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Studying Amidst a Pandemic: Tips for Int’l Students in Australia
17 Feb 2022
Written by Y Suites

Studying Amidst a Pandemic: Tips for Int’l Students in Australia

Beginning the new chapter of your life as an international student in Australia is already a big step. Factor in a seemingly unending pandemic and the challenge just got even bigger. That being said, with the right mindset and preparation, there’s no reason why your university experience can’t be as rewarding and memorable as can be. Read on to discover five tips to stay safe, happy, and healthy while studying in Australia during COVID.

1. Connect With Fellow International Students 

Living by yourself in a foreign country can be intimidating. The good thing is, you don’t have to go through it all alone as there are many other international students who are in the same boat as you. Try connecting with your fellow peers and make new friends through your classes or by joining a student society that interests you. Most universities tend to have country-specific student associations or clubs, which is a great opportunity to have a taste of home and meet students from the same country as you. 

Choosing to study overseas is truly a courageous decision. Hence, it is important to build a support system in your new community so that you will have people you can turn to and rely on when you need help. 

University clubs and activities are one way to meet new people — another is right at your student accommodation! Take Y Suites, for instance, where all residents are welcomed to join our one-of-a-kind Y Community Experience (Y-CEP) program! This initiative aims to foster a strong sense of belonging and identity in our residents, so they can have the best residency experience possible. To build a strongly bonded community, we offer a variety of activities that focus on community bonding, personal development, health and wellbeing education, academic support, and cultural empathy development. 

2. Keep Track of Updates & Restrictions

Restrictions for travel in and out of Australia, as well as movement lockdowns within the country itself can change at any time. Staying up-to-date with the latest information on virus-related regulations can help keep you safe while you are in Australia

On top of government advisories, each university is likely to have its own set of protocols for returning to campus. For example, some may need you to meet vaccination requirements, or submit health declarations ahead of time. Be sure to check your university’s website so you can go in well-prepared. It’s also a good idea to have a few antigen rapid test kits on hand in your student accommodation so you can perform a quick test as and when needed. 

3. Equip Yourself With Online Learning Essentials

With the unpredictable waves of the virus in Australia, you’ll never know when your university might shift on-campus classes online. In fact, you might even have subjects that are taught entirely online. As unfortunate as it may be, it’s still best to gear up with proper equipment to boost your productivity during online lessons in your student apartment! A few things to consider will be good-quality headphones, a webcam, or perhaps a second monitor for your laptop. 

4. Keep Your Mental Health in Check

It is common for students to feel stressed, overwhelmed, isolated or homesick when studying abroad independently. Factor in a global pandemic and those feelings will be even more pronounced — especially since there are fewer chances to socialise with others. 

Your mental and physical well-being should always be your number one priority. Take care of yourself by exercising regularly, taking breaks from long hours of study, or seeking help when you need it. Many universities in Australia offer mental health resources and support. For instance, both the University of Melbourne and the University of Adelaide provide free professional counselling services for enrolled students. 

In addition to university resources, Y Suites residents can tap on our our mental health support by speaking with our Customer Service Manager at any time. They are always ready to lend a listening ear and helping hand if you are facing anxiety or stress, or can direct you to proper professional channels as needed. We’d also recommend making full use of the amazing student housing facilities in our suites, like our cinema rooms and games area, to destress and relax! Find out more about our suites near the University of Melbourne and University of Adelaide.

5. Look on the Bright Side 

It’s totally understandable to feel down about studying abroad during a global pandemic. After all, it almost feels like you are missing out on many quintessential experiences — be it meeting new people, exploring a brand new country, or even just soaking up the vibrant energy of a uni campus filled with fellow students. 

However, a lot of things are out of your control. What you can do for yourself is to go in with an optimistic attitude. Trying setting realistic expectations and goals for yourself so that you can make the most out of your time in university and in Australia!

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