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Student interview: Kristen from Christchurch

Posted on 17/10/2018 by

Kristen Reid is studying Level 4 while working at the YHA.

Welcome to a new feature on the Study From Home blog: student interviews.

This is your chance to learn more about what it’s like to Study From Home from people who are currently completing a qualification (or who have recently graduated).

First up, meet Kristen from Christchurch, a second-year student who is studying towards the New Zealand Certificate in Travel Level 4.

Below, she shares her story, tells us about her fantastic job with YHA, and shares some tips for future students.

SFH: What inspired you to Study From Home with ITC?

Kristen: I had been working in the industry for a year and decided I wanted to advance my career. I came from a totally different career background, but when that didn’t work out I moved on to tourism. A friend of mine was actually studying at the time and mentioned he was studying through ITC. I decided to give it a go.

Why did you choose to study travel and tourism?

I was fresh in the industry and didn’t have much knowledge as I came from a completely different industry. I wanted to know as much as I could. My mum was also a huge part of the reason why, I wanted to share my knowledge with her like she has done about the world for me!

What is your dream job?

This time last year I would of told you working for a travel agency selling international products – but now, as cliche as it sounds I have to say it’s my current job. I work for the Youth Hostel Association New Zealand, selling products for inbound tourism. Most of the time it’s also for tourists who are in my age bracket, which makes understanding their needs easy as generally they are like-minded people. It’s amazing and I love every minute of it. Helping people who are coming to our beautiful country is the best part! It also helps that YHA is an amazing place to work.

What do you find most enjoyable about studying from home so far?

Learning at my own pace. I’ve definitely benefited from this. I struggled to keep up at school as I always found it hard in subjects that weren’t art related. So studying from home was the best option. Also being able to study when I was ready was awesome too. There are obviously time limits to when topics are due etc but it worked around my life not the other way around!

What do you find challenging about studying from home?

Self motivation. It’s hard to stay motivated sometimes especially when you work full time as well as study (like myself). It does take a lot of motivation to keep going, but it’s well and truly worth it when you get the results for working hard.

Do you have any tips for students who are thinking about studying from home?

Do it! You will not regret gaining more knowledge! Gaining industry knowledge will only help you grow as a employee and also as a person.

Inspired by Kristen’s story? Study From Home has qualifications starting on October 22 – get in touch to register your interest.

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Could studying before sleep make you smarter?

Posted on 10/10/2018 by

Research suggests that studying before sleep could help you remember more information.

Most people choose to study in the morning when they are fresh and well-rested.

But could studying before you go to bed make you smarter?

According to an article in Lifehacker, several studies suggest that studying before you go to sleep – be it for the night or for a nap – can help your brain retain more information.

The idea is that sleep helps your brain form new connections.

“If you want to cement new knowledge in your brain, recent sleep research demonstrates that a good night’s sleep following your studies has a significant impact on your ability to retain information,” the article reads.

There is only one way to find out if this technique works for you: give it a try!

Next time you’re struggling to remember something, write it out a few times on a piece of paper right before you go to sleep. Then see how much you remember when you wake up.

This study technique will likely come as good news for people who study after work or late at night – for example, when the kids are asleep.

Sometimes when you study from home, you have to fit in study whenever you can – and that’s not always first thing in the morning when you’re feeling rested.

At least now you know that your brain can still retain important information at the end of the day. 

Next time you fall into bed exhausted after a study session, just think: your brain will be doing lots of hard work forming new connections when you sleep.

Even sleep makes us smarter. Pretty cool, right?

Just don’t forget that quality of sleep is important, so try to follow these simple tips for getting a good night’s rest:

  • Avoid looking at a screen at least one hour before bedtime (this includes phones, laptops, TV). If you’re studying, use a pen and paper instead.
  • Avoid caffeine or sugar too late in the day. Have a soothing chamomile tea before bed.
  • If you have trouble relaxing before bed, listen to some relaxation music or download a free meditation app like Headspace.
  • Keep a pen and paper by your bed to write down any anxieties if your busy brain is keeping you awake. Writing down your worries can help you to relax and ‘switch off’.
  • Read a few pages of a ‘boring’ book – that’s almost guaranteed to help you drift off.

 

For more tips on getting a good night’s sleep, read our blog 5 Tips For A Good Night’s Sleep.

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Music to study by: Five Spotify playlists to try

Posted on 03/10/2018 by

Listening to music while you study can improve concentration and help you focus.

Ever noticed how quiet the house can seem when you’re studying from home? Just you, your thoughts, and maybe the distant hum of the fridge to keep you company.

No wonder studying can make you feel sleepy and lethargic sometimes!

A good way to stay energised is to listen to music while you study. Many people avoid the radio because it’s too distracting, but thanks to Spotify, there are plenty of study playlists to choose from to help you focus.

Here are five Spotify study playlists to try next time you’d like some background noise.

1) Deep Focus

A beautiful selection of calming yet uplifting songs to help you find your study rhythm. These songs don’t have vocals and can be best described as atmospheric rock. The music is upbeat enough to give you an energy boost but not intense enough to be distracting.

2) The Office Stereo

Love discovering the latest tunes but don’t want to listen to the radio because of the ads and the presenters? Try The Office Stereo, instead. Just be warned: you might find yourself dancing along as you study.

3) Peaceful Piano

Is there anything more relaxing than listening to someone play the piano? If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your study to-do list, put on the Peaceful Piano playlist and you’ll immediately start to unwind and boost your productivity.

4) Intense Studying

The name of this playlist says it all. Intense Studying is for when you really need to minimise distractions and get stuff done! Make a cup of coffee, put this playlist on in the background, and get to work.

5) Atmospheric Calm

The songs on this playlist are probably best described as chilled-out house music (with a bit of piano thrown in there). The tunes are very relaxed but have enough upbeat energy to keep you feeling fresh.

What are your favourite songs to study by? Share in the comments below.

Would you like to study airline, travel, and tourism with ITC Study From Home? Get in touch today to learn how we can get your career off to a flying start.

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Study tip: Pretend to be a teacher

Posted on 12/09/2018 by

Teaching someone about a topic is one of the best ways to further your understanding.

Did you know that pretending to be a teacher could help you ace your assignments?

