Allow me to introduce myself first. My name is Paranee, from Thailand. I had the opportunity to go to New Zealand as an international student last year. I applied for a 20-week General English course at CCEL College of English, which has schools in Auckland and Christchurch. I studied at the central Auckland campus.
I’d like to share my own personal tips on how to balance a part-time job while study. For those who are in a similar situation to me – need to work a part-time job in order to save some money and want to gain work experience in NZ – I hope you find the following tips helpful.
1. Where you live is important
In the beginning, I used to live a long way from the city centre, where my school was located. To get to school from home was not too difficult but getting back home from the restaurant I worked at part-time in was very tiring. I had to take two buses, which took around 1.15 hrs. However, from mid-February until my last week at school, I lived in a flat in the city centre, only 7 minutes walk to school and much nearer my place of work. I saved a lot of time and energy and had more chances to hang out with friends. Triple the benefits!
2. Choose the right school and place to work
My school truly understood students’ needs and treated us as individuals. After two months working in the restaurant after classes, and finishing very late at night, I finally found a better job. I asked for advice from the School Principal since my new workplace only opened during the day. On the school's advice, and to fit in with my new job, I moved to an evening class which didn’t finish too late. My last manager had also been very considerate. She knew that my class started at 5pm so she made sure that my schedule and class hours didn’t overlap.
3. Work out the best routine
Personally, I found doing homework in the early morning, right after I woke up, was the most efficient. Sometimes I did it during the hours before class. Even on my day off, I still went to school and did extra exercises in the “Self Study” room. I found I could learn more English there than at home in my flat.
4. Stay focused and prioritise tasks
I often played on my mobile phone in class at the beginning, or sometimes thought about homework during work. Later, I learned that multitasking is a waste of time. It was much more effective to do one thing at a time.
5. Reward yourself
After days of working hard, you need to reward yourself. Find “real” relaxing time (no more study or work). For me, I loved to trek, swim or just sit in a lovely café on weekends. During the tiring day, I often bought myself a favourite drink such as a soy flat white. It really made my day and lifted my spirits.