By Sean Mortell
With international travel being out of the question for most, many overseas students are on the lookout for activities over the impending summer holidays. Instead of relaxing indoors and procrastinating, making some proactive decisions could help improve your wellbeing and improve your future career prospects.
1. Relax and plan
There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of relaxation — in fact, it’s encouraged. After a hard year of adverse circumstances and online learning, your batteries likely need recharging. Make sure you get plenty of sleep and relieve yourself of any stress you have held onto over the past few months.
Once you’re starting to feel re-energised, it’s time to get planning. It may seem like there are meagre offerings available over the next few months outside of socialising, but the summer break can be a prime time to develop new skills and get ahead of your peers on the hunt for your dream jobs or internship. The best way to get started is to look at the months ahead and write down some goals to work towards.
2. Update your CV and find summer work
Summer casual jobs may not be for everyone, but they are a wonderful way of earning some money while developing your skills. A few months in a retail store during the busy Christmas period could just improve your time management abilities, or a service role may see your communication skills drastically improve. These life skills can create exciting opportunities in the new future.
The summer break is the perfect time to find out more about yourself and boost your bank account – instead of sitting inside, update your CV, get out of your comfort zone and start networking, and come into 2021 with renewed confidence.
3. Explore your city
One of the greatest parts about being an international student is that you are constantly in new surroundings that are waiting to be explored. While you may wish you were back in the confines of your home, take the situation as a chance to immerse yourself in a different culture. Whatever city you find yourself in, research day trips and treat yourself to exciting experiences in the streets around you. All Australian cities offer so many opportunities, whether it be art and cultural landmarks or bustling tourist spots. You may even stumble upon a hidden gem or a perfect beach!
4. Take a summer subject or upskill
If you have run out of exploring to do and can’t secure any employment, the next best thing you can do for yourself is to learn something new. The great part about life is that you’ll never know everything, so why not try to discover more?
Many institutions around Australia offer summer subjects or quick courses that only last for a month. You can pick up another language, go through history or learn the finer points of chemistry in the summer months. The best part is you can make it all worthwhile; other short courses like a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate is a major boost to your resume and can come in handy all over the world.
Not all of this has to be done in person – many websites offer online courses that could see you learning coding or finding ways to experiment with online programs to make videos. The world is at your fingertips!
5. Find a new hobby or social group
This may be the last suggestion, but it’s one of the best. Your summer holidays abroad will be utterly worthwhile if you put yourself out there and meet new people. There are so many clubs, both online and in person, that are available. Scour Facebook for your groups related to your hobbies and you’ll easily find a group based in your city to join. They range from anything; be creative, and use it as an avenue to making new friends and learning fresh skills!
Learning a new hobby can be just as fulfilling. If you’ve always wanted to try learning a musical instrument, or want to become a fitness freak, the summer months are the right time. If you want to indulge in the long list of movies you need to see or discover a new genre of TV shows, then dive in head-first. Whatever you are passionate about, now is the time to focus on it and make yourself happy while you enjoy the unique aspects of overseas living.