Top tips for getting through your exams and year abroad application STRESS-FREE
Organising a year abroad is hard work. I don’t think anyone actually thinks about the amount of work you’ll have to put in applying for the year abroad, never mind sorting accommodation and travel arrangements.
The key to a stress-free exam period and application process is organisation.
As someone with a terrible short-term memory, I have to be organised just to be able to function on a day-to-day basis. So, as someone who has been through the stresses of preparing for a year abroad and made it through exams, here are my TOP TIPS to getting through it relatively stress-free.
Get a Diary
I literally cannot stress this enough; my diary is a lifesaver on a daily basis and I would be lost without it and most phones have a calendar function for you to write down deadlines and things to remember.
It helps you to see when deadlines are close together and which ones come first and trust me, it is so easy to forget one tiny application form and can prove to be complicated to sort out if you don’t hand it in on time.
Get a diary and use it. Seriously.
Do things as soon as you get them
If you get an email with an application that’s due in a month’s time – do it now, it’s incredibly easy to forget about it.
Have an application form that’s due in next month? Do it now, get it sorted and hand it in early. Then you can actually forget about it and it won’t cause havoc when you realise a 10-page application form is due in the next morning on the day of an exam or realising you haven’t sorted out your visa in time.
Doing stuff early gives you more time to focus on other things like revision or Wednesday nights out.
Make sure you know what you’re getting into.
I went into my year abroad application process knowing nothing about the process or what it would be like.
A lot of my deadlines were alongside an exam or a coursework deadline and most of the documents were either lengthy, or in French which made it twice as hard.
You need to know what to do, how long you’ve got to do it, who you need to contact if you have any questions, and things like the time difference – an hour before the deadline in England could be 4 hours late in another country.
Get in touch with people who’ve done it before or people who know what you’re going through, which brings me onto my next point:
Ask for help when you need it.
This is probably the most important point. You aren’t doing this alone and there is a huge support network available to you.
Get in touch with people who’ve been to the uni before – they can give you inside knowledge on stuff like where the best accommodation is – it’s such a valuable resource.
The Business School’s study abroad team have office hours every day so there’s no excuse for not popping in to see them and make sure you know who the incoming student officer at your host university is, you will probably need their help at least once over the next year.
Doing a year abroad is super rewarding but can seem like a lot of work and be stressful if you aren’t organised and prepared – with a little preparation you can have a smooth application process as well as giving yourself enough time and brain power to smash your exams.