Mental Wellness Tips for International Students – Studying abroad is a lifetime experience for a fresh school graduate student who is going out from home for the first time, getting exposure to different cultures, and developing a global perspective. Nevertheless, it comes with additional challenges, one of which is maintaining a healthy work-life balance with studying abroad.
In simple words, work life balance means having a balance between studies, social life, spending time for self-improvement, and doing hobbies. However, it also comes with its set of challenges, one of which is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. This article will explore the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance for a student studying abroad and also provide guidance to have a great work life balance.
Mental Wellness Tips for International Students
Why to Maintain Work-Life Balance
If you are not office-going, then why there is a need to have a work-life balance? Yes, being a student, also you have to maintain your studies and give time to yourself for various activities such as mental well-being, health, and social interaction with friends.
Just like our body needs relaxation and in the same manner, the mind also needs some rest to remain focused and productive.
Impact on Mental Health
A balanced lifestyle is crucial for maintaining optimal mental health. Students studying abroad often face increased stress due to new academic environments, cultural adjustments, and the pressure to succeed. Managing academic responsibilities while also finding time for relaxation and social activities helps in reducing anxiety and depression.
Impact on Academic Performance
A healthy work-life balance is also instrumental in optimizing academic performance. When students allocate sufficient time to rest and recreation, they can approach their studies with a refreshed and focused mind. Balancing study time with leisure prevents burnout and cognitive fatigue, enabling students to absorb information more effectively and perform better in examinations and assignments.
Challenges in Maintaining Work-Life Balance Abroad
Studying abroad is challenging, which most people do not talk about. As a new person in a new city, you have to learn about the place, learn and adopt the new cultural norms and handle your academic studies, exams, and financial pressure.
This change is most underrated because students want to meet people in their community and someone who can understand them. Therefore, it becomes difficult to adjust to the cultural change. However, if handled with ease, it can be overcome.
The academic environment in a foreign country might be vastly different from what students are accustomed to, with potentially different teaching methods, evaluation criteria, and expectations.
While studying abroad, you have to cope with the new academic environment which is student-centric and full of active participation activities. You have to understand the marking scheme and meet the academic standards. Under such circumstances, students may get under pressure and feel anxious to have a balanced lifestyle.
International students often face financial stress due to college fees, accommodation, and living expenses.
No doubt managing finances becomes important to have a balanced life. The stress of financial constraints can lead to anxiety, which degrade academic performance and mental health. Student must allocate their budget so that they can manage those financially stressful times. For instance, you can do part-time jobs to support yourself.
It is quite evident that when you are far away from your family and friends, you may feel isolated. Apart from that, when you approach a person from a different cultural background, then the differences and language barriers become a problem. This way, it can cause mental health issues and hinder academic performance.
However, there are people who want to interact with international students and are more accepting towards understanding culture. Therefore, you must make new friends at your university or know students who you meet at university clubs and societies.
Strategies for Maintaining Work-Life Balance
Achieving a balanced lifestyle requires deliberate effort and the implementation of effective strategies. These strategies encompass time management, stress reduction, fostering social connections, and prudent financial management.
Effective time management is the cornerstone of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. It involves prioritising tasks, setting realistic goals, and creating a structured schedule.
- Prioritization: Students should identify and focus on high-priority tasks that align with their academic and personal goals. In this way, you can allocate time and give importance to every task without being overwhelmed.
- Setting Realistic Goals: Establishing achievable goals prevents unnecessary stress and fosters a sense of accomplishment. Therefore, students must set realistic goals for the best academic performance and personality development.
- Creating a Schedule: Developing a well-structured schedule helps in allocating sufficient time for studies, work, relaxation, and social activities. A balanced schedule ensures that no aspect of life is neglected and helps in maintaining equilibrium.
Managing stress is crucial for maintaining mental health and achieving academic success. Stress management strategies include regular exercise, meditation, and adequate sleep.
- Regular Exercise: Physical activity is a proven stress reliever. Physical exercise is necessary because it helps to keep yourself energetic and enhances cognitive function.
- Meditation and Mindfulness: Meditation helps in making the mind calm and relax; the power of meditation is immense. Further, practicing it daily will improve your mood and productivity. Meditation is an exercise for the mind.
- Adequate Sleep: Many students have become night owls, and this affects their health conditions. Therefore, having adequate sleep can make you balanced.
Utilizing University Counseling Services
Many universities have started providing counselling services to their students. International students who are living far from their homes need emotional support to cope with new changes near them.
Students can share their emotions and feelings with the counselors, who can guide them with proper tips and strategies to deal with day-to-day challenges.
Academic Advising and Tutoring
To become better at academics, students have to put effort into taking academic advising and tutoring for the specific course that they have selected. Therefore, as an international student,
you can take advantage of tutoring, which will help you in scoring well in your exams.
Participating in Workshops and Seminars
Active participation in workshops and seminars will be beneficial for you because they cover various topics, and the universities call experts to give their tips on them. However, you can build social connections and get an academic environment.
Therefore, if you adopt these strategies and utilize the resources available to you, you can have a healthy work life balance while studying abroad.
Balancing Work and Study
Balancing work and study can be particularly challenging for international students but is essential for maintaining overall balance and well-being. It requires setting clear boundaries, allocating specific time slots, and taking regular breaks to avoid burnout.
Setting Boundaries between Work and Study
Creating distinct boundaries between work and study is crucial to prevent one from overshadowing the other. Students should allocate specific times for academic activities and work commitments and avoid mixing the two. This separation helps maintain focus and ensures that academic and work responsibilities are met without compromising on quality.
Allocating Specific Time Slots for Work and Study
Effective time management involves allocating dedicated time slots for both work and study. When you have a time slot for everything, it becomes easy for you to fulfill your commitments and also keep track of yourself.
Taking Regular Breaks to Avoid Burnout
Regular breaks are essential to maintain productivity and avoid burnout. Students should take short breaks during study and work sessions to relax and rejuvenate. These breaks can help maintain concentration, reduce fatigue, and improve overall performance.
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Maintaining a healthy work-life balance while studying abroad is crucial for mental well-being, academic success, and overall quality of life. The challenges posed by cultural adjustments, academic pressures, financial stress, and social isolation require deliberate effort and effective strategies to achieve balance.
Reiterating the significance of work-life balance emphasizes its role in ensuring a fulfilling and successful study abroad experience. We at SecureMyScholarship focus on making education accessible and affordable for everyone. Contact us today, our admission counsellors can help you get into your dream university with an Exclusive and Guaranteed Scholarship for you.