Taking Care Of Yourself Abroad

Alyssa Burlison headshot
Alyssa Burlison
April 28, 2024

Being far from home and away from your usual resources can be hard. This is especially true as finals approach. School work is getting harder and you still have so much to do but you're starting to run out of time. It’s easy to get swept up in the madness of study abroad and stop taking care of yourself as your schedule fills up. So I created a list of a few tips for taking care of yourself while you study abroad. 

  1. Have a Flexible Routine

    At my home university, I loved following a tight schedule and a strict routine. I always knew where I needed to be and what I needed to work on. But after being thrown into a new country, it was impossible to stick to the schedule that worked for me at home. Not only did I have a different course load, but I have way less time than I did at home. I can’t do the majority of my homework on weekends if I’m going on weekend trips. I tried going without a schedule. However, I found that the things I tend to put off like going to the gym or class readings don’t get done if I don’t have a set time for them. That’s why I believe having a flexible routine and an adaptive schedule is vital when studying abroad. Now I exercise first thing in the morning and get my readings done in the evenings. However, I’m open to moving things around depending on what activities me and my friends have for the day. Therefore, a flexible routine is great when abroad because you're able to be productive while leaving time for the unexpected adventures that can come up.

  2. Keep a Journal

    As a writer, journaling has always been super important to me. I can record any creative thoughts as well as write down things that are making me anxious. That’s no different when abroad. In fact, I found that keeping a journal this semester is more important than ever. That’s because it allows me to record all of the wonderful new experiences I have. By keeping a journal I’ll be able to look back on my time abroad while managing any stress and anxiety I have over the next couple of months. 

  3. Spend Time by Yourself

    Going on adventures by myself has been super fulfilling for me. Back home I hate going to the store on my own and I refuse to get gas without one of my friends. But while I’m in Sydney, I want to spend less time at home. So when all of my friends have classes or homework when I have freetime I don’t want to just stay inside. I found that going on “hot girl walks” by the beach or exploring new shops on my own is just as rewarding as it is with my friends. It’s also nice to be alone with your thoughts and take some time just for yourself. 

  4. Take Up a New Hobby

    Exercising abroad isn’t easy. It’s hard to convince myself to spend time in a windowless gym when I could be out seeing the city. However, it’s important to get in some form of exercise. That’s why I believe trying a new hobby when your on exchange is a great opportunity. During my first month in Sydney, the university hosted an organization fair. This provided me with plenty of ways for staying in shape while seeing the city and making new friends. I joined the kayaking society where every Friday they go kayaking through Sydney harbor. Meanwhile my friend joined the running club. In the end, there are plenty of new ways to exercise when you're abroad and it’s important to take advantage of that.

  5. Eat and Drink Water

    Okay so this might be a little self explanatory but when you're in a new country it can be easy to forget to eat and stay hydrated. If you're in Sydney, one of my biggest recommendations is to buy a Brita or some sort of water filter. This way you have easy access to water and can stay hydrated. 

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Alyssa Burlison

Hi! My name is Alyssa Burlison and I'm a writing and film double major at Texas Christian University.  I love to write and am working on a romantic comedy inspired by Jimmy Buffet's music. I'm a foodie and I love hiking and stand up paddle boarding! 

2024 Spring
Home University:
Texas Christian University
Creative Writing
Film Studies
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