Tips on how to stay healthy during the school year

How to stay healthy while studying abroad

How to stay healthy during the school year


Starting university or college can be a challenging transition, especially if you plan to do it outside of your own country. At this point in time, you are officially out on your own without your family. Naturally, in between classes, assignments and other commitments, your body builds stress. It’s important to manage this and to stay healthy. As the saying goes, a healthy body means a healthy mind. Here are some simple steps on how to stay healthy while studying abroad.


Manage stress

This is an obvious one, but one of the best ways to stay healthy is to manage your stress levels. With strong organizational and time management skills, you are sure to stay on top of your workload and any stress you may be experiencing. You may consider downloading a smartphone app that helps you manage all your various tasks. Or, if you prefer to write things down, purchase a nice planner or notebook. Another way to manage stress is to find an activity you enjoy to take your mind off things. This activity can include exercise like running or yoga, writing, spending time with friends or music. Note: If exercising is what you enjoy, lucky for you, you don’t have to worry about the next tip!


Exercise often

Many students struggle with this one and often don’t make time for it. Exercise should be a daily task. Luckily, most schools if not all offer various resources whether it’s sports clubs, fitness classes or a gym. Be sure to take advantage of it as some of these resources are included in your tuition. Perhaps you don’t particularly enjoy working out at the gym or aren’t confident when it comes to sports. You might then consider joining an intramural team, which is also a great way to meet other students. Intramural sports are often ‘just for fun’ and don’t require you to be a skilled athlete. However, joining an intramural team is a great and fun way to maintain your exercise levels. If you prefer a personal activity, you may choose to walk on a daily basis to get in your cardio. Any way you do it, exercise is vital to a healthy body and healthy mind. With consistent exercise, you’ll boost your productivity levels, energy and overall mood.


[Read How to budget as an international student for tips on how to save while abroad!]


Eat right

It’s very easy to get into the habit of eating unhealthy foods. This is especially the case when living on campus with a prepaid meal plan. It can be very tempting to indulge in deep fried foods and baked goods. However, it’s important to keep in mind just how critical a well-balanced diet is. If you choose to eat in the cafeteria, consider your options and portions. An easy trick to remember is, the more colours you have on your plate, the better. Further, while some struggle to eat healthy, others forget to eat altogether. It’s easy to skip meals, especially when you’re stressed or busy. However, this is incredibly unhealthy for your body. To avoid this, make sure you set aside time to eat three to four meals a day. Finally, don’t forget to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. Similarly to eating easy foods like pizza, many students drink coffee and energy drinks to power through hectic days. These really don’t do your body a favour, so be sure to limit those types of beverages and drink more water.


Get sleep

Nothing beats a good night’s rest. As a full time student, it isn’t always the easiest to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night. You only have so many hours to fit classes, work, exercise, social life and other things into a day. But, in order to keep going and to boost your energy levels, sleep is absolutely needed. Sure, there are times you’ll have to stay up late to study for an exam or complete an assignment. Nonetheless, it’s important to not make sleep a habit and to manage your time wisely. There are many benefits that come with a good, consistent sleep schedule. When building your class schedule, you might consider keeping your sleep schedule in mind.


[Learn about Canadian health care and what’s available to you in this blog post]



Germs spread very easily on school campuses. If you are living, eating or studying on campus, you are most definitely exposed to germs. Especially being in such close proximity with other students, if one person is sick, it gets passed around quickly. For this reason, it’s important to sanitize or wash your hands regularly. In the case there isn’t a place to wash your hands nearby, you should purchase a small container of sanitizer to keep with your at all times. You can purchase this product at Walmart, Target, Shoppers or Walgreens. This way you don’t have to worry about searching for a place to wash your hands.


It’s easy to forget about your own personal health. Especially when you experience stress throughout the school year. But between exercise, healthy eating, lots of sleep and staying clean, you’re sure to have a successful (and healthy) year!


Curious to know the types of health resources available at certain schools? ApplyBoard can help. Start a free account and learn all the details!  


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