Self-Care Tips for Studying Abroad


Living it up while studying abroad is an incredible experience, but it can also be overwhelming at times. Having a self-care routine and skills to overcome difficult moments is critical for feeling your best when living in a new place. During your time overseas, remember that universities provide counseling and mental health services to help you get back on track. The CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) Center at the University of California, Berkeley, is a prime example of a campus facility offering individual and group therapy sessions. Since it's a popular campus, international students who study abroad at UC Berkeley may meet others with similar obstacles.

It's also important to recognize that many people who take classes abroad may experience homesickness, which can cause a poor perspective of the situation. The fact that this is normal and won't last forever is good to know.

Here are some other ways that can help you thrive and feel good while learning overseas:




Don't Forget to Exercise

Staying active is a fantastic way to maintain physical and mental wellness. Find an enjoyable workout routine that will keep you moving, or sign up for a sport. Doing this will improve your mood, lower stress, and minimize bad events. Dedicating time to the gym or a walking route might be a terrific addition to your schedule, allowing you to unwind and concentrate on something other than school or travel. 

Also, hang out with individuals who will encourage you to maintain a healthy lifestyle overseas. Many colleges offer clubs or social organizations that meet monthly for runs, walks, or park-based activities such as yoga. UC Berkeley has exercise facilities on campus that are free for students and members, and nice equipment, including a climbing wall.


Books on a window


Make It Feel Like Home

Finding ways to make your new place feel like "home" can help the moving process go more quickly and with less stress. Try decorating your area with pictures that remind you of your city, or plan to cook some of your favorite traditional meals. Check out these tips for making your new home a comfortable haven. Also, think about incorporating your hobbies and interests into your new residence. If you like dance or painting, look for a location to take courses in the new area.


UCLA Big Data & Business Application students share a meal together and laudh


Create Your Support System

Being in a foreign culture can make even the most ordinary tasks seem daunting, especially if you're not around your native language and don't have someone to turn to for help. The best way to immerse yourself in a new culture is to establish friends with natives, but it's also beneficial to meet others from abroad who understand what you're going through. Instead of becoming friends with the first locals that cross your way, look for people who share your interests or hobbies. UC Berkeley has many study abroad programs, so you're bound to run into someone you click with.  

Also, consider the value of developing an online support system. Look for social media groups designed specifically for study abroad students; even if they are in a different foreign nation, chatting with people going through the same experience may be beneficial. Getting involved on campus is one of the best ways to assimilate and amplify your experience.


Down time


Schedule Downtime

Taking on school and all it involves can be overstimulating, especially in a new environment. Allow yourself to decompress from the continual action around you by taking a few minutes each day to collect your thoughts. Some people use their quiet time for meditation, connecting the mind and body, making it a helpful tool for improving overall health and fitness. Another idea is to go on an adventure on a scheduled break, which is easy to do in big regions like Southern California.




Get Plenty of Sleep

Don't underestimate the value of sleep. Lack of sleep harms our physical and emotional health, which may seem like a waste of time when you have a lot on your plate. It can also affect our ability to do things properly, making it hard to remember, concentrate, and choose. That's why your overall well-being needs to rest appropriately and not overexert yourself, even when things get busy.

Taking care of oneself at all times is crucial, particularly while learning at a new campus with many distractions. Just remember to enjoy your journey abroad without sacrificing your health or well-being.