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3 Things international students can do when struggling with schoolwork

Before you decided to take a leap of faith and study abroad, you likely expected the experience to be a fun adventure – and we’re sure you’ve proven that is!

But as you know by now, being an international student isn’t all butterflies and rainbows. The truth is studying overseas also involves a lot of adjusting to a different culture, encountering different kinds of people, and managing academic workload.

It can be difficult to go through all these at the same time, and if you’re experiencing some difficulty navigating through international student life, please know that you are not alone.

You may have your way of overcoming these challenges, but we came up with a list of things you can also do when schoolwork starts to feel too much.

1. Talk to your teachers

Be transparent and tell your professors that you are having a hard time in their class. Most teachers are very understanding in these circumstances – especially when you’re an international student who is still trying to adjust in a new country. Your teachers may extend deadlines for you or even reduce the workload if you explain your situation well. But whether they extend a helping hand or simply listen to you, the important thing is you develop an open relationship between you and your teacher.

2. Get a tutor

There are different ways to find a tutor. You can ask your classmate to be your “study buddy” so you can help each other out, or you can seek help from student organizations that offer tutoring services for specific classes. Another option, albeit one that will cost you money, is to hire a private tutor who would take the time to teach you the topics you are having a hard time with.

What is great about tutors is that they have experienced the classes themselves. They probably have gone through the same modules so they are knowledge enough to teach you and they may also share test-taking tips, the professor's teaching style, among other things.

3. Reconnect with your friends, family, and hobbies

When you are struggling with schoolwork, maybe the best thing to do is to take a step back and do things that you love. Whether that means sitting down to talk to your family and friends or reconnecting with some of the things you love, e.g. watching movies, playing sports, or reading a book – these small things will help you rejuvenate and come back with a fresh pair of eyes and a clear head. After all, we all deserve a break every now and then!

If you need more guidance on how to better manage stress while studying abroad, read more tips here.

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Written by: Bradford Kaw

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