I initially found it quite a shock to have to integrate into a new academic culture. But, with practice and learning how to get into healthier studying habits,studying on a year abroad became a much more pleasant, and less stressful experience. Here are some top tips.
1. Keep a weekly calendar.
Other options are paper calendars, that you can often buy with kooky designs, or syncing your phone calendar to a Google calendar. I have found the latter to be especially helpful as it shows all the events that come through my email.
I have a ‘whiteboard’ weekly calendar that allows me to erase, or keep, tasks. I find that I work best when I absorb visual information, so having upcoming events and assignments laid out for me on a single platform really works well. I also find that using different coloured markers helps categorise different tasks or objectives to make the week look less overwhelming.
2. Keep your phone in your room during the day.
Yeah, it sucks. It does get easier with practice and it makes a world of difference. I didn’t really realise how much time I spent looking at Vine compilations until I didn’t have my phone in my hand anymore. You get more work done, which means more free time in the evening to give your brain a break by “watching” Netflix as you scroll through various social media feeds.
3. Vary your study locations.
Diversifying your study locations not only means that your brain gets breaks in-between to recharge, but you get to explore parts of campus, or of the city you’re in, that you wouldn’t have otherwise discovered. Going on the hunt for new study locations means that you get to band together with friends to check out the latest coffee shop.
Leave your room, and try different floors of the library. Check out the student union, or the different cafes on and off campus. I also find it effective to switch to a new assignment with every location, which makes the whole experience much more interesting and tolerable.