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Staying Healthy While Studying Abroad: Tips for Indian Students

Expert Reviewed

Written by  Sujen Kumar, PGDM

Reviewed by  Priyanka Bhargava, MBA - Marketing and HR

Published on Thu, May 25, 2023 8:40 AM   Updated on Wed, May 24, 2023 9:43 PM   22 mins read

Studying and staying abroad is one golden chance for Indian students. But every coin has two sides. 

Studying abroad offers the opportunity to explore new cultures, gain knowledge, and develop valuable life skills. It also comes with cons, especially the hustle, and bustle of adjusting to a new environment, which can impact the student’s physical and mental health. 

For a successful academic journey, having good health is essential, especially when living hundreds of kilometers away from your family.

So lets discuss tips for Indian students to stay healthy while studying Abroad. 

1. Consume Nutritious Diet

Consume Nutritious Diet
Source: Canva

While studying abroad can be demanding, balancing academics and cooking can become burdensome. Opting for simple, planned recipes is the easiest way to prepare meals. Advanced meal preparation saves time and fosters creativity.

If cooking is challenging, utilize YouTube for guidance. Maintaining a well-structured eating schedule is essential. 

For a nutritious diet, prioritize carbohydrates, proteins, and fibers, incorporating lentils, rice, pasta, soups, green vegetables, and fruits. Begin with a healthy breakfast like a smoothie with bananas, strawberries, or frozen berries. Have a protein-rich snack mid-morning to stabilize blood sugar levels and boost energy. 

Enjoy a substantial lunch, including carbohydrates and salads, while aiming to eat dinner at least two hours before bedtime.  

2. Cook for yourself

Cook for yourself
Source: Canva

Staying in shape while traveling can be challenging, particularly when navigating the local cuisine. Although there may be a temptation to sample everything, keep in mind that your lengthy stay will provide plenty of opportunities. There’s no need to complete everything within the first few weeks.

Preparing your meals at home rather than eating out regularly is wise because it can be costly and unhealthy. However, cooking for oneself need not imply skipping out on authentic regional cuisine. 

Seek out nearby farmer’s markets and fully immerse yourself in the culinary delights of your host country. Interestingly, healthier options like fruits and veggies often come at a lower cost compared to indulging in pain au chocolat, focaccia, crêpes, and kebabs. By opting for these healthier alternatives, you maintain your well-being and save money.

3. Stay Hydrated

Stay Hydrated
Source: Canva

Our bodies consist of 60% water by weight, emphasizing the importance of not neglecting water consumption or replacing it with carbonated drinks, tea, or coffee. Staying hydrated is crucial for self-care. 

Carrying a water bottle and sipping water consistently throughout the day is recommended. Fatigue and headaches can be indicators of dehydration.

Here are some of the benefits of staying hydrated:

  • Water impacts brain function and boosts energy levels.
  • Aid in alleviating headaches.
  • Promote relief from constipation.
  • Assist in the treatment of kidney stones.
  • Maintain proper hydration levels.

4. Include workouts in your routine

Include workouts in your routine
Source: Canva

You can explore various entertaining YouTube videos and start following an exercise routine from the comfort of your home. This allows you to burn calories and also save money. Exercise is essential for maintaining fitness and improving mood. 

It doesn’t always have to involve going to the gym; you can opt for a brisk walk or cycle to your college/university. It could be a perfect opportunity to reconnect with a sport you enjoyed as a child. 

Joining a club can help you make new friends and stay motivated. Regular exercise guarantees better sleep, akin to how babies sleep peacefully. This leads us to our next point.

Regular exercisers experience a range of benefits, including:

  • Enhanced physical fitness.
  • Find a workout partner to share fitness goals and plans.
  • Improved mental health, mood, and cognitive function.
  • Increased muscle mass, bone density, and physical performance.
  • Effective weight management and boosting metabolism.
  • Elevated energy levels and reduced muscle fatigue.