Imagine you have to teach someone about the topic you’re studying. Could you explain the concept to them in a clear, concise way? If you can, that means you have a strong understanding of the topic.

This study approach is called the Feynman Technique, named after a Nobel-prize-winning physicist called Richard Feynman who was famous for being able to explain complex concepts in plain language.

The idea is that it’s only possible to explain something if you truly understand it.

Here are some other ways pretending to be a teacher can help you with your studies:

  • Talking out loud helps you retain information for longer

  • Talking confidently about a topic is good practice for job interviews

  • Explaining concepts to a friend or family member will generate discussion and bring up ideas you hadn’t considered before

  • Talking about a topic reminds you of why you’re passionate about it and find it interesting (you’ll probably find you could talk about travel for hours!)

If this study tip appeals to you, why not pair up with a classmate from your Study From Home course and take turns explaining concepts to each other over the phone or via Skype?

You’ll learn a lot and it’s a great opportunity to get to know your classmates (we know distance learning can feel isolating sometimes).

You could also explain travel and tourism topics to your friends, family members, or even make conversation with your local barista – who knows, they might be interested in the tourism industry? It is booming, after all!

Next time you’re struggling with a topic, just remember: pretend you’re a teacher. It will help you think about the topic in a completely different way. Good luck! 

Want to learn more about our airline, travel and tourism qualifications? Get in touch today to find out how Study From Home can get your travel and tourism career off to a flying start.

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How one Study From Home graduate started her own travel business

Posted on 05/09/2018 by

Shelley Williams started her own travel agency after completing a Level 4 travel qualification with ITC Study From Home.

Meet Shelley Williams: a recent Study From Home graduate and a new business owner.

Shelley is the company director of Clevedon Travel, a boutique travel agency. She founded Clevedon Travel after she completed the New Zealand Certificate in Travel Level 4 with ITC Study From Home.

Now Shelley is her own boss. Perks of her job include working from home (or by the school pool!), spending more time with her two daughters (aged 7 and 9), and even getting to travel on famil trips (this year she went to Laos). Inspiring, right?

We caught up with Shelley to find out how she started her own tourism business. Below she shares her story, including some tips for anyone keen to work in travel.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m 42 and live on a farm with my husband, my 7 and 9 year old girls, and lots of animals.

What inspired you to study from home with ITC?
When both of my girls started school, I thought it was good timing to go back to work. I realised I wanted a career that allowed me to spend time with my family. I really loved travel, but I needed a formal qualification to get into the industry. ITC offered a great Study From Home option that I could complete while the girls were at school.

What did you enjoy most about the NZ Certificate in Travel Level 4?
I liked the industry knowledge I learned. I especially enjoyed the assignments that gave my brain a workout.

Can you tell us a little bit about your career history? How did you get to where you are today?
My career history is very long! I started working at The Warehouse when I was 16, and after many years there I moved on to office-based customer service and sales jobs. By the time I went on maternity leave nine years ago, I was a PA and had been doing that for several years. While my PA role involved a lot of booking travel for my bosses, I was never in the travel industry.

Tell us about Clevedon Travel. What does your job involve?
My current job is as company director of my own travel agency, Clevedon Travel Limited. I work from home or wherever I can take my laptop (in summer this was often at the school pool). I find clients through local contacts, word of mouth, and online groups (e.g. Facebook).

Since January, when I started the company, I’ve done everything from designing my own website, to booking cruises, organising a 5* honeymoon for a Texan VIP, and I even went on my first famil trip to Laos.

What’s it like being your own boss?
It’s not for the faint-hearted. I’m lucky to have found a mentor in the industry that provides me with lots of support for free. In return, they take a percentage of the over-rides (a bonus commision negotiated with airlines on an annual basis). I’ve had plenty of times when I’ve felt stuck, but I’ve never been without help if I’ve asked for it.

Why travel and tourism?
I love being in the travel industry! The perks are amazing. I get to go to lots of events for free. For instance, last week I was at a Soulful Vietnam Showcase on Monday night (where I won 5* accommodation, a 3-course meal, and show tickets for Saigon! I’m going to give the tickets to the next client who books with me).

Last week I also attended a Buenos Aires event at the Air New Zealand Customer Experience Centre (where they had the most amazing food, wine, and live tango show), and a ship inspection of the Pacific Jewel on Wednesday (including the most fantastic 3-course lunch). There are usually free famil trips up for grabs although I haven’t been lucky yet!

All that said, industry events are not just about the food, drink, goodie bags, and prizes. They are about making contacts in the industry and learning about destinations, services, and other wholesale companies. I’ve met many experienced travel brokers through the events I’ve attended and they’ve been a great help to me.

What travel destinations are on your wish list?
I really want to take my family for a White Christmas in the next year or two. New York is magical at Christmas time, and I’d love to tag on a trip to Canada and Alaska to check out their extreme winter. I’d also love to sail on a Hurtigruten in Norway to check out the Northern Lights, and cruise everywhere on everything really!

Do you have any advice for students thinking about studying tourism with ITC Study From Home?
Do it! And do it to the best of your ability. All the resources are there for you, you just have to take advantage of them and ask for help if you need it.

Any final tips or words of wisdom for future students?
Keep learning. I never stopped when I completed my tourism qualification. I kept learning about anything and everything. There is SO much to learn in travel, I doubt I’ll ever stop learning. There are free web courses for the most popular destinations, all of the cruise lines, and even most of the airlines offer agent sites with training courses and information. The more you learn, the more of an expert you’ll become, and the better you’ll be able to help your customers.

Are you inspired by Shelley’s story? Get in touch today to learn more about our airline, travel and tourism courses. 

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5 reasons to study tourism straight after high school

Posted on 22/08/2018 by

Wondering what to do when you finish high school? Here are five reasons to consider joining the tourism industry.

Are you finishing high school this year? Wondering what to do next?

Here are five reasons why studying tourism straight after high school could be a smart career move.

1. The tourism industry needs more young people

Young workers are in high demand in the tourism industry. With so many visitors coming to New Zealand, the industry needs more young people to enter the workforce and fill important frontline jobs, such as working in hotels.

In fact, the industry needs 35,000 more tourism workers by 2025 — that’s just seven years away. If you’re passionate about New Zealand, have great customer service, and love meeting people from around the world, then the tourism industry needs you!

