As an international student you might be struggling with adjusting to a new country and the additional challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. You might have felt socially isolated or lonely during periods of lockdown with remote classes and limited social events. Maybe you feel homesick, anxious, concerned, uncertain, stressed or frustrated. It can be a combination as well. While these feelings are not ideal, they are real, and they are normal during these challenging times. Below you can find some tips and resources that could support your mental health.

  • Keep a schedule. A schedule gives you an overview and control over your time. Plan realistically. For example, if you think your homework or study will take 1 hour, plan 1.5 hours. Provide variety in tasks and also schedule time for breaks and a walk or workout.
  • Keep healthy habits. It’s important to get enough sleep, eat nutritious, stay connected with your loved ones, exercise consistently and limit your alcohol and drug intake. Writing in a journal and meditation will be helpful as well. Religious students might consider to pray regularly.
  • Be honest with yourself if you are having a hard time. Be kind to yourself. Pat yourself on the back for working so hard to manage life in another country during this pandemic. Remember that this period is not forever. It is just for now. You will get through this. This too shall pass.
  • Use university counselling services. Most universities have counsellors and therapists speaking foreign languages. They are available to help. Whether you are not feeling like yourself or you are experiencing more severe symptoms, you can reach out to them. Check your university’s health services website to see what kind of (online) health care resources they provide. 

  • Check out the RIVM (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) for more information about the vaccine and the coronavirus.
  • The #Healthyathome initiative, led by the WHO (World Health Organisation), offers a variety of tips to look after your mental health.