Being prepared before school starts will reduce a lot of stress for you and will allow you to begin a new semester on the right foot.
- Get supplies and textbooks before classes begin. A few weeks before your courses start, it is a good idea to buy/rent your textbooks and get your notebooks, pens and other supplies. Therefore, when the first day of classes begin you can have your materials to start up on the readings and work, allowing you to stay ahead.
- Get your groceries. Get your groceries before your classes start. By doing this, it allows you to focus on school versus figuring out where to eat or when you will have the time to go grocery shopping.
- Do laundry and clean your place. This might seem irrelevant, but it isn’t. After a long first day of class it is essential to come home to a clean and welcoming place. This will provide a sense of relaxation, and you can rest up before beginning on homework.
2. Avoid Procrastination
- Get organized: Add in all project deadlines in your calendar by revising your classes’ syllabus. With this said, read over all your class descriptions and expectations to better manage your time from the beginning.
- Set goals: Set your own deadlines ahead of actual due dates to refrain from having work pile up.
3. Create a Routine
Most of the time the semester starts off slow, and then quickly picks up. By the 4th week you will most likely have an exam or a project due, then towards the end, things get a lot more hectic. By knowing this, build a routine and you’ll have more discipline. Some things that you should consider adding to your routine are:
- Reasonable sleeping pattern: It is important to sleep well in order to have the adequate energy, and it is key to staying healthy.
- Time between breaks to do reading and homework: This will help minimize your work load at night, allowing you to do other tasks or to have free-time.
- Set aside time for some exercise: A happy body can help create a happy mind. With a hectic day, it is a good idea to have sometime to release stress and do the body some good. Join the gym, enroll in fitness classes, meditate or simply take a walk around the block.
Music is an important component to many countries and cultures. It is a form of expression and unites many people. I asked a few students to share their favorite song/artist from their country of birth or the country they have study/worked/lived abroad in. Here are some songs. They range from many genres and languages. Enjoy!
Two years ago, during my undergrad I studied abroad for the year in Bilbao, Spain with a third party provider, USAC. Looking back it seems like it was a dream. I still can’t believe that I had the opportunity to live in a complete different country while attending and immersing myself in a “foreign” university and culture. This incredible journey is one of the main events in my life that has led me to be where I am at today, The Monterey Institute of International Studies.
When I was adapting to my new home, everything seemed to taste better and smell better. I would walk out of my apartment to head to the small convenience store down the street, and would not want to blink, because my walk there was an adventure of its own. I would pass the multiple little bars that would have food sitting out to be displayed; tortilla de patatas, chorizo, jamón serrano and pintxos. The captivating smell of wet grass and the breeze blowing from the ocean is one of my favorite memories of this wonderful place.
As the year progressed, I became used to my new life style, hearing spanish at all times, taking the metro or bus everyday to go to class and teach english, eating endless amounts of baguettes, adding chorizo to all my meals, taking weekend trips to nearby cities/countries and being motivated to be international for the rest of my life.
Unfortunately, the 11 months and 2 weeks went by too fast, yet I hold this experience dear to my heart and I know it wont be my last time living abroad. My next plan is to live in South America and help with education development in remote areas. This next step for me, will be a lot different than my journey in Spain, but if it wasn’t for my year abroad I wouldn’t be deciding to pursue this next stage.
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