Tips for Keeping a Healthy Diet While Studying Abroad

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When you study abroad, everything is new and you’ll need to adapt to a new lifestyle, but there’s no need to compromise on your health. Remember to exercise and eat well. Look out for a local gym close to where you are staying, and take note of these few health tips.

Eat in the Campus Cafeteria Often

Eating in the campus cafeteria not only saves you money, but is healthier than eating out all the time.   Ordering healthy food can be challenging when abroad, especially when you are unfamiliar with the local cuisine. The cultural connotations and the culinary experiences attached to food can vary greatly, depending on your country of study. While it’s important to try local food, for instance Xiaolongbao, a traditional Chinese bun, it’s always important to try to have a balanced diet.

Take advantage of fresh fruit, low-fat milk, veggie recipes, salad bars, whole grains, lean meat, and other healthy foods that are served on most campuses. No need to sample everything in one go, as you’ll have plenty of chance to do this during your stay.

Often on campus, especially in the US, there are usually healthy eating initiatives. For instance, cafeterias in all states of the USA are required to have vegetarian options at every meal time. So, it is possible to maintain healthy eating pattern.

Use Coupons to Eat for Less at Restaurants

For many students, heading to a high-class restaurant or a fast food joint in the US can leave a big dent in your budget. For instance, having dinner at a local restaurant can be twice as expensive, especially when drinks and dessert are included. If you love eating out in restaurants, take advantage of coupons, for example Golden Corral Spokane Coupons, to keep costs down.

Eat and Drink in Moderation

Don’t restrict yourself too much in what you eat and drink when you study abroad – the trick is to eat in moderation. In that way, you can still enjoy local food while keeping your health in check. Go easy on the alcohol!  In European countries, where booze is readily available, it’s tempting to up your drinking.  However, alcohol is full of sugar, and drinking every day doesn’t give your body a chance to metabolize and recover properly. Eating and drinking in moderation can help keep your weight down and keep you healthy. Also, take note of how hungry you are before and after eating small portions of food to gauge how much you should consume. If you are serious about not putting on the pounds, keep a food diary to track what you consume.

Exercise Regularly

Often people put on weight when they study or live in another country – different lifestyles, different diet and even different sleeping patterns can cause this. A good way to counteract this is to get out and exercise more. In some countries, for example Australia, some gyms offer student specials, which allow you to join at a discounted rate. Alternatively, you could invest in a bike, join dance classes, kayak, take a hike, do yoga, or jog or walk in the morning and/or evening. Many cities now have jogging paths in and around the city and it’s a great way to explore.


Being conscious of your health while studying abroad can make you sleep better, boost your immune system, and give you more energy. But remember also to have fun while you study as this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Understand that the toughest thing about studying in a foreign country is getting used to the food, and it’s great to keep an open mind and try everything.  Remember that to remain healthy while you travel, you need to prepare, plan, be vigilant and have self-discipline.

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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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