2. You could have a tourism qualification in less than a year

Most of our tourism qualifications are around 20 weeks long (if you study full-time), meaning you could be qualified and in your first tourism job in less than a year.

Starting with a Level 3 or Level 4 tourism qualification could be a great way to get into the workforce quickly without spending three years (or more) studying. After all, you’ve just finished high school so it will be nice to have a break from study and earn some money out in the workforce.

3. Tourism has fantastic long-term career prospects

The tourism industry is New Zealand’s largest export earner, contributing over $14 billion to the economy each year. It has fantastic long-term career opportunities, including the chance to work for some of New Zealand’s biggest companies.

With so many tourism businesses around New Zealand and the world, you can look forward to a varied and exciting career.

4. You might get the opportunity to travel

If you’d love to travel, why not travel and earn money at the same time? A tourism qualification can open many doors overseas. You could consider a career as a flight attendant or work in hotels around the world.

Working for some travel agencies also gives you the opportunity to go on regular ‘Famil’ trips to other countries (so you can experience first-hand what you will be selling).

You could even end up working at Disney World in Orlando, like many of our graduates have done.

5. There are tourism jobs all throughout New Zealand

Another big attraction of studying tourism is there are tourism jobs all throughout the country, not just in major cities. With the cost of living in Auckland skyrocketing, it makes sense to join an industry that gives you some flexibility to work in regional areas.

Plus, with Study From Home, you can study tourism from anywhere in New Zealand — giving you the option to keep study costs to a minimum. Whether you’re in Kerikeri or Invercargill or anywhere in between, you can gain a tourism qualification and be ready to join the workforce in as little as 20 weeks.

Like the sound of a career in tourism? Get in touch today to learn more about our airline, travel and tourism qualifications.

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3 thought-provoking quotes about fear to help you achieve your goals

Posted on 15/08/2018 by

Use fear as fuel to achieve your dreams instead of letting fear slow you down.

Everyone has big, ambitious, exciting goals. But what’s one thing that holds many people back from achieving their dreams? Fear.

Fear that they will fail. Fear that it won’t work out. Fear that they aren’t good enough, smart enough, motivated enough. Fear is no fun! Too often it gets in the way of people pursuing their goals.

But what if we’re just thinking about fear in the wrong way? What if we could use it as fuel to help propel us towards our dreams, instead of away from them?

Here are three thought-provoking quotes about fear to help you gain a new perspective and achieve your study goals.

“When we deny our fear, we make it stronger.” – Seth Godin

Seth Godin believes we should use fear as a compass, not a barrier. That we should fully acknowledge our fears, move towards them, understand them — and move forward anyway.

He says that fearless people don’t live a life without fear. Instead, they accept that fear is part of the package, and make smart and brave decisions. He believes that by acknowledging fear, one “permits it to exist without strengthening it”.

“Our deepest fear is not that we’re inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we’re powerful beyond measure.” – Marianne Williamson

Marianne Williamson takes the unique perspective that we’re actually afraid of letting our light shine bright. We’re afraid to be brilliant, talented and fabulous — and this fear subconsciously holds us back from stepping into our full potential.

She believes “your playing small does not serve the world”. She encourages everyone to step into their light, and that “as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same”.

“Without fear there cannot be courage.” – Christopher Paolini

We live in a society that praises bravery and courage — but these characteristics cannot exist without fear. Fear is an opportunity to be brave and courageous. You might not always succeed, but you will almost always learn valuable lessons along the way.

So, use fear as fuel to embrace courage and pursue your dreams. Working towards your goals will always feel a little scary — but that’s normal, healthy, and what makes life interesting.

Do you have a dream to lead a successful airline, travel or tourism career? Achieving your goal could start here, at Study From Home. Get in touch today to learn about our distance learning travel and tourism courses.

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Struggling to find study-life balance? These tips might help

Posted on 08/08/2018 by

Feel like you have no life when you’re studying? These tips might help you find study-life balance.

Studying from home can feel overwhelming at times — but it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some tips for finding study-life balance even when you feel like there’s not enough hours in the day.

Talk to your tutors

First and foremost, call or email one of your tutors to let them know how you’re feeling. Tell them you’re experiencing some overwhelm and ask for tips on how to manage your workload. They have been teaching for many years and will have plenty of tips up their sleeve to help you stay on track.

Create a study schedule

At the beginning of each week, enter all of your commitments onto a weekly calendar. For example, block out time for work, sleep, childcare, and any other commitments you might have. Then, see how many leftover hours you have for study. If you’re studying from home full-time, you should have at least 40 hours a week to commit to your studies. If you’re studying from home part-time, you require at least 20 hours per week. If there’s simply not enough available study hours in your week, you might need to reassess some of your other priorities (such as work) and see if you can put these on hold until you’ve completed your qualification. Again, your tutors are the best people to advise you on this.

Find ways to blend study and fun

Do you love spending time in cafes or in nature? Why not combine study with one of your favourite activities? Set up in a cafe for the morning to review your study notes or work on assignment. Or, go for a walk if you need to make a phone call to your tutor instead of staying at home. One of the advantages of studying from home is flexibility; try to enjoy the freedom and make it work for you.

Safeguard your downtime

How often do you look forward to an evening of relaxing, only to spend three hours scrolling Instagram? The only thing worse than having little spare time is wasting any of the spare time you do have. Try to safeguard your downtime and do something you genuinely enjoy, instead of getting sucked into a social media spiral.

Try to look after your wellbeing

This tip is often easier said than done, but it’s worth keeping in mind anyway. You’re far more likely to ace your studies and maintain a positive attitude if you’re well-rested and well-fuelled. This means getting enough sleep and eating well, wherever possible. Of course, there will be weeks when you might be burning the midnight oil at both ends (that just comes with the territory of studying), but do your best to look after your health and wellbeing if you can.

If all else fails: remember study is not forever

Sometimes, study-life balance is near impossible to achieve — especially if you have young kids or a part-time job. If the thought of achieving any life balance feels like a pipe-dream, take heart: studying is not forever. It’s only for a short space of time. Once you’ve completed your qualification, you’re bound to have more spare time — and more opportunities — to explore. So, if all else fails, keep perservering in the knowledge that things will ease up once you graduate. You’ve got this!

