Studying abroad is a dream for many students. This is a great opportunity to travel the world, meet new people, see new things and learn a lot of amazing things that will advance your future education and career. However, it can be very easy to get too involved in the local community and exploration to lose time and completely neglect your studies.
In order to maintain good grades and still get to have a lot of fun during your time abroad, here are a few time management tips to keep in mind:
It’s really hard to focus and create any schedules when you don’t have clear goals. Goals give your days a sense of structure and direction so you can use your time abroad the best you can. Without goals, many students end up not enjoying the full potential of their foreign study experience, spending all their time partying, lounging or exploring the destination. While these are all great things, they won’t do too much for your education.
To set good goals for your schooling abroad, write down a list of all the things that you want to achieve when it comes to both your education and your free time. Place this list on your wall so you can read it every night and every morning for motivation to get up, get ready and get the most out this special experience.
Track your time
Place a calendar on your wall and cross the days you have left at your temporary school. This is a great habit that will help you set the tone for the day and show you that your trip won’t last forever. If the homesickness starts creeping in, you might love to see those days going by. Plus, you’ll get to focus on your goals much better and have a clear representation of how much time you have to prepare for exams and how many days you have left to enjoy the destination.
The first couple of days after you arrive at your destination and your new school will be filled with excitement and confusion. You’ll be spending a lot of time running from one event to another and from one building to another. Expect to meet a ton of new people in the process and have a lot of fun. Use these initial days to get involved in the community and make great contacts.
You can join community service for students and help make a real change in many people’s lives. Try to join a club or meet people through shared hobbies. It’s always great to have many people around you, especially in a foreign country, so you can seek help whenever you need it. Also, later in your studies, you’ll find yourself prepared to tackle various time constraints when you have plenty of assistance from your new friends.
Reduce your bucket list
When studying and traveling abroad, many people are anxious to see and do many new things—travel is one of the top reasons to study abroad. However, a bucket list that’s too extensive can be horrible for your time management and it won’t do anything but stress you out. Your time in the new country and at the new school is limited and you’ll have a lot of things to complete for college.
If you fill your bucket list with too many trips, you won’t even get to enjoy them from all the exhaustion and stress. The best thing to do for your mental and physical health, and your success at college, is to trim down your bucket list. Use your free time to relax, do some light city exploration and help your colleagues win that important football match. Feel free to slow down and enjoy your unique experience, because you will likely never get to repeat it.
Schedule some alone time
For many exchange students, it’s quite easy to lose themselves between all the obligations such as classes, homework, hangouts and volunteering. This is especially tricky for introverts who need their alone time in order to recharge and recover. Make sure to take a good look at your schedule and put in some alone time. This time can be spent relaxing, reading, playing video games, going on a walk, hitting the gym, meditating, etc. It’s a great investment, even when you’re working on a tight schedule.
With these tips in mind, you’ll have an awesome time on your foreign study trip and come back how much plenty of academic and social success. Good planning can help you achieve all your goals!