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How to Survive College Online as an International Student

With the many unique challenges that come with being an international student, for some, there's now the added burden of time difference.

Here are a few tips and tricks you'll need to survive if you're away from the continent (or time zone) you school in.

1 Set your Google calendar to display your two time zones: Before I continue, if you don't have Google calendar (or some other organizer) download it now!

Here's how to set two time zones on Google calendar:

Go to Settings > Time zone > tick Display secondary time zone > select your second time zone from the drop down menu.

Your google calendar should have two rows of time like this:

2 Constantly communicate with your professors so they know how time difference is affecting you and what life is like on your side of the world:

Sometimes life gets tough (especially in 2020) and it can be harder when you have to turn in assignments or attend classes at midnight. Professors are usually pretty understanding so just keep in touch with them and ask for any extensions you may need!

3 Connect with classmates on social media: Step out of your comfort zone and connect with people you've met in breakout rooms or in Zoom meetings or suggest that people from your class create a Group Me chat. I've connected with my classmates on Instagram and Group Me and it's made classes a lot easier! We keep each other in check for upcoming deadlines, and if there's something confusing to anyone, it's easily cleared up! Remember everyone's struggling right now, so it's not weird to reach out, ask questions and connect!

4 Attend virtual Org fairs and student org meetings: This is a great way to connect with other students online and to find a community despite the physical distance (especially for first year students). Don't miss these opportunities!

5 Self care: I can't emphasize this enough! Staring at your computer screen for almost the whole day can be exhausting. Sitting through classes really early in the morning or late at night can only make it worse. Consciously take breaks from your electronic devices, meditate, take care of yourself, and get rest!

6 Watch/ read the news to stay abreast with information in your home country and in your "academic country." You'll need to know what life looks like for the people you learn with and how things are constantly changing especially in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic.

7 Plan ahead and have back-up plans: use your calendar to plan your schedule and deadlines. Plan out your week, month and the future, but always have a plan B just because this is 2020 :) !

I hope these tips are helpful! If you have any others that have worked for you, kindly share them in the comments.

Thanks for reading WrittenByIsi

-Isi Ijewere

Bible verse takeaway: "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." -Philippians 4:13 ESV


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