International students are becoming increasingly common in campuses around Australia. More and more students from around the world are willing to live in Australia in order to receive a high quality education. For example, in 2009 the Melbourne Business School had 130 full-time students from 49 different countries of origin.
But studying as an international student can difficult at times – odds are that English is not your first language and it will take time for you to settle into your new surroundings. So if you want to maintain good grades throughout this period of adjustment, follow these simple study tips:
Find a Study Partner
Studying alone can be boring and tedious – sometimes the hours seem to crawl by when you’re alone and in no time you find yourself checking facebook and daydreaming about last night’s football match. This is not a very productive way to study to say the least.
In order to get the most out of your study time, find yourself a study partner. A good study partner will keep you focused on your work and keep you motivated when you feel like throwing in the towel.
For international students, one of the best places to find a study partner is in your English classes. If you study English as a second language, strike up a conversion with someone in your class and ask them if they would be interested in becoming your study partner.
When you have found a study partner, go somewhere quiet to study. The library is best but anywhere will do, just don’t go to the cafeteria or any place where there is a lot of noise.
Use the Right Research Tools
Sometimes it feels as if lecturers enjoy setting their students impossible assignments; assignments that you are expected to complete with a total lack of resources at your disposal. But if you know where to look, you can set yourself apart from all the others students with unique and high quality material.
Most students spend all their time in the library, reading the lecturer’s ‘suggested materials’. But guess what, nine out of ten students are doing exactly the same thing! Instead, check out your university’s online databases.
The great thing about databases is that you can find material on practically any subject. There are databases that specialise in journal articles, legal commentaries, scientific theses – the list goes on and on. Some of the best databases available in most university’s are – Project Muse, JSTOR, Questia and Cambridge Journals Online.
There are two popular methods for good note taking. The first method is to prepare all of your notes at the beginning of each semester; you can even do this before you classes have begun. This method is recommended for students who have a busy workload or have other commitments.
The second method is to prepare notes at the end of every week, using your required readings as a guideline. The main advantage to this method is that you are up to date with your class. Both methods work well and the decision to use one or the other depends largely on your personal preference and circumstances.
By following these simple steps, you are sure to keep your grades high while you study abroad. Good luck!