Would you like to Study From Home with ITC? Get in touch to learn more about our airline, travel and tourism qualifications.

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Five tips for studying on-the-go

Posted on 18/07/2018 by

With ITC Study From Home, it’s possible to study if you move around a lot — but it’s important to be organised and make study a priority.

One of the benefits of studying from home with ITC is you can study anywhere, anytime. Technically, you could complete your assignments from a hotel or a friend’s couch or a family member’s holiday home — anywhere you have reliable internet.

But, studying on-the-go is easier said than done. If you’re moving around a lot (perhaps for work or family reasons) you’ll need to take extra steps to make sure you’re still productive with your time.

Here are five tips for studying on-the-go.

1. Follow a study schedule

A study schedule is a must-have for any distance learning student. It’s a weekly calendar outlining the times you’ll spend studying each week. Here is our guide for creating (and sticking to!) a study plan.

2. Set clear boundaries

Protect your study time by setting clear boundaries with friends and family members. Share your schedule with them so they know not to interrupt you when you’re working on assignments.

3. Create a study bag or box

Put together a kit of all your study tools, such as your laptop, notepad, and pens & pencils. Keep all of your gear in one portable bag or box, so you always have everything you need at hand.

4. Make study your priority

Studying from home offers so much flexibility, it could be tempting to try to fit in lots of other activities alongside your assignments. But it’s important to make study your priority — not travelling or visiting friends and family or anything else. You’ll have plenty of time for that once you’ve completed all your qualification. Just remember, you won’t be studying forever.

5. Stay in touch with your tutors

If you move around often, remember to keep communicating with your tutors, especially if you’re not always at your primary address. Even though most communication is done online, it’s still important to keep them updated of any changes to your personal circumstances.

Are you interested in studying from home with ITC? Get in touch today to learn more about our upcoming courses.

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Most local councils recognise importance of tourism

Posted on 11/07/2018 by

Local councils are investing in tourism infrastructure such as hiking trails as part of their long-term community plans.

Tourism is one of New Zealand’s most important industries — a fact that most local councils take into consideration when creating their long-term plans.

According to Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA), most councils around New Zealand recognise the benefits of tourism when making long-term plans for their communities.

TIA analysed more than 70 city, district and regional council long-term plans to gauge how they were preparing for tourism growth.

“It was important we undertook this mammoth exercise as local councils are a significant player in the $36 billion tourism industry,” says TIA chief executive Chris Roberts in a media release.

Mr Roberts said some examples of local councils investing in tourism include “funding for cycle trails, town revitalisation, tourism related developments such as the Taranaki Crossing project, and support for events to attract visitors”.

Seeing local councils preparing for tourism growth is not just good news for the economy and for tourists planning a trip to New Zealand — it’s also good news for people considering a career in the tourism industry.

When local councils invest in tourism projects, this often creates more tourism jobs throughout New Zealand.

If you’d like to join New Zealand’s thriving tourism industry, the time to study is now.

And the good news is, you can study from anywhere in the country with ITC Study From Home.

From Cape Reinga to the Bluff, we offer tourism qualifications via distance learning. All you need is a reliable internet connection, a computer, motivation, and of course, a passion for learning about airline, travel and tourism.

For more information on our courses, get in touch today. We’d love to hear from you.

Posted in Inspiration and motivation, News, Study From Home Tips, Tourism Spotlight | Leave a reply

“Thank you for the learning adventure” says SFH graduate

Posted on 04/07/2018 by

A self-described “adventure junkie”, Cheytarna loves getting out of her comfort zone.

Cheytarna Scott recently completed the New Zealand Certificate in Tourism with a Strand in Aviation with ITC Study From Home — an experience she called a “learning adventure”.

“I want to send a huge thank you to ITC Study From Home for assisting me through this learning adventure,” says Cheytarna.

“I enjoyed every single minute, unit and challenge set before me, and I feel a great sense of accomplishment.”

Cheytarna is now working for Flight Centre Manakau as a Novice Consultant. Below she gives us an insight into her journey so far and shares some tips for future distance learning students.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I am 23 years old and am Cook Island Maori. I grew up in Clendon with my Nana and Papa. I’m the oldest of three and the oldest grandchild on both sides of the family, so I guess you could say I have oldest child syndrome! I’m a bubbly and outgoing character who loves to have fun and experience new things. I’m kind of an adventure junkie and am always eager to do activities that push my limits. I also appreciate art, music, and love a good book, and have a great passion for astrology.

I appreciate and live for moments that I can share with my family and partner, and I’m a true believer of making memories instead of gaining materials. I’m intrigued by the cultures and diversity of the world, which is what attracted me to the travel industry.

What inspired you to study with ITC?

The thing that attracted me the most was the Study From Home courses. I loved that I could study without having to give up work, and therefore my income. I was also impressed by ITC’s reputable academic success rate.

Attending Orientation Day, meeting the tutors, visiting campus and hearing all the success stories confirmed to me that I made the right decision.

What did you enjoy most about your course?

The assistance and support I received from all my tutors. Whenever I needed anything, they were always there and responded promptly. The website was easy to use and each unit was informative and intriguing, and the instructions were easy to understand and follow.

What is your dream job?

I do not have a specific dream job at the moment. I do, however, know that I would love to offer everybody the opportunity to travel, whatever background or social status you belong to. I want normal people like me, who have in the past thought it’s too expensive to get out and experience the world, to be able to do so. I want them to realise that with a little determination and goal-setting, it can be done.

Do you have any advice for students thinking about studying at ITC?

Remember to balance your study life with family life. Prioritise your time wisely, especially if you are studying from home. Make sure you study in a comfortable and quiet environment. Ensure you communicate with whoever you live with that you’re studying at home, so they can take that into consideration.

Any final tips or words of wisdom for future students?

Remember there is always support, always someone to ask for help. Don’t be shy to ask a “silly” question. And don’t be afraid to give yourself a pat on the back when you complete a unit. Set goals and aim to smash them!

Are you inspired by Cheytarna’s story? Get in touch today to learn more about our upcoming courses.

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3 (more) reasons to create a study plan

Posted on 13/06/2018 by

A study plan will help you make better use of your time — so you don’t get to the end of the week wondering where all your time went.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog – or a Study From Home student – then you’ll have heard us emphasise the importance of creating a study plan.

