Maintaining a balanced diet and getting the right amount of exercise and sleep will help you feel your best and stay energised.
The Australian Guide to Healthy eating lists food in five basic food groups that we need to eat every day to be healthy.
- Bread, cereals, rice, pasta and noodles
- Milk, yoghurt, cheese
- Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts and legumes
There are also extra foods or ‘sometimes’ foods that include biscuits, cakes, soft drink, pies, sausage rolls and potato chips. It’s important for your good health that you don’t eat too many of these.
For more information about how much of these foods you should eat every day, visit
Eat for Health.
Being active and exercising every day can lead to a longer and healthier life, strengthen bones and muscles, improve mood and sleep, relieve stress and more. Being active is also a great way to meet new people, so consider joining a sports club or trying a new activity.
The Queensland Government recommends that kids and teenagers should try to exercise for at least 60 minutes each day. For more information read about
If you don’t get enough sleep, you might find yourself feeling forgetful and irritable. Getting enough sleep will help you feel refreshed, energised and ready to face any challenge. Tips to ensure you are getting quality sleep include:
- going to bed and waking up at the same time every day
- avoiding things that might keep you awake (such as the light from your computer or phone before bedtime)
- getting enough exercise and some sunlight during the day.
Your teachers will encourage you to work in teams, contribute to classroom discussions and learn independently. Your school assessments might include exams, assignments, oral presentations and group work. You will be given a lot of support to meet your study goals but if you ever feel worried about your school work it is important that you speak with your teacher and international staff to make sure you get the help you need.
How to prepare for exams and assignments
Start studying and preparing for assessments at school: Good study techniques begin in the classroom before you even know an assessment has been set. Take good notes when your teacher shares information during class. If you miss something or are feeling unsure, see your teacher after class and ask for more information.
Prepare your study area: To give yourself the best chance of studying, you need to create a quiet and private space to work. It might be in your bedroom or another room at home, but it could also be in the school or local library. Make sure you have enough light and all you need at your fingertips so you can focus on the task at hand.
Plan when to study: It’s best if you start with a plan in place. Think about how much time you need to give to each subject or topic. Studying at the same time each day helps to set a routine, and it’s important to set aside a specific amount of time to study each day. It’s often easier to begin your study session with the hardest subjects when you’re most alert, and to leave the easier subjects for later.
Make sure you prepare and clearly understand the type of assessment you have to complete: Study for the type of exam. Your teacher will usually tell you ahead of time the type of exam you’ll be taking. Adapt your study to suit the exam. For example, if it will be filled with multiple choice questions, make sure you know the facts and details. If it’s an essay, try and think of some possible essay topics and figure out how you might answer those. If it’s maths or science, do lots of practice problems. Your teacher will provide you with all the steps you need to complete your assignments, so make sure you follow these steps carefully. Your teachers will also support you and provide guidance on how to research and structure your written and oral assignments.
Minimise distractions and procrastination: It’s easy to find a reason not to study. While there will be times when something unexpected gets in the way, it’s important to try to stick to your plan. So put your phone away, press play on your favourite playlist (if you like studying with music) and put yourself in your quiet and private study space and focus on the task at hand.
How to handle stress
Learning new things is exciting, but it can also bring a certain amount of stress, especially when you’re aiming for a great result. A little bit of stress will help you stay focussed and motivated but too much stress will make it harder for you to concentrate and remember information. Reduce stress while studying by following these tips:
Work in short bursts: For every hour you study, work hard for the first 45 minutes and then take a 15-minute break.
Exercise, get enough sleep and eat well: Exercising boosts blood flow to the brain. Getting enough sleep and eating well improves your ability to concentrate and remember information.
Ask for help if you need it: No one expects you to understand everything straight away. Ask your classmates or your teachers for help if you need it or join a study group.
Resilience is the ability to cope when things go wrong. It includes dealing with challenges, standing up for yourself and getting things back on track after a difficult time. Some things that help build resilience include asking yourself:
- What can I do to get back on track?
- I can’t control everything, so what is in my control?
- Can I change something I’m doing to make things better?
- What can I learn from this?
- Who can help?
- How can I move forward?
Know what makes a good friend and look for the signs: If you meet someone who seems kind and doesn’t judge you or doesn’t put others down or talk behind their backs, then you’re off to a good start.
Get involved in things that interest you: Whether it’s a sports club, music group or something else, if you join in things that interest you then you’re likely to meet people who share the same interests as you.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions: It’s often easier to ask questions than to answer them. So if you meet someone new, ask them about their favourite movies, sports they watch or play, and their family. It’s an easy way to get to know them.
Always speak to your homestay coordinator if you have any questions or worries about your homestay experience. We want your homestay experience to be the best it can be. Here are some tips to help make that happen.
Say please and thank you: Sometimes it’s the simple things that mean the most. Be generous with the gratitude.
Know the rules: You’re not only living in a new country, you’re living in a new home with rules that might be different to the rules you’re used to. Find out what rules apply to you.
Lend a helping hand: Whether it’s clearing dishes from the table or keeping your room clean, it’s important that you contribute to the everyday tasks that the family does.
Don’t be shy: It’s natural to take some time to settle into your homestay experience, however, asking questions and getting involved in conversations will make for a more rewarding stay.