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How to Stay Motivated While Studying Abroad

By Dr Sam Elmais

Many people are searching in life. But what are they searching for? Some are searching for meaning, some for personal development, and others are searching on how to reach their maximum potential. During my journey of studying medicine in Europe, I experienced many setbacks and struggles. Staying on track was difficult but manageable hence I wrote this article for those who are currently going through a tough period in their lives.

Whether you’re a student, traveller or full time worker you should always strive for personal development and self-improvement. People, like yourself, who frequent sites such Trans4mind are already on the path to success because you have the right mind set. You’ve experienced life’s challenges, maybe more than others, but you’re determined to push yourself forward.

Find Your Life Purpose

It’s important that you have the big picture in your mind. You must work towards something. Imagine yourself swimming in the middle of the ocean. If you’re swimming aimlessly then you’re bound to get lost. If you’re swimming towards a target then you’ll have an idea of which direction to go, and the inspiration and motivation to swim.

Have a target and set your goal in life. Always imagine yourself in that scenario to sediment the idea of your goal in your mind. I’ve always wanted to study medicine; hence I would imagine myself as a successful doctor in a busy medical hospital. I urge you to do the same with your own goals. The subconscious mind is a powerful machine. If you train yourself to see your end goal then your mind will automatically begin to problem solve on how to reach it. Not every task is full of excitement but sometimes you have to go through hurdles to reach your end goal. Sometimes studying can be tedious and boring but you have to get through it. Imagining the final image of yourself as a prodigy in your profession will focus your mind on seeing the big picture. This way you won’t get so held back by the small little struggles.

Personal Strategic Plan

Nothing gets accomplished randomly. You must have a strategy, even if it’s just a rough outline. Start with having an idea, and then educate yourself on the methods of accomplishing this idea.

In the movies, the protagonist always travels abroad to a foreign country to seek words of wisdom from some wise old fella. See 50 Key Study Abroad Statistics & Facts to Know in 2022.

Nowadays, you have the internet at your fingertips. Anytime you feel like it, you can learn from an article like this, study from an online university course or read a book. There are no limits to educating yourself on almost any subject nowadays. Once you have found a suitable method, you should set out to achieve it. There are numerous methods to studying, especially when it comes to a demanding discipline like medicine, dentistry, or pharmacy.

Study with Structure


Try to approach studying in a logical way and by breaking it into smaller parts. Usually getting started is the toughest part. The reason people postpone important tasks is because they fear it. Whether it is the fear of failure, or the fear of the overwhelming amount to study – start studying anyway. Don’t think too much about it.

Coping with Stress

Fear is a dangerous emotion if you’re not in control of it because it leads to an unhealthy amount of stress. You can in fact use stress to increase your productivity. How, you ask? Well stress is simply a physiological reaction. You can channel the feelings of stress into motivating you to get on rather than keep procrastinating from studying. Don’t try to escape stress, use it to push yourself. I found that I studied hardest before exam deadlines, because I was worried and stressed about getting through my medical university course.


Train yourself to have the discipline to study regularly. Reading your course notes after class will allow the information to sink deeper into your mind. This would make your life easier when the time comes for taking the exam, because you won’t have a mountain of studying to do. Motivation is a feeling. It comes and goes, it’s not constant. Hence, you must focus more on being disciplined to get through the tedious studying that you must do. This way it becomes norm for your mind to accept the act of studying. Another way to discipline yourself is to hold yourself accountable. You can do this by explaining to somebody your targets for the day, such as a friend or parent.

Approach People and Make Friends

Being away from your home and family while you’re studying at university isn’t really easy. I chose to travel overseas to Romania to pursue my medical course; this was very far from home for me. Travelling to study at a university in a different country or city can be tough. My advice to you is to surround yourself with new hard working friends, otherwise you’ll start to lose motivation and feel deflated. I always advise students to spend as much time socialising in their first week of school or university, because this is the easiest time to make new friends. During your first few days or weeks you should never eat alone, always invite someone over with the spirit of happiness and friendliness. People and their vibrations are contagious. Having companions is essential for your spiritual development, personal growth and general health. Being surrounded with students like yourself will give you the energy and motivation to push forward as a team during your course.

Final Words of Wisdom

“The price of excellence is discipline; the cost of mediocrity is disappointment” - William Arthur Ward.

Discipline is more important than motivation. Once you’re in the habit of studying and working hard it’ll become the norm for you and you don’t have to constantly be searching for motivation. Always strive for brilliance.

Dr Sam ElmaisAbout the Author:
Dr Sam Elmais, M.D. is a British doctor who graduated from Craiova Medical University in Romania. Sam specialised in Internal Medicine. Sam has over 6 years of experience in guiding and advising international students about their options of studying medicine abroad and in Europe.
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