And here we are, writing about study plans yet again!

That’s because creating a study plan is one of the most effective ways to enhance your productivity. (If you’re still yet to create one, here is a step-by-step guide).

If you still need convincing that a study plan is worthwhile, here are three more reasons why you should give one a try.

1. Study plans encourage consistency

Consistent action is what will help you achieve your tourism qualification. So how do you show up and do the work?

According to writer James Clear, who writes about habits and decision making, the research suggests having a plan makes all the difference.

“Research has shown that you are 2x to 3x more likely to stick with your habits if you make a specific plan for when, where, and how you will perform the behaviour,” he writes in his recent article, The Scientific Argument for Mastering One Thing at a Time.

In other words: be specific about when, where and how you will study and you will be more likely to get it done.

2. Study plans remove ‘decision fatigue’

When you study from home, it’s up to you to manage your time and create a schedule. Sometimes this can feel overwhelming, leading to what is known as ‘decision fatigue’.

This is what James Clear has to stay about decision fatigue:

“Decision fatigue happens every day in your life… If you have a particularly decision-heavy day at work, then you come home feeling drained. You might want to go to the gym and workout, but your brain would rather default to the easy decision: sit on the couch. That’s decision fatigue,” writes James.

The point is to remove the decision altogether by making the action of studying automatic, so your brain doesn’t exhaust itself weighing up the pros and cons.

3. Study plans help you protect your time

Do you ever get to the end of the week and wonder: “where did all my time go?” It’s so easy to start fresh on a Monday and think that you have plenty of free time, only to get to Sunday evening and feel queasy at how little you achieved.

If you feel like this often, you might need to work on protecting your time. A study plan can help you protect the hours you dedicate to studying. If you’ve clearly marked out the hours you will study on your weekly schedule, you’ll be more likely to focus when the time comes. But if you leave your schedule wide open, it will quickly get filled with less important tasks – like watching television or spending three hours in the supermarket.

A study plan will help you regain a sense of control over your time and encourage you to protect it fiercely, so you don’t get to the end of the week wondering where all the hours went.

Ready to create your study plan? Here is our step-by-step guide for creating one (and sticking to it).

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Could multitasking be bad for your brain?

Posted on 06/06/2018 by

Research suggests multitasking could decrease productivity by up to 40 per cent.

When you study from home, it can be tempting to make the most of being at home to get ahead on household chores while you work on your assignments.

Hands up if you’ve ever tried to study while folding laundry, making dinner or playing with your kids?

Or perhaps you sit down to study, only to be distracted by the dirty dishes on the bench. You’re up and down like a yo-yo all throughout your study session, chipping away at chores in between writing your assignments.

At the end of the day, your house is sparkling clean — but is your study being compromised?

According to recent research, multitasking could actually be decreasing your productivity by up to 40 per cent.

The research suggests it’s better to devote all of your attention to one specific task — such as studying — instead of trying to do too many things at once.

With this in mind, here are some tips to beat your multitasking habit when you study from home.

Follow a study schedule

Create a weekly schedule and allocate specific time slots for studying, as well as slots for cleaning, childcare, and other household duties. Try to follow your study schedule closely so that you only study in the time allocated to study, only clean in the time allocated to clean, and so forth.

Out of sight, out of mind

If you find it hard to concentrate surrounded by unfolded washing and dirty dishes, try to find a place to study where you won’t be distracted. Set up a designated study space, choose the cleanest room in the house, or opt to study in a library or cafe instead.

Try the Pomodoro technique

The Pomodoro technique is when you study for 25-minute ‘bursts’ followed by a short break (no more than five minutes). During the 25-minute burst you devote your attention to one task without interruptions. The point is to wait until the 25 minutes is up until you check your phone, go to the bathroom or make a cup of tea. After four 25-minute bursts, you can take a longer break, such as lunch. This technique works well for people who are easily distracted — you may even find that you get quite competitive with yourself (in a good way!)

Practice makes perfect

If you’ve been a proud multitasker all your life, it might take some time before you feel comfortable devoting your attention to one task at a time. But, as with everything, practice makes perfect. Once you’re aware of your multitasking habit, and make an effort to change it, you’ll find focusing on one task becomes easier over time.

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How to stop making excuses for not studying

Posted on 23/05/2018 by

Worried you might fail? That’s just one common excuse for not studying. Read on for tips to overcome this fear and other common excuses.

“There are only two options: Make progress or make excuses.”

We’re not sure who came up with this quote, but it’s a goodie.

Excuses are your worst enemy when it comes to studying from home. You will find excuses not to study everywhere you look. The fridge, the television, the unfolded pile of laundry, the couch, your cat, your Netflix subscription.

If you want to pass your Study From Home qualification, you’ll need to stop making excuses not to study. If you don’t study, you probably won’t pass, and your dream job in the tourism industry will remain just that: a dream. Harsh but true!

With that in mind, here are five tips to help you stop making excuses.

1. Remember that you won’t be studying forever

In the grand scheme of your life, you only study for a very short time. When you look back in a few years, it will seem like nothing. So put your head down, work hard, and focus on getting results as soon as you can. Netflix will still be there when you graduate.

2. Spend your time wisely

We all get the same 24 hours in a day. It’s how you spend this time that’s important. We advise drawing up a study schedule and following it as best you can. The idea is a study schedule will help you stay on track and avoid common distractions (like the fridge).

3. Be prepared to fail sometimes

You might not understand every topic immediately — but that’s okay. Studying is challenging, but see every failure as an opportunity to learn. It’s better to try and fall short than to give up altogether. Your tutors will provide feedback, support, and help you learn from your stumbles.

4. Create a vision board

This might sound a bit dreamy, but trust us, it works! Create a vision board (a collage of images) about your dream job. For you, this might be some pictures of the airline you’d love to work for, or maybe it will be images of a career in adventure tourism? The point is to visualise your dream job and put your board somewhere you will see it every day. It will serve as motivation to keep studying.

5. Try the 80/20 rule

Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? Most people use the 80/20 rule when it comes to food. They choose healthy options 80 per cent of the time and treat themselves 20 per cent of the time. You can also use this approach for studying. Aim to dedicate 80 per cent of your available time to non-negotiables (like study and work), but leave 20 per cent for fun or relaxing, such as watching TV or catching up with friends. If you try to study 100 per cent of the time, you might burn out or become exhausted. You’ll be more productive if you can enjoy the process — and sometimes that means taking a night off.

