Studying abroad can be challenging, but it shouldn't hinder you from being a good student! While everyone has a different learning style, there are ways to form good study habits that can definitely save you a lot of stress and time.
Choose your study location according to your learning style.
Some people consider coffee shops as a good venue for studying because of their ambient noise, temperature, and lighting. Of course caffeine and an internet connection would definitely be available at cafes—both of which prevent you from feeling sleepy.
However, if you find coffee shops to be a bit too distracting, there are other locations you can consider. One good study venue is a library, whether at your school or at a local library. Libraries provide a spacious and comfortable space for studying. Most importantly, it’s very quiet.
Studying at home is another popular option, but sometimes this can more inhibiting than you realise. Often there are many distractions and you may not have an appropriate study desk. You want to be comfortable, but not too comfortable (soft couch, or in bed) that you become distracted, drowsy or fall asleep.
Listen to the right music.
Depending on your preference, you can opt to listen to some background music while studying. Ambient noise at around 70 decibels (often the standard music volume at coffee shops) has been shown to be very effective for creative thinking. However, anything much higher than that (if you are in a loud café or right next to the coffee grinder) can actually raise blood pressure and increase stress, reducing your ability to absorb information.
If you prefer to listen to music while studying, do not listen to music with vocals, as the words can be too distracting, Try and find something that won’t side-track your mind, such as classical music or jazz. You can download a mobile application called Calm. It is a very good source of relaxing music that can help you focus on what you’re studying.
Decide on your study time.
Studying in the morning or at night both have their advantages and disadvantages. At the end of the day, it all comes down to what works best for you.
Studying in the morning
Studying at night
- There are more location options.
- Easier to get in touch with others if you have questions.
- Natural light is better for your eyes and concentration.
- There are more distractions.
- Peaceful and quiet.
- Night can increase your creative effectiveness.
- You do see concepts differently at night.
- Fewer places available to study, but of those available they are often less populated.
Studying for a long period of time without taking a break can result in reduced concentration and drowsiness. A 10 to 20-minute break can improve your ability to retain information and give your eyes a rest.
Join a group study.
Group studying has several benefits. You can motivate each other, ask and answer questions, and create an enjoyable space that doesn’t feel like such a chore. It also improves your brain’s retention of information.
Be cautious when studying with a group however, as it can be tempting to talk about other topics that are not related to your studies. It’s important to stay disciplined and on track. Finding the right people to study with is a critical part of having a successful group study session.