For international students, it’s not always easy to head back home during the holidays. Many students studying abroad prefer to go back in the summer instead, and often can’t afford to go home later in the year. If you’re staying on campus during the upcoming winter break, here’s how to make the most of your time.
Apply for future jobs and internships
It’s never too early to start looking for summer internships or jobs. Use this time to visit your career services office on campus, which are normally underused during holiday periods. Do some research on jobs and companies that you’re interested in. Also, find some time to update your LinkedIn profile and résumé.
Students: Over winter break, apply to STEM paid summer research programs. Find them with the searchable database at https://t.co/Ye00kdGMn2. It has over 650 paid summer research programs for both undergraduate and graduate students.
— Steven Strogatz (@stevenstrogatz) December 12, 2018
You no longer have the excuse that you’re too busy to exercise! Now you’re on break, try to get in as much exercise as you can. It may be difficult to exercise outdoors in places that are cold in the winter, but most campus gyms are open during breaks. Or, you could work out at home using YouTube videos or workout apps. Hopefully you can start a workout routine that will stick once you start classes.
Get ahead of spring semester
Since you’ve got all this time, why not plan ahead for the upcoming semester? We know it’s your break, but you can get a head start on things like registering for classes and buying books and supplies so you can avoid the rush when spring semester starts.
Clean your room or apartment
It may not be spring yet but now’s a great time for some deep cleaning! Get rid of your old books (you could also use this time to sell them online) and papers, clear out your closet and cupboards, scrub your floors, and make your personal space clean and shiny for the new semester. Remember to donate or recycle as much as you can.
Explore your hobbies
At last, you’ll have time to focus more on your hobbies. Maybe you can even pick up a new one during the break. Whatever it is you like to do in your free time, now’s a great time to do it!
Manage your finances
If you’re not someone who routinely looks at their expenses and finances, the break is a good time to get your budgeting sorted. Now you’ve had at least one semester of student life under your belt, you should be able to identify where you’ve built up unnecessary expenses. Plan your budget for the next semester so you can see how you can save more money next year.
It’s always a great idea to do some charity work or volunteer at a non-profit organisation you believe in. It looks good on your résumé and you’ll learn a lot in the process. Find out what causes are close to your heart and where you can volunteer near campus so you can spend your break doing some good.
Catch up with friends
Chances are, you’ve let some friendships slide since you’ve gone abroad to study. Use Skype or simply make an old-fashioned call to old friends back home and reconnect with them. Or, if you have friends studying in the same country, make plans to visit them or organise a trip together.
Do some sightseeing
You may have been too caught up in university life to get out and explore the town or city you’re living in now. Check out some museums, attractions or other places you’ve always wanted to visit but never had the time to do so. Many tourist attractions give student discounts so take advantage of this.
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Do you agree with these tips on the UK international student experience?