Five Essential Study Habits For Studying Abroad

In the pursuit of academic excellence, mastering effective study habits is paramount for students abroad. To thrive in the rigorous academic environment of UK universities, it is crucial to adopt strategies that optimise learning and productivity. In this article, we will explore five essential study habits tailored to the unique challenges and demands of higher education in the UK. Whether you are a fresher embarking on your university journey or a seasoned student seeking to enhance your study routine, these insights will prove invaluable in your quest for success.

Table of Contents

5 essential study habits

1. Create a note-taking system

With an average of 4-6 subjects and twelve lectures a semester, you’ll want to make sure that you have a system for your note-taking.

Top tip: while note-taking, you do not have to type out everything that you hear. Your lecturer is likely to make their lecture slides available so there is plenty of information that you can download later. Focus instead on what your lecturer or tutor is explaining and summarise what they’re saying before you type it out – this will save you time later when you’re revising.

You could try out note-taking programmes and you can even collaborate with your classmates to take better notes! Simply open up a Google Docs or Google Sheet document for each class, make it available to your friends, and you could all take notes together to make sure that nobody misses out on anything important.

2. Study early and regularly

Do not underestimate the amount of work you’ll face in an undergraduate programme! Twelve weeks of lectures plus mandatory readings and other worksheets will quickly pile up if you don’t do your studying and homework on a regular basis.

You’ll want to do your readings and other work from the very first week of classes – not only does this lessen your workload later, but this also ensures that you fully understand your lectures and tutorials.

Take full advantage of reading weeks to catch up on your readings and complete any pending assignments or tutorial work. It will get much harder to stay on top of your work if you don’t use your time wisely.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Most subjects should have a tutorial session that’s meant to help you understand the material better. Make full use of it! Don’t be afraid to ask questions during or after the tutorial. Tutorials tend to be where you’re taught by showing, rather than telling, which is more effective at helping you understand the subject.

Alternatively, there are other resources available too. Don’t be afraid to ask your librarian for extra reading materials related to your subject. You could also ask your classmates to explain something to you too – not only does it help you, but it can also help them revise and understand the subject in a more in-depth manner.

4. Form discussion groups with friends

Speaking of friends, one of the best ways to learn is by discussing reading material with others. There is only so much you can understand on your own, as you’re approaching a subject from your singular perspective.

Talk to others about a lecture or reading. Did you notice something that the lecturer didn’t mention? Maybe you feel a certain way about the topic. Why not discuss these with your classmates? They may lend an interesting perspective to the subject that you may have missed and never considered.

Trading readings with your classmates can also be effective – perhaps one of you found a concise article that summarised a lecture well. Be sure to share it!

5. Read, read a lot

You should expect to read a lot if you’re about to attend a UK university. Most universities will produce research, so students are expected to be well-versed in their subject and publish a dissertation or final year paper.

Not only should you complete your mandatory readings, but you should also try to find articles and other reading material that could give you a better understanding and perspective on the subject. It’s not enough to do the bare minimum if you want to have a good grasp of your subjects.

One way you could get through readings quickly is by using a text-to-speech plugin and listening to your readings while you do chores and other mindless tasks. You could also write notes about your readings and share them with your friends – this might help with difficult readings.

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