Professional Wellness

Professional wellness, (also known as occupational wellness), empowers us to prepare for and pursue academic and career options in which we gain personal satisfaction and enrichment. Cultivating your professional wellness results in an ability to optimize the balance between work and personal life, reducing and preventing stress. Exploring and participating in global programming can help you optimize your professional wellness today and in the future. 

While this section is focused on professional wellness, we encourage  you to approach  your global experience holistically--or  whole-istically. Ideally your takeaways from the experience will impact  all of the dimensions of wellness in some way.

Professional Wellness Tips 

  • Set mini goals to help you keep motivated to work towards what you want.
  • Create connections with other students and/or colleagues. 
  • Avoid over working yourself and focus on finding a work/life balance.
  • Invest in your school work. 
  • Practice implementing time management skills (it may take some trial and error). 
  • Don’t compare yourself to other people. Professional wellness is about doing what you love and we are all unique.
  • Look for students with similiar interest, hobbies, budgets and goals as you.
  • Unplug from technology.
  • Spend time on your hobbies.
  • Do work that you find interesting and rewarding. 
  • Consider journaling/documenting your experience to help capture your passions, dislikes, mentor advice, etc. 

Before your program you will want to prepare for new challenges and opportunities within your academics and work. You might find that you have to reevaluate your time management and organizational skills in your new academic/professional environment or find a new passion that you want to explore. Use the resources below to prepare for your program. 

Setting goals for yourself and checking in on those goals can help you priortize the experience. We know that developing goals for your program can be daunting - especially when you have no idea what to expect. Be realistic about what you might be able to accomplish in the time you will be on your program. If you will study a foreign language abroad, you may not come back perfectly fluent in the target language, but you can build significantly on existing skills. 


Student Affairs Occupational Wellness Resources* - Pitts resources to develop occupational wellness, including the career center.

University of California Guide to SMART Goals - How-to guide to SMART goals.


My Study Life - Get prepared & organize your classes, tasks and exams.

2doapp - -Time management tool for the visual learner. It organizes your tasks using color coding so that you can distinguish tasks by type (school, work, personal). iOS and Android.

Articles and Blogs

Study-Work-Life Balance of International Students in the Context of Temporal Boundaries – Interdisciplinary Studies in Education Journal research on study-work-life balance. (free pdf download)

Connecting Study Abroad to Career Development – Terra Dotta article on the positive impact of international educational experiences and career development. 

How to Keep a Work-Life Balance Abroad – I Am Expat article focused on finding a balance abroad. 

How Study Abroad Will Help Your Career – GoAbroad article exploring professional development and employability after study abroad.

Vlogs, Videos and Podcasts

Work-Life Balance – The School of Life’s animated video on the difficulties of work-life balance. (3m15s) 

Study Abroad Vlog – A students vlog on selecting classed abroad, learning and exploring balance during her study abroad experience in Lyon, France. (11m24s)


Work-life balance varies greatly among cultures. Global programs can be an opportunity to explore different approaches and perspectives to academic and professional workloads as well as to reflect on academic and employment opportunities that would be holistically fulfilling. While on your program, it is a great opportunity to learn about different cultures professional wellness in a global context and try to implement best practices for a successful experience. 


Career Center* - Pitts Career Center - explore your passions, values and goals, even while on your program.


My Study Life - Get prepared & organize your classes, tasks and exams.

Shapr Networking - Professional networking app, which uses an algorithm to suggest professionals with matching interests and similar professional goals Available iOS and Android. Global App. 

HabitBull – Smart tracker app to help with build new habits or break bad habits. The app has a community forum feature to stay connected. Available for iOS and Android.

Articles and Blogs

Occupational Wellness – Northern Michigan University’s “Wildcat Wellness Connection” newsletter focused on Occupational Wellness.

How To Achieve The Perfect Study-life Balance – International Education Consultancy tips for finding balance abroad. 

The Art of Balancing Work and Play While Studying Abroad – GoAbroad blog with tips to successfully balance academics and socializing while on your program. 

Vlogs, Videos and Podcasts

Work Life Balance - How to Balance Between Work and Your Personal life – Animated video exploring how to be healthy and successful in finding work-life balance. 



After your program, rather you’re about to graduate or have several more semesters of academics, it’s important to reflect on how your program and what you’ve learned will contribute to finding enrichment through your work. The resources below can help facilitate reflection and action for professional wellness after your program. 

Global experiences are not only a great opportunity to fulfill academic needs, but they also prepare you for your future career by helping you build and develop transferable skills. Common transferrable skills developed on study abroad programs include interpersonal and cross-cultural communication, organization, problem-solving, adaptability, patience and leadership to name a few. A study abroad experience prepares you for the workforce and will be a perfect topic of conversation in an interview.



Study Abroad and Career Development – AIFS student guide to study abroad & career implications, including career connections, marketing your experience and your career toolkit. 

Student Affairs* - After your program you might have a new passion or interest - explore opportunities to get involved in student organizations, leadership opportunities and community engagement. 

Office of Cross Cultural and Leadership Development (CCLD)* - A hub of campus activity that advises student organizations on campus, provides leadership development opportunities, and offer dynamic programming in the areas of diversity and culture, social justice, and more.

PittServes* - Enhance your personal growth and development by providing meaningful opportunities for service and reflection.


Shapr Networking - Professional networking app, which uses an algorithm to suggest professionals with matching interests and similar professional goals. Available on iOS and Android. 

Articles and Blogs

Does Study Abroad Experience Lead to Better Work-Life Balance? – AIFS blog on exploring how your global experience shaped your view of vacation time.

Vlogs, Videos and Podcasts

8 TED Talks About Work/Life Balance That'll Change the Way You Think – Hubspot blog with 8 Ted Talks on work/life balance.