Essential Life-hacks for International students
Life can be hard as an international student – with lectures to go to, bills to pay, and parents to speak to – it’s hard to stay on top of your studies. But students are resourceful, and they find ways to get the most out of whatever is around them – here are a few essential life-hacks for any student!
1.If you find reading English hard – leave yourself a sweet incentive.
Mark each paragraph with a sweet to give yourself a reward for finishing another section, and to provide an incentive to finish the whole chapter! This is a great way to force yourself to read, especially if you struggle to read English.
2. If you struggle to understand your lecturers – record
You can use a program like Audacity or VLC media player to do this on your PC, or record them with you iPhone. You can then play the lecture back to yourself at a slower speed. This is a great way to also improve your English. Also, when crunched for time, listen to recorded lectures at double the speed!
3. If you’re dyslexic, there’s a special font called Dyslexie that could help you read more easily.
Sometimes reading and writing English can be tough, especially if you are an ESL student. However this can be even tougher if you are dyslexic. Dyslexie makes things a little easier. Read more about it here.
4. If you are struggling to read the book, watch the film!
If you are an ESL student then reading English books can be hard and time consuming. Luckily for you in the 21st century, there are loads of films and documentaries on all kinds of things. For example, for history and anthropology classes, watch a documentary on the topic, it’ll help you have a deeper understanding of the material. If no documentaries exist, open up YouTube and do a search on the topic.
5. Take notes in English.
It might be tempting to try and write your notes in your own language; but forcing yourself to write your notes in English not only helps to improve your English skills, but it forces you to concentrate and focus. This is a proven way to improve the amount you remember and helps when you go to revision as you will remember more clearly the points that you had to focus to write.
6. Write down words you don’t understand in different colours
This will act as a prompt for you to look up difficult words when you check over your notes. This will help to expand your English vocabulary and will also help you to gain a better understanding of your subject. Using coloured pens will fire up your visual memory. It also looks pretty and makes taking notes more enjoyable.
7. Google “site:edu [subject] exam” to find many different exam notes featuring problems pertaining to that subject.
8. Try an online interactive flash card site
Flashcards are proven way to improve your memory, your English, and to generally help you get higher marks. There are loads of websites around that allow you to create your own flashcards and some where you can use ones that other people studying the same subject have already made. A popular site that we like is Quizlet.
9. When giving a presentation, set up a friend to ask you a question that you already know the answer to.
It’s a great way to a) look like you know what you’re talking about b) boost your confidence. Being able to confidently answer your friend’s question will impress the whole class, and your lecturer!
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