5. Give proper sleep to your body

Give proper sleep to your body
Source: Canva

Ensuring adequate sleep can refresh you, and incorporating a face mask during naps can rejuvenate your skin and promote relaxation. Sleep deprivation has more detrimental effects than commonly perceived, leading to fatigue and headaches. 

Extended periods without sleep can impact mood, causing irritability and, in severe cases, hallucinations. As a student, aiming for a minimum of eight hours of sleep is crucial for optimal functioning. 

Even short naps can make a significant difference, though napping during class should be cautiously approached. While the pressures of a new lifestyle and assignments may be overwhelming, it’s essential to prioritize mental rest for optimal performance.

“Sleep hygiene” refers to cultivating healthy habits to maintain a balanced lifestyle. Sufficient sleep allows for mental and physical recovery from stress. The nightlife of foreign cities may entice students to study abroad, but finding a balance that promotes overall well-being is essential.

Here are some suggestions for establishing a healthy sleep routine:

  • Set a consistent sleep schedule and stick to it.
  • Adopt the “early to bed, early to rise” approach.
  • Minimize screen time before bedtime, as the blue light emitted by electronic devices can disrupt sleep.
  • Avoid consuming heavy meals and liquids close to bedtime to aid digestion.
  • Create a dark, cool, and quiet sleep environment for optimal comfort.

6. Avoid Unhealthy Addictions like Smoking and Drinking

Avoid Unhealthy Addictions
Source: Canva

While alcohol consumption is generally acceptable in many foreign countries, it is essential to consume it in moderation to avoid adverse effects on one’s health. The effects of excessive alcohol use can be harmful to the body and the psyche. Although some students might view smoking as a stress reliever, smoking harms the body more than other drugs. Avoiding cigarettes is a valuable tip for maintaining good health and fitness while studying abroad.

Unfortunately, students and young individuals often fall into unhealthy habits such as smoking and excessive drinking. These substances can cause significant damage to physical health, ultimately affecting academic performance and overall lifestyle.

To lead a healthy lifestyle while studying abroad, it is essential to follow these steps:

  • Dedicate yourself to giving up unhealthy habits.
  • Cultivate determination and willpower to initiate change.
  • Determine the causes of your harmful behavior, considering physical and psychological triggers.
  • Set realistic and attainable short-term goals.
  • Ask for help from people in your community or your peers.

Learn about alternate pursuits that can divert your focus from bad habits.

Keep your motivation high by frequently reminding yourself of the reasons you set out to break these bad behaviors in the first place.

7. Go for Regular Checkups

Go for Regular Checkups
Source: Canva

Annual health checkup camps organized by institutions, including colleges and universities in many countries, should not be ignored. These camps often provide free checkup facilities, making it beneficial for students to participate. 

By attending these camps, individuals can identify any potential illnesses or diseases at an early stage, allowing for timely intervention and treatment. Taking advantage of these health checkup camps is highly recommended to prioritize one’s well-being and maintain good health.

8. Use your health insurance

Use your health insurance
Source: Canva

The Affordable Care Act enables ACA-compliant plans, including Student Cover health insurance for Indian US students, to pay for counseling and treatment costs for preventative healthcare. 

Student Cover plans provide 100% coverage for treatment costs. Preventive healthcare plays a vital role in addressing health issues at an early stage, preventing them from developing into more severe illnesses or diseases.

There are several benefits of ACA policy:

  • Essential Health Benefits: The essential health benefits that ACA insurance plans must offer include maternity care, prescription medicines, preventive care, mental health services, and more. 
  • Pre-existing Condition Coverage: The ACA ensures that people with health difficulties can still acquire insurance by forbidding insurance companies from refusing coverage or raising rates based on pre-existing diseases.
  • Coverage for Young Adults: Young adults can continue to be covered under their parent’s health policies until they turn 26 according to the Affordable Care Act, giving them security when they may be studying, starting a profession, or looking into other options.
  • Medicaid Expansion: Millions of low-income individuals and families who may not have previously qualified for Medicaid now have access to coverage because the ACA expanded Medicaid eligibility in participating states.
  • Prohibition of Lifetime and Annual Limits: Essential health benefits cannot have lifetime or yearly caps under ACA insurance policies. Because of this, those with serious medical needs are guaranteed ongoing access to essential care without worrying about going over their insurance’s limits.

