How to Become an All-Star Student While Studying Abroad – by John Tan


After the rigorous selection process is over and you have your admission letter to advance your education abroad, you can hardly hide the joy and the sense of accomplishment within you. Congratulations! However, this only sets the bar higher. Everyone around you expects you to go and come back as a top-notch expert in your field of study. To make this a dream come true, you may have to make deliberate sacrifices in the course of your study. Below are some tips that can help you sail through as an all-star student in a foreign country.

  1. Select Your Courses Wisely

As a freshman, you will be required to select various courses that will eventually determine your career path. This is common especially for technical programs such as engineering. It is important to know what impact the choices you make have on your career of choice. At this point, you need to consult widely and seek advice. Also, choose courses that you are passionate about. This will make your learning enjoyable and interesting. While it is possible to choose several elective courses, it is advisable not to overburden yourself with a lot of coursework. Every course needs attention and if you take up many units, your performance is likely to be impacted.

  1.  Set Your priorities right

It is no secret that we all love to travel and see new places. However, whenever people travel, they do so for various reasons. In your case, you are going to a foreign land to study. This is your number one priority. Many students are carried away by the excitement of living abroad and get distracted by partying and having fun, and as a result their studies suffer. This doesn’t mean that you need to become a nerd, though. Rather, give adequate time to your studies – find that balance.

  1. Choose your friends wisely

In every culture, you will always find people who are focused and others who are out there for a good time. Make sure you don’t waste your time or money with a group of people that just want to party.  Choose your roommate and your group of friends wisely – find people who are focused and driven, this will inspire you to achieve more in your coursework.

  1. Take care of your finances

One of the major challenges international students face is managing their money. Before you leave for your studies, have a clear plan on how your tuition, accommodation, and upkeep will be financed. Check out any available scholarships you can take advantage of. Make sure you have calculated the full cost of your studies, living expenses etc to avoid any nasty shocks later on.

Even if you intend to work part-time to help finance your stay, it’s important to make sure that most of your costs are already covered as you might find that studies take up the majority of your time and you don’t have time to work. Have a budget and stick to it, for your own peace of mind!

  1. Engage in extracurricular activities

If you are good at sports, join your host university’s team. Engaging in a sport is a great way to relax, will keep you healthy and in a good state of mind.  The bottom line is to get involved in something not related to your studies and get out there and meet people. You can also become a member of student organizations such the AIESEC. Besides helping you to build a professional networks, AIESEC offers unique internship programs that can help you get valuable work experience for your future career.

  1. Stay safe

Irrespective of the country you are going to study in, always be street smart.  Take care of personal safety and be aware of what’s going on around you. Don’t put yourself in danger unnecessarily – be careful walking about in unfamiliar places after dark.  Look out for adverse weather forecasts and security alerts. Remember, an important part of accomplishing your academic goals is to take care of your well-being.

John Tan is powerlifting marketing manager at OneClass, which is a website which helps to make studying easy by collecting exam study guides, lecture notes and video tutorials created by top students.

About the Author: Katie Idle

About our business, Study and Go Abroad is the 'go to' site for Canadians looking to study abroad, travel, intern or volunteer. We organize fairs twice a year in various cities in Canada, and I'd recommend getting down to one of them to check out all the exciting options. As for me, I'm a business woman and a travel junkie! I have always had a passion for travel and for experiencing new cultures. Brought up in England, I traveled Europe in my teens and early 20s. I have lived and worked on 3 continents; Europe, Africa and North America. I have traveled extensively worldwide both for work and for fun - and still can't believe how much of the world there is still to see!

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