We hope these tips help you overcome common excuses for not studying. Remember, your tutors are just a phone call away if you need some extra support.

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Call or email? When it’s better to pick up the phone

Posted on 16/05/2018 by

Sometimes it’s better to make a phone call than send an email.

Studying from home comes with a lot of independence. You can study when you want, where you want. At home in your pajamas at 9pm? Sure! First thing in the morning at your favourite cafe? That works, too. You get the flexibility to create your own study schedule.

However, with this flexibility you may be tempted to “hide” behind your email address and never pick up the phone to talk to your tutors.

Yes, email is quick, easy, and has a lot of positives – but sometimes it’s better to make a phone call, instead.

Here are a few scenarios when you should probably pick up the phone instead of writing an email.

1) When your email is very long

If your email is longer than a few paragraphs, or is taking you ages to write, then it’s probably faster (and easier) to pick up the phone. You will probably solve the problem in half the time it would take you to write the email. This is often the case when you need help to understand coursework. Often writing down your confusion can make you even more confused! Whereas your tutors will be able to help you quickly and easily over the phone.

2) When you need motivation and/or support

Email is an excellent tool for communicating straightforward information – like assignment deadlines and coursework outlines. But when it comes to encouragement and support, a phone call is probably best. If you’re struggling to stay motivated, need a bit of a pep talk, or would just like some reassurance that you’re on the right track, a quick phone call to one of your tutors can work wonders.

3) When you’ve taken a long time to respond/you’re waiting for a response

If you realise you’re late getting back to someone via email (more than a few weeks), it’s a nice gesture to pick up the phone and apologise for taking so long to respond. Likewise, if you’re waiting for a reply and it’s taking a long time, you could give the person a courtesy call just to make sure your email arrived. Sometimes emails get lost and calling is the only way to get the conversation started again.

Are you thinking about studying from home with ITC? Call or email today, we’d love to hear from you – call 0800 788 394 or email us here.

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Three time management hacks to help you study smarter

Posted on 09/05/2018 by

Struggling to keep up with your studies? Here are three time management hacks to help you get back on track.

We all know the saying… “You have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce.” But how well do you use these hours? Are you smart with your time or could you use a little help?

Here are three time management hacks to help you get the most out of your days so you can study smarter, not harder. Just think: what would Beyonce do?

1. Schedule your day

Don’t leave your days up to chance. Write a schedule for each day, including things like study hours, meal breaks, and other life commitments such as part-time work or picking the kids up from school.

Without a clear daily schedule, you might find yourself getting to 7pm each night and wondering “where did my day go?”

A schedule helps minimise ‘decision fatigue’ so you don’t spend all day wondering which task to start first. Instead, you just get up, consult your schedule and get to work – no dilly dallying required!

2. Wake up earlier

One of the perks of studying from home is that you can wake up whenever you like. But is your love of sleeping in getting in the way of your studies?

Set your alarm for an hour earlier so you can get a headstart on your day. It might be hard but it’s worth that satisfied feeling you’ll get when you’ve tackled half your to-do list by 10am. You can always relax in the evenings, instead.

3. Review your progress every Sunday

Every Sunday afternoon, spend 30 minutes reviewing the week that’s been and planning ahead for the week to come. Review your progress, check how much study you have left to complete, and plan ahead accordingly.

This will quickly become a Sunday ritual and allow you to adjust your schedule depending on the success of the previous week. Some weeks you might be super productive; others you might struggle a bit. This is normal – and thanks to your Sunday planning sessions, it should all even out in the end.

Bonus tip: Remember, your tutors are time management experts and they have loads of tips to help you get the most of your time. Make sure you chat to a tutor if you’re struggling to keep up with the workload.

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Tips for preventing study burnout

Posted on 18/04/2018 by

Feeling burnt out? Here are some tips to help you stay motivated when studying from home.

Are you feeling stressed, exhausted or lacking motivation to study? Do you struggle to complete assignments and feel as though your brain is tired – more tired than you would consider normal?

If so, you might have “study burnout”. Symptoms of study burnout include intellectual exhaustion, mental fatigue, and low motivation. Of course, it’s important to rule out any other possible causes with your doctor before you conclude that study burnout is the culprit.

But if you do believe you are suffering from study burnout, here are some tips to help you get back on track.

Reassess your goals

Are you putting too much pressure on yourself? Take a moment to reassess your goals and identify areas where you could alleviate stress. For example, you could explore switching to part-time study. Or you could review your goals outside of study – like going to the gym or cooking from scratch every night – and relax about those goals while you make study your priority. There will be plenty of time to become a master chef once you’ve finished your qualification.

Seek support from friends and family

Studying can be challenging, so don’t be shy to ask for help from your friends and family. They might not be able to help you with your assignments, but they can help you with everything else, such as cooking dinner or assisting with childcare. Make the most of any offers to help out so you can focus on your studies.

Look after your health

It’s very hard to excel at coursework if you’re unwell. Try to prepare healthy, balanced meals, get regular exercise, and get enough sleep. We know – easier said than done, right? But it’s worth the effort, your mind and body will thank you for it. This doesn’t need to be time consuming, either. A short walk outside every day can do wonders for your mind, and you can stock up on healthy snacks from the supermarket.

Take regular breaks

One of the biggest causes of study burnout is a failure to take regular breaks. When was the last time you took a day off to do something you enjoy? And do you remember to take breaks when you’re studying? It’s a good idea to stop every few hours for food, some fresh air, or quick rest. Even though it seems counterproductive, taking breaks will actually help you stay on track. Just make sure you time your breaks – there’s a difference between taking 30 minutes to enjoy a healthy lunch and taking three hours to watch Netflix.

Ask your tutors for advice

It’s important to tell your tutors if you think you’re experiencing study burnout. They will have plenty of tips and advice to help you refocus and regain motivation. Sometimes all you need is a pep talk and some wise words of encouragement. So don’t be afraid to send your tutor an email or pick up the phone. They are here to help.

Would you like to Study From Home guided by supportive ITC tutors? Get in touch today to register your interest. We have courses starting in May.

