Being a student is stressful. Being an international student is even more stressful! In addition to dealing with attending school and trying to succeed in classes, international students have to deal with adjusting to life in a new country, learning a new language, and making friends in their new home. (Plus, they have more paperwork to deal with.) All of these things add up. Take care of yourself by following these tips for reducing stress as a student.
Tips for Reducing Stress as an International Student
Tip #1: Create a schedule
Know where you need to be and what you need to do. Create a detailed schedule of your classes, your homework and tests, and any assignments. Plan your week and give yourself plenty of time to eat, sleep, study, and relax.
Tip #2: Exercise
Exercise will help you sleep better. It will also clear your mind, keep you healthy, and also keep you happier since exercise releases endorphins. Join a sports team or club, join the local gym, or try a yoga class. Try to schedule activities on weekends, such as hiking, kayaking, or going to the beach.
Tip #3: Create a support group
Make sure that you are surrounded by people who love and support you. If you have a host family, share your life and experiences with them. Tell them about your struggles and your accomplishments, and let them know when you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Sometimes just talking about things will make you feel better.
Tip #4: Ask for help when needed
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. You can ask for help in many ways: ask your friends for some time to talk if you need someone to listen; ask your professor for some extra help with an assignment; go to your college’s tutoring center for help; seek professional counseling through the student health center or academic counseling at your college’s student center. The resources are there: use them!
Tip #5: Disconnect
Don’t forget to turn your phone off, disconnect from the world, and connect with yourself. Removing yourself from social media and the internet for just a few hours will leave you feeling more relaxed and connected with your environment. You’ll probably want to take a selfie to remember that happy moment! (But don’t. Keep your phone off!)