If you plan on taking a few classes overseas, then you are in for what someone has surely already told you will be one of the best experiences of your life. Living in a different country for several months, going to school, immersing yourself in the local culture, and taking some time to travel makes studying abroad a rewarding time you will never forget. This is your chance to develop a new perspective (and acquire as many Instagram followers as possible). As exciting as it is, though, you still need to pay proper attention to your education.
Distractions abound when you go to school in a different area of the world. You’re going to want to participate in any number of activities and see as many sights as you can. As a result, you might neglect the classes you are taking. The following tips are not necessarily for how to have an incredible study abroad experience; they are for actual studying so that your return home is not academically stressful.
Pick the right place
Where you study matters. Do your best to find somewhere quiet and away from the distractions of whatever city you are living in. Your dormitory or bedroom with your host family is an option, but studying in a place your mind regards as “home” is not always wise. Consider finding a nook in your temporary college or university’s library where you can snuggle up with some books and your laptop.
There are ways to focus on studying while getting a “city experience,” however. If you want to study off-campus, try to find a quiet coffee shop, public library, co-working space, or uncrowded park where you can review your class materials. So long as there aren’t too many distractions, you can still take advantage of the city as much as you can (you did not travel this far only never to leave your school or living quarters, after all) while giving your academic life its due diligence.
Use the right tools
The internet is a tricky thing when it comes to studying. It hosts a wealth of distractions, but it might also be essential to whatever you are studying or assignment you are completing. The internet also boasts numerous resources that you can use to organize your studying, so depending on how likely you are to browse clickbait articles or watch random videos on YouTube, you can leverage online tools like Asana to keep track of your tasks and prioritize projects.
You have probably heard this time and time again, but a healthy brain and body necessitate a healthy diet. The temptation to indulge, however, is powerful while abroad. You are going to want to try all the foods you can, which is fine, but doing so without balance will hurt you. So, amidst all those pastries and fried goods, remember to regularly eat fruits, vegetables, and consume proper doses of vitamins. Many countries have different eating schedules, too, so make sure you maintain consistency, even if it is a bit adjusted from home.
Besides food and water, your brain and body require a healthy amount of sleep. Without it, your mind will struggle to retain information, and you will have difficulty focusing. It’s understandable that you will want to go out and have fun from time to time, but save doing so for the weekends, especially in countries where staying out until four in the morning is customary. Being overseas is exciting, but remember to wind down each evening and refrain from drinking caffeine too late in the afternoon.
Travel on weekends
You probably won’t be content staying in whatever city you are living in for the entire duration of your semester(s). Why would you, when there is so much countryside and surrounding sights to see? Make an effort to experience as much as you can, but plan longer or further excursions on days off. If you do too much during weekdays, you’ll be exhausted during class and won’t have time or energy to complete your assignments. There is nothing quite like exploring a city with a friend on your own terms, but you can also turn to paid tours or pre-planned activities to save you time. Let someone else schedule fun things to do while you use that time for studying.
Studying abroad is a worthwhile experience for your personal development and academic growth. The rules of actual studying still apply, though, so be sure not to neglect one of the reasons you are there: school. How will you study while taking classes overseas?