everyone wears. Find some jewelry that uses this resource.

Buying something handmade as a souvenir for your family ensures that the gift is unique and there is no other like it in the world.

via Pixabay


No matter where you are studying abroad, you are bound to run into a signature cocktail or choice of drink. It’s the drink you can find anywhere. All of the locals love it and will recommend it to tourists. So, why not bring some back to share with your friends?

For example, if you’re in Italy, pick up some authentic Italian wine while you are touring a vineyard. Studying in Germany? Pack up some German beer to bring back with you. Maybe you’re in Peru and fell in love with their Pisco Sours. Grab a bottle of Pisco to make them at home! It’s a great way to share your stories from abroad while having your friends and family sip on one of your new favorite drinks.

Clothing or Accessories

Is there a piece of clothing that you notice all of the local residents wearing? If so, pick some up to bring back with you! Your friends and family will love to flaunt their exotic and sophisticated new clothing to their friends while saying the words, “It’s from so-and-so.” It can be as simple as a scarf or maybe a small handbag that is popular. No matter what it is, it will make your family feel well-traveled to carry around something so foreign and trendy.

via Pixabay

Something the Region is Known For

No matter where you go, there will be something the city or country is known for. For example, if you are in Florence, Italy, walk through a leather market and pick up some belts or handbags for your loved ones back home. The key is to find souvenirs that will be valuable in America, but you can get for a cheaper price where you are.

If you’re studying in England, bring back some authentic teas. Did you take a trip to Venice? Pick up some colorful Venetian masks. The possibilities are endless!

By Brittany Loeffler

Uloop Writer
Brittany is a senior English major with a concentration in creative writing at Temple University. After growing up in a very rural part of Pennsylvania, she found her calling in the streets of the big city of Philadelphia. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading, movies, baking, and photography.

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