9. Socialise

Source: Canva

In addition to maintaining physical fitness, it is crucial to prioritize your psychological well-being. Cultivating a healthy social life plays a significant role in preventing depression. Therefore, engaging in socializing actively with your academic endeavors is essential. Spending time with peers rejuvenates your mind and helps you stay focused on your studies and career aspirations.

10. Follow a routine

Follow a routine
Source: Canva

While the internet provides ample information on student routines, it’s important to remember that routines should be personalized and tailored to individual preferences and needs. Not every student can or will wake up at 5 am and go for a run.

Consider your everyday activities, especially those that are recurring, including sleeping, eating, attending classes, and other commitments, before building a pattern. These tasks work as the cornerstones of your routine.

Create a simpler routine that includes these fundamental tasks, then progressively add to it. You can stay motivated and adjust to the new schedule more easily if you start with a manageable routine. As you grow accustomed to the first routine, you can add new activities or change the schedules to suit your interests and objectives better.

Remember, creating a routine that works for you and supports your overall well-being and academic success is key.

Wrapping Up

Staying Healthy While Studying Abroad
Source: Canva

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial for students’ overall well-being, both mentally and physically, especially when studying abroad. Even with comprehensive health insurance coverage, it is essential not to underestimate the importance of personal health. 

Students should prioritize avoiding harmful substances and adopting regular exercise routines to ensure their bodies remain fit and in good condition.

You can make the most of this experience and develop memorable memories while accomplishing your academic and personal goals by prioritizing your mental and physical health. 

Take care of yourself, embrace the journey, and enjoy every moment of your study abroad adventure.

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Frequently Asked Questions 

How can I adapt to the climate and weather changes while studying abroad?

The environment and weather could differ from what you’re used to, depending on where you’re going. Ensure you dress suitably for the weather and have clothing for all four seasons.

How can I manage my sleep schedule while studying abroad?

The health of your entire body depends on maintaining a regular sleep routine. Organize your day to get enough sleep each night, aiming for 7-8 hours. By keeping the room calm and dark, you can create a sleeping-friendly environment in your lodging.

How should I maintain a healthy diet while studying abroad?

Even though it can be challenging to maintain a good diet while studying abroad, it is crucial for your general well-being. When planning your meals, try to include a mix of fruits, vegetables, nutritious grains, and lean proteins.

About the Author & Expert


Sujen Kumar

Author • PGDM • 9+ Years

Sujen Kumar is a Senior Admissions Manager at AdmitKard. Sujen started his career as a visa officer in the People's Republic of China. During his tenure, he successfully processed visas for thousands of applicants. He has successfully placed students in all top groups, including Ivy League, Group 8, TU9, universities listed in Maclean's, UCs, etc., with scholarships. His academic background includes a UG degree from Patna University, and he completed his postgraduate studies in Chinese Studies from JNU. He aims to create an ecosystem that empowers counselors to assist students and provide more accessible and affordable services to students from underrepresented communities, such as low-income and first-generation students, to secure admission to their dream universities with minimal mental exertion.


Priyanka Bhargava

Expert • MBA - Marketing and HR • 13+ Years

Priyanka possesses more than 13 years of extensive experience. Having pursued a Master's in International Business from a reputed university abroad, she has first-hand insight into the entire gamut of the study abroad admissions process. She has collaborated extensively with all categories of study abroad aspirants be it for Undergrad, Master’s (technical and non-technical), MBA, MPH and PhD. She boasts of an impeccable university placement record, including top-notch global universities such as Stanford, UPenn, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UCSD, Cambridge, and several others. She has an overall perspective of the admissions process of countries such as the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Singapore, Hong Kong, European Union.

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