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How to create a study routine that works for you

Posted on 11/04/2018 by

A good study routine will remove ‘decision fatigue’ and increase your productivity. 

If you want studying from home to be enjoyable, successful, and stress-free, then it’s a good idea to follow a study routine.

What is a study routine?

Great question! Similar to a study schedule, a study routine is when you plan to study at the same time each day/week. When you have a study routine, you also follow the same steps each time you sit down to study.

Here is an example of a common study routine:

  1. Make coffee or tea
  2. Check emails/student forum
  3. Write to-do list
  4. Spend 1hr on assignment
  5. Take a short break
  6. Spend 1hr on assignment
  7. Check emails/student forum
  8. Take a meal break
  9. Spend 1hr on assignment
  10. Proofread today’s work

 
Why are study routines helpful?

When you create a routine, you remove ‘decision fatigue’ from your day. You know exactly what you need to do, so when you sit down at your desk you won’t feel overwhelmed with indecision.

A routine will also help you from jumping back and forth between your email inbox and your assignments throughout the day. Multitasking only slows you down! It’s better to shut down your email inbox and student forum while you work on your assignments.

How do I create a study routine?

Think about how and when you work best. Here are some questions to help you create a routine that works for you:

  • Are you a morning person or night owl?
  • How often do you need to take breaks for coffee/tea/food to keep your energy levels up?
  • Do you prefer working in long blocks or short bursts?
  • How often do you need to check your emails?
  • Where do you study best? At home, at the library, in a cafe?
  • What other commitments do you need to include in your routine? E.g. childcare, part-time work?

 
An easy way to think of your study routine is like a to-do list for your day. The purpose of your routine is to outline what you’re doing and when, so you don’t suffer from indecision – it really is that simple.

Taking a few moments to create a routine that works for you will make a huge difference to your productivity levels.

And don’t forget to include some fun things in your routine, like short coffee breaks or a yummy dinner at the end of a long day.

Good luck and let us know how you get on!

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How to refocus on your studies after the Easter break

Posted on 04/04/2018 by

Struggling to get back into study after the Easter break? Hint: it might be a good idea to put away your chocolate eggs.

Ahh, long weekends – a chance to relax, unwind, spend time with family and friends, and enjoy some delicious food. Long weekends are the best!

But, when you study from home, it can be tough to motivate yourself to get back into your assignments after a break.

Are you still on holiday mode after Easter? Did you eat too much chocolate and you’re experiencing a sugar crash? Do you need a bit of extra motivation to help you refocus?

Here are five tips to get back into your studies after the Easter break.

1. Revisit your study schedule

Short weeks can wreak havoc on your study schedule. Take a look at the week ahead and see if anything needs to be shuffled around so that you can fit in enough study hours. You might need to study later in the evening or on the weekend to make up for the time off. Don’t worry, things will be back to normal soon.

2. Start with an easy task

Normally we encourage you to tackle your most challenging tasks, first – so you don’t procrastinate. But after a long weekend it’s much nicer to start with an easy task so that you can celebrate a ‘small win’, and slowly get your brain back up to speed. Start with something simple like proofreading an assignment you wrote last week or brainstorming ideas for your next module.

3. Hide your chocolate

Still working your way through a pile of Easter eggs? Hide them somewhere safe – or, even better, send them to work with a family member so that you’re not tempted to spend all day eating chocolate instead of studying. Reward yourself with a hard-earned egg at the end of the day. Use the chocolate as motivation to keep studying, not as a distraction.

4. Turn your phone on flight mode

Put your phone on flight mode to avoid social media and other distractions. Try to do this for at least an hour at a time. As with the chocolate (see tip #3), use social media as a reward for studying. For example, after you’ve spent an hour working on your assignment, you can spend ten minutes scrolling Instagram.

5. Reach out to a classmate or tutor

One of the best parts of a long weekend is exchanging stories with other people. Call, email or text one of your classmates (or your tutors) to see what they did on the long weekend. Chatting with classmates is a good reminder that you’re all in the same boat – that you’re not the only one feeling a little tired and groggy after a weekend of eating chocolate.

We hope these tips help you get back into the swing of things. Remember, your tutors are a just a phone call away if you need some extra encouragement.

Do you dream of studying airline, travel and tourism? Get in touch today to learn how ITC Study From Home can get your tourism career off to a flying start.

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Study From Home myth: “You don’t make friends”

Posted on 21/03/2018 by

Friendships look a little different when you study from home, but they can still be rewarding and meaningful.

One of the biggest myths about studying from home is that it’s socially isolating. We’re here to reassure you that it doesn’t have to be that way!

At ITC Study From Home, we take great care to encourage students to interact with their classmates and make lifelong friendships.

Students have ample opportunities to connect with their peers, including:

  • An in-person Orientation Day in Auckland at the beginning of your qualification (attendance is optional if you are unable to travel)
  • An interactive online forum where you can post questions and chat with your classmates
  • A formal graduation ceremony at The Langham in Auckland – an amazing chance to celebrate with everyone

 
It’s also common for students to forge their own friendships and chat with classmates via phone or email. Some students even arrange Skype study dates to exchange ideas.

And, of course, the Study From Home tutors are only a phone call away.

Study From Home graduate, Jay Patrick, believes that if anything, distance learning helped to strengthen his friendships.

“Being a distance learner, I did not spend much time on campus, but because of this, the class network was stronger and more helpful,” says Jay, who is now working as a Flight Attendant for Air Nelson.

“I miss the people; the friends and connections I made, and the tutors. In fact, a colleague of mine is currently studying with ITC and LOVES it. To be fair, I’m jealous as I wish I was still there!”

Are you inspired by Jay’s experience of studying from home? You too could make great friends and get a job out in the airline, travel & tourism industry. Get in touch today to learn more about our distance learning qualifications.

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What study technique suits you best?

Posted on 14/03/2018 by

Do you work better in short, focused bursts or long, uninterrupted sessions? Try to choose a study technique that best suits you.

There are many different ways to study. From the ‘Pomodoro technique’ to ‘eating the frog’, there are several approaches to achieving your tourism qualification.

Here is a rundown of some of the most popular study techniques, so you can choose the one that suits you best.

