Many international students opt to balance work and study. In addition to providing income to meet some of your financial needs, working while studying abroad gives you a head start in building professional skills and networks.
However, balancing work and study can present a real challenge. Pressures from work and course commitments can be a huge source of stress – which can negatively affect your performance in both areas.
To effectively and successfully juggle work and study, you need to have a clear plan of action on how to manage your time. Here are some of the best tips to help you balance work and study as an international student:
Make a Schedule and Stick To It
One of the best ways to juggle work and study is by creating a schedule. Start by identifying all the tasks that you need to complete each week. Your tasks include:
- Personal responsibilities
Identify the most important tasks and prioritize them in your schedule. For instance, you can highlight the most important tasks or each day.
Use a calendar to plan out your time each week. Doing so will help you visualize your schedule and make it easier to stick to.
But don’t be unrealistic by scheduling too many tasks to accomplish in a short duration. Only schedule as much as you can realistically handle without suffering burnout.
To keep yourself motivated and on track, set deadlines for yourself. But don’t forget to include breaks – it’s important to take regular breaks to prevent burnout and maintain your productivity. In addition, have some room for flexibility in your schedule as unforeseen circumstances may crop up.
Remember, creating an effective schedule is an ongoing process. You’ll have to adapt it as your situation changes.
Use Your Time Effectively
Once you’ve created a schedule, you must make sure to spend your time effectively. Don’t be tempted to multitask – studies show that multitasking can reduce productivity by as much as 40%. The human brain is simply not created to give maximum attention to more than one task at the same time.
Block out distractions and focus on the task at hand – whether it’s schoolwork or work assignments. You’ll realize that by focusing on one task at a time, you’ll increase your productivity and performance.
In today’s digital era, also take full advantage of technological tools such as apps and AI. You can use AI to quickly research topics, summarize long papers, and proofread your assignments. It can also come in handy for things such as writing code. You can also use apps to manage your time, take notes, and boost your productivity.
Seek Support at Work and School
You don’t have to do it alone – seeking support at work and school can make your life a little easier. Make sure that your supervisors, professors, colleagues, and classmates know that you’re working while studying.
With this knowledge, they may be able to provide extra accommodations. For instance, professors and job supervisors may adjust deadlines. Colleagues and classmates, who may also be working while studying, can offer you advice and support to help you succeed at work and in school.
Take advantage of the resources at your disposal – such as the international students’ office, counselling services, academic advisors, study groups, and online forums.
Manage Stress Through Regular Breaks and Other Relaxation Techniques
Stress can negatively impact your physical and mental well-being – making it harder to focus on your studies and work. To avoid burnout, make time for regular breaks to help you recharge, refocus and maintain your mental and physical well-being.
What should you do during your breaks? Anything fun and relaxing. You can hang out with friends, go for a walk, or even take a nap.
Practice relaxation techniques such as exercising, stretching, or meditation. Don’t forget to eat a healthy diet and get adequate sleep every night – balancing work and study should not come at the cost of your health and wellbeing.
If need be, don’t be afraid to reach out for professional help. Remember that everyone struggles with stress at some point and it’s important to take care of yourself.
With the right approach and time management, you can successfully juggle work and study abroad. Remember to be flexible and seek support where needed.
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