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Staying healthy when studying abroad

Given the current conversion rate, we are sure that you, as an international student studying abroad, definitely agree that health is wealth!

If you live close to your campus then consider cycling or walking to your class rather than taking a bus or a cab. Both walking and cycling help you burn calories and are good for your health.

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You have received your admission letter and are all set to join your preferred university abroad. A thought strikes you, those toned muscles that you worked so hard to acquire, the carefully planned diet, the fitness regime; would all these go for a toss! Well you are not alone; a lot of students who are set to study abroad are plagued by such doubts. This article offers tips on how you can stay fit and healthy when you are studying abroad. 


There is an old joke that goes on these lines:
“The easiest exercise to lose weight is to nod your head from left to right and then right to left. You nod your head when someone offers you something to eat!”
Well we are not cruel-hearted people asking you to starve but we have some suggestions that will help ensure that your waistline does not expand too much!

  • Eat fresh food, opt to visit the local farmers’ market and source fresh produce. It is less expensive and definitely better than store-bought canned and preserved food.
  • Include lots of fresh fruits in your diet and limit the aerated, sugary, high-caffeine drinks.
  • Rather than eating outside, try experimenting with cooking your own food. Get a portable cooker and electric induction stove and start creating your signature dishes.
  • Remember to drink lots of water and stay hydrated!
  • Cut down on the intake of pre-processed food, a pizza eat-out and a glass of wine, once in a while is fine, but do not make it a regular habit.


Yes, the class assignment has to be done, the part-time job on weekends is there and you need to prepare for the drama club meeting as well; student life is always busy.Remember, do not compromise on sleep. A minimum of seven hours of sleep is what doctors recommend; drinking cup after cup of coffee or Red Bull is not going to ‘give you wings’ and will only lead to ulcers and indigestion.

University Gym: 

Most universities have their own gymnasiums on campus, which offer a range of exercise options for students. Your student identity card will grant you access to the facilities, check with the administrative officer if you are required to pay any extra fees to use the gym. Train with fellow students who can offer you company and listen to the instructions given by the fitness trainers. Do not over-do the training and pull a ligament or tear a muscle. If there is a swimming pool, sign up for swimming lessons. Swimming is a great exercise that keeps one fit. If yoga classes are offered, sign up for some yoga lessons and find inner peace.

Cycling and Walking:

If you live close to your campus then consider cycling or walking to your class rather than taking a bus or a cab. Both walking and cycling help you burn calories and are good for your health. Cities like Amsterdam have dedicated cycling tracks to encourage the use of the bicycle. Additionally, parking a bicycle does not occupy too much space!


Switch off the television, get dressed in casual wear and explore the local town with your friends on foot. Some universities that are located near the sea shore like the University of Sydney, Macquarie University, Pepperdine University and University of California - San Diego give students a chance to surfboard and go swimming into the sea! Institutions like the University of Arkansas, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Plymouth and University of Cumbria are located close to National Parks and offer a great experience to people who love to trek and explore Nature.


Consider joining one of the sports teams at your University. From football to cricket, basketball to table tennis; the options are many. Athletics also plays a major role in university sports. If you consider yourself a sprinter; try joining one of the running teams. If selected, following the fitness regimen prescribed by your sports coach will keep you hale and hearty. 

Stay in touch:

Stay in touch with your friends and family back home; do not let depression or home-sickness creep in and disrupt your studies. It is also important to make friends at University and participate in on-campus activities. Stay engaged with the perfect balance of studying and playing.

To conclude a peppy song by ‘Survivor’ that was popularised by Sylvester Stallone in ‘Rocky’ - ‘Eye of the Tiger’. So jump out of bed and get started on a fitness regime today! 

Eat well, sleep well, focus on your studies and exercise regularly; this should keep you fit and fine.

Do you have any tips on staying fit and healthy when studying abroad? Do share your tips in the ‘Comments’ section below.

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