Quick Guide on Time Management for International Students

Quick Guide on Time Management for International Students

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Know the top tips on how to manage your time during your abroad studies. Know what to keep in mind while making your study schedule while you are studying overseas.

Updated on:  27 Oct 2023  | Reviewed By: 
Ankit Mehra 
| 2.43K | 6  min read

An opportunity to study abroad, especially in reputed universities, can indeed be a life-altering experience. Taking your studies overseas prepares you for all the challenges of life and offers global exposure like no other. In 2020, despite the raging pandemic, 261,406 Indian students ventured offshore according to an MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) report. But all this will go in vain if you are unable to make the best use of your time in the university. 


Why is time management necessary for an international student? 

Time management is the most essential skill that students should inculcate during their university years. However, if you are an international student, the concept of time management will gain a new perspective altogether. Moving to a different country for the first time can hit the nerves hard. In between catching up with a rigorous university schedule, exploring new places, and connecting with a diverse community, students most often find themselves stressed out of their minds. 

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When it comes to juggling everyday life at an international university, most students buy planners and diaries to note down their daily schedules and keep track of their tasks. Most often than not, after a few days, this habit goes for a toss and anxiety creeps in its place. There can be no single time management technique for all students. However, there are certain basic pointers that usually benefit all. 

We have come up with a quick guide on time management that you will find useful during your study abroad as an international student. 


Undertake a Realistic Approach

The stepping stone of a perfect time management technique is to undertake a realistic approach. It is often foolhardy to set impractical goals for yourself, knowing well that you will not be able to accomplish them. It is then that the frustration sets in, throwing your mind out of focus. It is crucial to have a holistic approach to your everyday schedule to complete your tasks with perfection and avoid stress. 

  • list items You can track your time through everyday apps like Toggl or Rescue Time 
  • list items Make a list of priority tasks and complete them at the beginning
  • list items Create a time budget to allocate time to different activities of the day outside the university hours

Cut Back on Distractions

Studying abroad is an experience like no other. The bigger the city, the more places to explore. It can be quite easy to lose yourself amidst the glitz and glamour of a foreign nation. The cost of an international university is something to be reckoned with. So one would be wise to steer clear of distractions. Private accommodations, however, usually offer private spaces to students so that they can focus on their academics. Again, not one time management guide fits all. Some may find their focus in group study sessions while others prefer to finish university tasks in private. 

  • list items No matter how tempting, decline those offers to go out with friends if you are swamped with assignments
  • list items Take short breaks in between to refresh your mind and avoid long distractions
  • list items Meditate daily for a short period of time to expand your concentration abilities

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Plan and Organize

Needless to say, when it comes to time management as an international student, planning plays a crucial role. Without proper planning, most students tend to jump from one task to another haphazardly, skipping priorities in the process. Hence it is necessary to plan not only your whole day but your weeks as well. Sure, it takes a little getting used to but once you develop this habit, it will stick for life. Post planning, don’t forget to make itineraries and organize your to-do lists. 

  • list items Limit time organizing to a maximum of 15 minutes so that you don’t waste time planning 
  • list items Don’t forget to put in buffers to fit in sudden tasks and assignments or that extra class

Invest Time on Productive Activities

Managing time blindly, accomplishing one task after the other can often lead to a nervous breakdown or leave you absolutely drained. Be sure to invest a fraction of your time in activities that boost productivity. The most practical of them is to exercise, which serves a dual purpose of increasing productivity and remaining healthy. Others include taking cold showers, cooking, listening to music; basically whatever helps you to wind down. 

  • list items Create a healthy study life ratio - ideal being taking a 5 minute break every one hour
  • list items Put down a specific time to end your day to avoid lapping of schedules
  • list items Get that much-needed sleep to help you wake up to a clear mind every day


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Take a Breather

As exhausting as it may sound, creating a time management schedule can go a long way in helping you excel at your university abroad. Taking out time for leisure and sleep are equally important as well. A well-designed time management schedule helps to bring all activities together for a balanced day. It is perfectly fine to take a breather every now and then and not get consumed by guilt over pending tasks. 

  • list items Do not compromise on your sleep schedule to fit extra tasks
  • list items Consult with a friend or an expert if the rigorous stress begins to take a toll on your mental health

An NSSE (National Survey of Student Engagement) report of 2020 suggested that students are spending more time focusing on university tasks now than they did a decade ago. It is no surprise that this is another proof of the usefulness of time management. With the intelligent use of technology, it has become even more hassle-free to make time schedules and keep up with it. If you plan on making the very best of your university days abroad, be sure to keep track of your everyday time and catch whatever opportunities that come your way. 

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We fervently hope that this blog helps you design your time management schedules in the most practical way possible. If you have further queries regarding your study abroad journey, you can head over to the University Living website. It is a global student housing marketplace that provides student accommodations, helps with forex, international sim, and other facilities so that a student undergoes a smooth transition while going to study abroad. 

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