Studying abroad is an exciting adventure, but it's not without its challenges, especially when juggling mental health and academic responsibilities.

Many students face the tough task of adapting to a new culture while keeping up with their studies, which can be stressful. 

In this blog, we'll dive into some helpful tips for international students to balance mental health and academic pressure.

Coping with New Environments and Expectations

Statistic: Percentage of mental health clinicians who stated select issues were the top concerns of their college student patients during the 2021-2022 academic school year | Statista

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Did you know that about 41% of students studying abroad feel pretty anxious? That's what the American Psychological Association found, and it's mostly because of getting used to new places and tough schoolwork. It's a big deal to step into a whole new world and keep up with your grades at the same time.

Let's talk about Maria from Italy, who went to study in the USA. At first, she was really feeling the pressure – new country, new ways of doing things, and the classes were no joke either. But then, she joined a study group in her student housing in Manhattan and got involved in some cultural activities. 

This didn't just help her with her studies; it also got her into the swing of things in Canada. She started feeling more at home and did way better in her classes too. It's all about finding your groove in that new world.

How to Manage Academic Stress?

A survey by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that over 50% of international students experience serious academic stress. It's a pretty common thing when you're trying to meet high expectations and handle a hefty workload in a totally new place.

Take Alex, for example. He's a student from Brazil studying engineering in Germany. The advanced curriculum and language barrier initially spiked his stress levels. But Alex didn't let that stop him. He started using time management apps to organize his study schedule and joined a language exchange club. 

Fast forward a bit, and Alex isn't just getting by – he's thriving in his classes and speaking German like a pro. It just goes to show, a little organization and some effort can really turn things around with academic stress.

Balancing Studies, Social Life, and Self-Care

A recent survey by the Global Education Digest reported that 60% of international students find balancing studies, social life, and self-care to be their biggest challenge. It's a tricky juggling act, trying to keep up with classes, make new friends, and also take care of yourself.

Let's look at Jenna's story. She's from South Korea, studying in the UK. At first, Jenna was all about her books – library, lectures, repeat. But she soon realized she was missing out on the fun part of being abroad. So, she started scheduling – study time in her student housing in Oxford, gym time, and time for weekend adventures with friends and she was saving up a lot of money through student discounts on food. It wasn't long before Jenna found her rhythm. 

She was acing her exams, exploring Australia, and feeling a whole lot happier. Jenna's experience is a great reminder that finding balance isn't just possible, it's essential for enjoying your time abroad

Recognizing Signs of Mental Health Issues

According to a study by the World Health Organization, nearly 35% of international students report signs of mental health issues like anxiety or depression. It's important to catch these signs early so you can get the help you need and keep your head above water.

Take Sarah, for example. She's from the UK and was studying in the US when she started feeling really overwhelmed. She wasn't into her hobbies anymore and started pulling back from her friends. Her friends noticed she was withdrawing and encouraged her to talk to a counselor. This step was a game-changer for Sarah. 

With professional help, she learned coping strategies and gradually got back on track. Sarah's story just goes to show how key it is to keep an eye out for those mental health red flags and to remember you're not alone in this.

Where to Find Help?

Statistic: Percentage of college students in the United States who stated select barriers kept them from seeking mental health assistance as of 2022 | Statista

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It's interesting to note that a survey by the Association for International Educators found that while 70% of international students feel stressed during their studies, only about 10% seek help from mental health services. Knowing where to find help can make a big difference in managing stress and mental health while studying abroad.

For example, there's Carlos, a student from Mexico studying in Spain. He was feeling super stressed and didn't know where to turn. Then he found out about the university's international student office, which connected him with counseling services and a support group of fellow international students. 

He got the support he needed and even made some new friends who were in the same boat. Carlos' experience shows that help is out there; you just need to know where to look, and taking that first step to reach out can really turn things around.


We hope this article helps you to identify and understand the tips to balance mental health and academic pressure.

Studying abroad is quite the adventure, and yes, it can get tricky balancing school work and staying mentally healthy. But with a few smart strategies and some good support, you've totally got this.

How can amber help you?

amber student Accommodation helps you secure accommodation of your choice on your study abroad journey. Having served 80 million students (and counting), amber is your one-stop shop for all your accommodation needs, with great choices for student housing. Download the AmberStudent app now to book an affordable home for your adventure.