Your years as international student are the best of your life

There are just a few weeks left before this crazy year ends.

I’ve heard international students saying they are wasting the best years of their lives because the pandemic happened while they are abroad studying.

Perhaps, Covid has altered your mood and to the point that you are not happy with the path you are walking, and because the situation makes you feel that the programs you are taking don’t add true value to your life because of the “lack” of job opportunities.

Here are 3 things you can do to challenge that mindset and build an exciting career in times of Covid:

1. Focus on what you can control

The pandemic is a reality and unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about it other than adapting to this new normal. Instead of thinking of what you cannot do, take the time that you have now to upgrade your skills to gain a competitive edge and stand out when looking for career opportunities. Identify skills you want to hone and use tools like LinkedIn Learning (provided by your college at no cost) to acquire those abilities. Add those keywords to your resume and LinkedIn profile so you appear on more recruiters’ searches.

2. Build relationships with your faculty

It is paramount that you build relationships with your faculty not only for you to enhance your learning experience but also to build a network within the profession you are pursuing. They can give you free career guidance since they are connected with your industry and know the ins and outs of it.

If you are actively involved, support them so they are able to run their classes effectively (remember they are also adjusting to a completely new reality of fully online learning), and see your drive, they will do their best to keep an eye on opportunities they can refer you to. Your professors are your allies who can help you navigate the fears you have regarding the progression of your career. Make sure you establish and cultivate strong relationships with them.

3. Keep your mental health on point

Right now we must strive for mental health. It must become our top priority because the challenges you face as an international student are different from the ones domestic students face. Your family is far away so you need to have a support network that you can resort to when things are not going right and you feel depleted. Learn how to keep your mental health on point by talking to your friends about the emotions you go through, and by using the counseling services available within your institution.

Ask for objective sources of help. Reach out to your network because there is no need for you to go through your struggle on your own.

Lastly, you don’t like your job? you don’t like the program you are currently enrolled in?

Take the wheel and start making changes – NOW!

Even in times of Covid, you can live the best years of your life as an international student because you will sail through this stronger and more equipped than ever before to face and tackle all the obstacles that life throws at you down the road.

Written by David Mendoza
Keep shining – Keep thriving
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