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International Students - Study-life balance

How To Achieve The Perfect Study-life Balance

April 19, 2016

Being an international student can be an extremely exciting adventure. You’ll be able to immerse yourself in your chosen subject, explore a different environment, improve your language skills, and make new friends.\r\n\r\nBut when the coursework starts to pile up and exams draw closer, you may find yourself neglecting the fun parts of your international student life in favour of the library. \r\n\r\nAlthough studying is important to achieve good grades and improve your chances of getting a job after graduation, it’s just as necessary to achieve a good study-life balance.\r\n\r\n

Learn to study effectively

\r\nAs tempting as it can be to pull ‘all-nighters’ in the library to finish your coursework and revise for exams, spending long periods of time studying can actually do more harm than good. In fact, numerous studies have found that long hours can kill productivity and hinder our mental and physical wellbeing.\r\n\r\nRather than working hard, work smart. This means that instead of spending every waking hour learning as much as you possibly can, study for a couple of hours before taking a break and doing something fun. By breaking your study day into manageable chunks, you’re likely to achieve so much more. \r\n\r\n

Eliminate distractions

\r\nEven those with the best intentions can find it difficult to work effectively if they’re constantly bombarded with distractions. Whether your housemate keeps playing loud music or you can’t help but check Facebook every half an hour, these distractions can transform a task that should only take an hour into one that can take all day.\r\n\r\nOne of the best ways to eliminate distractions involves identifying your triggers. What is most likely to interrupt your concentration? \r\n\r\nIf loud noises stop you from focusing, try to find a silent study space at your university. If technology is the issue, leave your phone at home and head to the library before reading from books rather than the internet. \r\n\r\n

Avoid procrastination

\r\nMost people procrastinate from time to time but for some, this unhealthy attitude can really stand in their way of success. Not only can procrastination stop you from studying, it can also have an impact on your social life too. For example, you may turn down a meal with friends to stay in and study, only to spend your evening watching TV, reading a book, or even cleaning your room! \r\n\r\nSo how can you stop procrastinating?\r\n\r\n- Break a task into manageable chunks and reward yourself after you’ve completed each goal\r\n- If you get distracted, take a short break before returning to the task at hand\r\n- Believe in yourself. If you believe you can succeed at something, you’re less likely to delay it\r\n- Remember this phrase: “Done is better than perfect.” If you fear imperfection, force yourself to jump straight in and just make a start. You may be pleasantly surprised by the results\r\n\r\n

Pretend your course is your job

\r\nRather than heading straight home at the end of an early morning lecture, spend your whole day studying on campus. Read a book in the library, revise for a test, or discuss a module with your course mates in the canteen. \r\n\r\nBy pretending your course is a 9 – 5 job and staying in university for the whole day, you’ll be able to relax during evenings and weekends. Socialise with your friends and have fun, safe in the knowledge that you’ve got your studies out the way.\r\n\r\n

Take care of your health

\r\nYou could spend all the hours in the world studying, but if you’re in bad health due to a poor diet or lack of exercise, you’re unlikely to reach your full potential. You may even find yourself feeling tired all the time and getting sick more frequently. \r\n\r\nThis isn’t conducive to a productive and successful time at university. Thankfully, there are so many easy ways to stay healthy:\r\n\r\n- Make sure you get up from your desk and take a walk at regular intervals\r\n- Spend your weekends running, cycling or taking part in team sports with your friends\r\n- Cook healthy meals for yourself rather than living off fast food and microwaveable meals \r\n- By following the tips above you may find it easier to juggle your studies with your social life and make the most of your student life abroad. Sightseeing and experiencing a new culture is just as important as studying for exams.\r\n\r\nFor more information about life as an international student, please get in touch with the team at IEC abroad. \r\n