After a long semester of hard work, the summer holidays are right around the corner! Maybe you’ve made big plans to recharge your body and mind, reconnect with friends or visit new places. However, before you know it, you are snuggled in bed, binge-watching Netflix while eating junk food.
Then, at the start of the next semester, you look back and regret all the things you didn’t do – we’ve all been there! We all deserve a break from time to time, but there are easy ways you can build a better self while enjoying your holidays. Here are six ways for you to make the most of your summer holidays as an international student.
Strengthen your social network
After a stressful exam period, it’s time to reconnect with your friends. Ask who’s available for a picnic in the park, to visit a new brunch place that has been on your bucket list for ages or to join you for a dinner party at your house. You’ll be surprised how many people are happy that you’ve reached out!
If you are more introverted, start by sending a simple “How have you been?” message to your contacts. Be an active listener when they respond. Alternatively, try sharing some of your hobbies or a moment from your day on social media. Your online presence can lead to new conversations by helping your friends find common interests. Not only is this a great way to connect with your existing friends, but it’s awesome for making new ones.
Spend quality time with your family
Families often sacrifice a lot emotionally and financially to support their children in their international education. So, share your gratitude with them! Tell your parents and siblings how much you appreciate their efforts by spending more time with them. A simple phone call from time to time or a video chat over a meal can make their day.
Treat your parents like your friends; be open to hearing their life stories and learning from them. Having a strong relationship with your family can strengthen your inner self and make you feel more confident dealing with the challenges in your life.
Organise your courses beforehand
It’s important to organise your enrolment in advance to get into the classes you want. Once you’ve enrolled, set up new folders for each unit you will be taking and name them accordingly. Download the course guide and start buying or borrowing your books now so you don’t scramble to find them at the last minute. Sort out all the things you’ll need for the next semester so that you can embrace your holiday with peace of mind.
Learn a new skill
What’s the skill that you’ve always wanted to learn, but never seem to have the time for? Maybe it’s an instrument you want to play or a nice dish you want to make. Perhaps you’d like to learn more about personal branding, improve your LinkedIn profile or learn a new language. Now’s the best time to start!
A simple search on YouTube and many other online learning platforms will give you thousands of free tutorials to explore. Picking up a new skill will give you a unique edge in your future studies and career. Plus, it’s a great conversation starter!
Build your career profile
Whether you want to find your dream job or start your own business, knowing your options is important. Book a consultation with a career advisor through your education provider. They can help you understand your strengths and passions, and build and improve your resume. With their help, you’ll learn how to write a good cover letter and how to effectively address the selection criteria in job applications. These are must-have job-hunting skills and, if you do them well, it will help your job application stand out.
LinkedIn is now commonly used by recruiters to learn more about you before offering you a job interview. Having a good LinkedIn profile can open new doors on your career journey. So, make sure you have a professional profile picture and that your details are up to date. For more advice, check out our tips to make your LinkedIn profile stand out. Don’t forget – many education providers in Australia offer access to LinkedIn Learning for free. There, you’ll find a huge range of online courses to help you upskill.
Gain real work experience
International students in Australia can work unlimited hours during semester breaks. Taking on a casual or part-time job during this time is a great opportunity to apply the knowledge you’ve learned from your studies and build your resume. SEEK and LinkedIn are great places to start your job hunt. LinkedIn even allows you to filter jobs by levels (for example, entry-level is a good choice if this is your first time working) or you can search for internships. This will help you find suitable roles for you as a student. If you’re ready to get started, read our tips for getting a job through LinkedIn.
Volunteering is another great way to give back to your community, and you can add this experience to future job applications.