Education Loans

How To Spend Your Semester Vacation Productively

May is right around the corner and university students will be on vacation. Find out some productive ways for students in Singapore to spend their time before the next academic school year.

This year your semester vacation shouldn't be derailed by the pandemic. Although school is out and tests are done, it doesn't mean your productivity has to stop. There are several things students in Singapore can do to enjoy their 12-week vacation and be productive. For many university students, your vacation will begin in early May and end in late July. This is an excellent time to dust off some old goals and plans to complete before the new academic school year begins.

Get a Professional Certificate

Starting a class that will earn you a professional certificate can set you apart from your peers. Not only do these classes tend to be more practical than a university programme, but you also get to add to your CV to better position yourself for future internships and jobs.

With the extra free time you have, you can knock out a professional certificate at your pace. Although it is an impressive challenge, make it a goal to finish at least one certificate entirely during your vacation.

Although an investment for your future, it also might be more expensive than you bargained for. Going through a local university may qualify you for low interest education loans. Make sure to do your research and do a cost/benefit analysis of the certificates you are interested in before enrolling.

Learn a Foreign Language

Three months may not seem like a long time, but you would be surprised how quickly you could learn a language. FSI (US Foreign Service Institute) divides languages into groups of difficulty. They suggest that if you were to spend 10 hours a day learning a new language, you could achieve basic fluency in 48 days for easier languages and up to 72 days for more difficult languages.

If we compare the cost of just 20 hours of adult French language classes in Singapore, structured courses can be expensive for a student.

Comparison of costs of French language classes

After seeing these prices, you shouldn't give up on learning a new language just yet. There are alternative ways to learn a language while not hurting your wallet. There are free language learning apps, language exchange apps, and meetup groups specifically for learning new languages. However, there are advantages to attending and studying a language in a structured course. So consider mixing and matching available resources around you to learn a new language fast.

Go To the Gym and Workout

This is the season to get into the shape you've always been telling yourself you wanted. We've all seen the friend who came back from vacation looking completely different. You can surprise yourself with how much you can change your body in 2-3 months.

Make a plan and prepare for not only your workout schedule but your diet. If the gym intimidates you, this is a perfect opportunity to talk to a personal trainer and dietician to customise a workout schedule and meal plan that works for you. Not only does this make exercising less intimidating, but it will give you a clear goal that will see you to the finish line.

During Phase Three of opening up Singapore, gyms are now operating with specific guidelines to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. Make sure to follow safe social distancing guidelines and get into shape.

Get Ahead in Your Future Career

Similar to our first tip, look for internships or part-time jobs that will enhance your future career. If you aren't sure of what you want to do after graduation, take this as an opportunity to explore some career interests that you might have.

Make a quick appointment with your career advisor at school before your semester is over. They are there to walk you through and explore different career paths. Not only this, but they likely have a host of internship and employment resources available for you to take advantage of this vacation.

At the very least, you will save some much-needed pocket money to use on your next date or to save toward a major purchase. Who knows, you might find the perfect career for you.

Stephen Lee

Stephen Lee is a Senior Research Analyst at ValueChampion, specializing in insurance. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from the University of Washington, and his prior work experience include risk management and underwriting for professional liability and specialty insurance at Victor Insurance. Additionally, Stephen is a former US Peace Corps Volunteer in Myanmar (serving between 2018-2020), where he continues to provide business development consulting services to HR companies in Asia Pacific.