5 ways international students can effectively use this year′s holiday season

Christmas is fast approaching and while most thoughts turn to festive food and seeing friends and family, there are some simple ideas that can set you up for the year ahead. By using your time constructively and taking on a few of these tips, you can enjoy your Christmas knowing that you've also made some progress on getting yourself ready for a job at the end of university.

Apply for an internship
Use the next few weeks to make a positive impact on your career plan. Interested in taking up an internship next summer? Then try to make your applications while you have time off from university. Don't spend your entire holiday staring at applications, but the extra time without lectures could be used to get a head start on a great internship.

Try out some volunteering
Volunteering is a great way to gain extra experience and give something back to your community. Do some research into something you would enjoy, or that gives you extra work experience. Employers like to see that you can go the extra mile, and this is the perfect way to show them your dedication. Your break from university also means while you try some volunteering, your studies won’t be interrupted.

Research companies to work for
Research can take time, but what better opportunity to look into potential employers than when you are keeping warm inside this Christmas. Type the top employers in your industry into your search engine and see what comes up. Promotional videos, twitter activity and testimonials will help you find out more about a company and discover if it’s the right fit for your career. Have a look at the meet the employers section on the GradLink website. There you will find employers in your chosen region and can have quick access to their careers pages.

Update your CV
This is relevant whether in your first or last year of study. Even after one term at university, there will be something you can add to your CV. For example, research and writing skills learnt through assignments to show your analytical thinking. By adding to your CV as you go along, you can ensure it's always up to date and you haven't missed out any key skills.

Take some time for yourself
Don't forget that this time is also to relax! Spend time catching up with friends and family whether that’s in person or by Skype. Get outside for some exercise, watch your favourite TV show or anything else you enjoy doing. This time away from university is there to help you recharge and reconnect. Take some time out for some fun too so you can go back in the new year ready to take on the next challenge!

By Jen Garmston Published: Dec 07,2018