10 Tips for Studying Abroad
Staying on top of your mental and physical health as a university student can be very difficult. Things can get even more complicated if you’re an international student having to adjust to a new environment.
This post is for all of you studying abroad this semester! I’ve compiled a list of 10 tips to stay healthy and fit while studying abroad.
10 Tips to Stay Healthy and Fit While Studying Abroad
1. Build a Routine
One of the first things you need to establish is a routine that makes time for exercising, eating healthy meals, and getting enough sleep and rest. Unfortunately, these activities are often taken for granted when you get caught up with classes and other stuff.
Build this routine around your schedule and lifestyle to make it work. Then, modify it accordingly with daily or weekly tasks that let you maintain a fitness level even when you become too busy.
2. Eat In
It’s healthier to prepare your meals because you can select the ingredients, watch what you eat, control the amount, and make batches for later. Also, you’ll have fewer excuses for skipping meals or not eating on time. A microwave oven and key utensils can be enough for nutritious and easy-to-make recipes if you live in a dorm.
That being said, you can’t miss out on trying the local cuisine—budget for eating out, food tours, and other gastronomic pursuits.
3. Find Ways to Engage Your Body
Check out gyms, parks, or similar facilities where you can exercise or engage in your favourite sport. Working out heightens focus, which is essential to learning and getting good grades.
If going to the gym is out of the question, jog, brisk walk, hike, and cycle. Explore the city, take walks with your backpack, and wander. Of course, commuting can count as physical activity too.
4. Bring a Water Bottle Everywhere
With a reusable water bottle with you all the time, you are one step away from dehydration. Aside from nourishing the body, drinking water makes you feel refreshed and energised.
Except for the initial cost of buying a flask, you don’t have to spend on anything. Just fill your bottle with clean drinking water, and bring it anywhere.
5. Make Use of Your Health Insurance
Your medical checkup before leaving for your host country may have yielded a clean bill of health. And your health insurance, which ideally provides adequate coverage and is applicable overseas, helps you stay healthy while studying abroad.
Having health insurance when you need it is one less thing to worry about. Make sure you have talked with the program provider or institution regarding health insurance matters.
6. Socialise with New People
Experiential learning is the main attraction of studying abroad, which offers the perfect time to practice or develop people skills.
Make friends, join clubs, go out there, and expand your social network. These social interactions can lessen feelings of homesickness and loneliness. Plus, you gain first-hand information about other cultures and beliefs and share yours too.
7. Stay Connected with Your Loved Ones
While you forge new connections, strengthen your ties with your family and friends back home. Whether it’s through emails, video calls, and instant messages, make time to communicate, share your concerns, and so on.
Knowing that your loved ones are there for you can boost your morale and keep yourself grounded when everything around you looks unfamiliar.
8. Avoid Binge Drinking If Possible
Excessive alcohol consumption may result in accidents or health issues. It may also have long-lasting effects on memory, as this study shows.
So, be mindful of your consumption while abroad!
9. Practice Mindfulness
Moving out of your comfort zone and navigating a new place with many unknowns can be overwhelming. However, mindfulness can pull you back into the present and from worries and unpleasant thoughts.
Practising mindfulness can be as simple as sitting or standing and paying attention to your breathing for five or so minutes. Then, let the exercise calm you down and regain your focus.
10. Get Enough Sleep
Adults are generally advised to get at least seven hours of sleep. The quality of this sleep also matters because you function and feel great when you are fully rested.
Follow a regular sleep schedule or make adjustments based on the time zone to get a good night’s sleep. For example, go easy on caffeinated drinks, eat dinner early, or exercise before bedtime.
Staying healthy is one of the most important tips for studying abroad that you must always remember and aim to achieve.
When you are at your best physically and mentally, you can overcome obstacles and emerge victorious wherever you may be.