The Pomodoro Technique

Followers of the Pomodoro Technique work in 25-minute bursts. Every 25mins, a timer goes off, signalling that you can take a quick break to stretch your legs or get a cup of coffee. After four 25-minute sessions, you can take a longer break – like lunch.

This technique only works if you stay completely focused during each 25-minute burst. That means no checking social media, answering your phone, or doing anything that will take you off-task. Save those activities for your breaks, instead.

The ‘Eat the Frog First’ Technique

Do you like eating frogs? Probably not! This technique encourages you to ‘eat the frog’ first – in other words, complete the task that you dislike the most before you move on to other, easier tasks.

The theory behind ‘eating the frog’ is that getting the hardest task out of the way first thing will set you up for a productive day. Whereas if you leave it until last, you might procrastinate all day and never get anything done.

The Accountability Technique

Are you the sort of person who struggles to motivate yourself? You might need to find a buddy or support person who can hold you accountable to your study goals.

This technique is simple: tell your support person exactly what you aim to complete that day, and force them to check-in with you to make sure you’ve done it. If you’re really struggling, hand over your phone or something equally important until you’ve completed your tasks.

Sticking to a Study Schedule

We encourage all of our students to follow a study schedule. This is when you pre-determine when you will study each week – and stick to those times.

This is an especially important technique if you’re juggling study with a part-time job or family commitments. It’s a way to carve out dedicated study time well in advance.

Would you like some more study tips and tricks? Get in touch with your course tutor for more helpful study advice.

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Tourism spending on the rise in regions

Posted on 07/03/2018 by

Tourism spending is on the rise throughout New Zealand.

The latest data from the Ministry of Business and Innovation (MBIE) shows tourism spending rose in all regions during the year to January 2018.

This includes spending in Kaikoura, which is still recovering from the earthquake.

The fastest growing regions (in terms of expenditure) are as follows:

  • West Coast (up 12%)
  • Tasman (up 12%)
  • Taranaki (up 10%)
  • Southland (up 9%)

 
MBIE’s spokesperson, Mark Gordon, says tracking tourism spending in the regions helps the regions plan for the future.

“Tourism spending information for the regions helps inform investment and planning in the tourism industry by providing insight into where both domestic and international tourists are spending their money,” he says.

The continued growth of tourism in regional New Zealand will come as good news for those thinking about studying towards a tourism qualification.

Tourism is an excellent career choice for those who wish to be able to work all throughout New Zealand. There are jobs in the big cities and small towns and everywhere in between – and as this latest data suggests, regional tourism is only going from strength to strength.

Whether you live in Kaitaia or the Bluff, you can get a tourism qualification from ITC if you Study From Home. We offer four qualifications via distance learning which will help you get qualified in a matter of months.

Study From Home is enrolling now for March courses. Get in touch to learn more about how we can help you get qualified for the airline, travel and tourism industry.

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Wise words from a Study From Home graduate

Posted on 28/02/2018 by

Study From Home graduate Leaah Wilkinson is about to start a new job working on the Disney Cruise Ship.

Ever wondered what it’s like to Study From Home with ITC? Are you curious about what kind of jobs and experiences a tourism qualification could lead to?

We recently interviewed Study From Home graduate Leaah Wilkinson to give you an insight into our courses. Below, she shares some wise words from her experience at ITC and tells us all about her exciting new role with Disney.

Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Leeah Wilkinson. I’m 20 years old, and I’m a bubbly, outgoing person with a passion for tourism. I also love children.

What inspired you to Study From Home with ITC?

I was inspired to Study From Home because of the great courses offered at such an affordable rate. I also loved the idea of having a little bit of freedom and flexibility.

What qualification did you complete?

I completed the Level 4 New Zealand Certificate in Travel.

Congratulations on your new job! Can you give us a brief description of your role?

I’m about to work for Disney on a Disney cruise ship in the kid’s department. This involves me living on the ship and looking after all the families that come onboard for a two-week holiday.

What’s your dream job?

My dream job would be to manage and run a kid’s club on a major cruise line.

What destinations are on your travel wish list?

The world, everywhere and anywhere!

Do you have any advice for people thinking about studying from home?

It’s a great opportunity to upskill. And if you’re not ready to take the leap and move to Auckland, you can still get a tourism qualification while being close to home.

Any final tips or words of wisdom for future students?

Don’t be scared! Any opportunity is a good one. Whether it’s big or small, it’ll all help in the long run.

Are you inspired by Leeah’s story? Study From Home is enrolling now for March 2018. Get in touch today to learn more about our airline, travel and tourism qualifications.

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Five tips for studying in cafes

Posted on 21/02/2018 by

Studying from a cafe is a great way to beat cabin fever, especially in the winter months.

One of the best things about studying tourism with ITC Study From Home is that you can study anywhere, anytime. And that includes your favourite cafes!

However, studying in cafes can be counter-productive – especially if you spend more time people-watching than you do working on your assignments.

But never fear, we have five tips to help you make the most of your cafe study sessions.

1. Aim for a power hour

Let’s be honest, most cafe owners don’t want you to be sitting in their cafe for five hours nursing one cold coffee. To avoid overstaying your welcome – or spending too much money on food – try to keep your cafe study sessions short and sweet.

Aim for a super productive ‘power hour’. Set aside 60 minutes to work on your assignment and then either move on or order something else off the menu to keep your cafe hosts happy.

2. Find a quiet table in the corner

Set yourself up away from the action so you can hear yourself think – and so you don’t take up a valuable table for six people.

You’ll still feel part of the action but you won’t be too distracted.

Bonus tip: try to avoid sitting right next to the coffee machine (unless you love working in loud spaces!)

3. Make sure the internet connection is fast and reliable

If you need to access the ITC Study From Home forums or Moodle site, then make sure the cafe has a reliable internet connection.

Keep an eye out for cafes with power points, too!

4. Pack a study bag

The last thing you want is to arrive at a cafe without your notes, laptop, pens or something else essential.

Make sure you pack a study bag before you go. Write a list of everything you need so you don’t forget anything important.

5. Choose somewhere local

If possible, choose a cafe that’s within 15 minutes of your front door – or less. If you spend too long getting to the cafe, you’ll cut into valuable study time.

The point of studying in cafes is to mix up your environment and be more productive. If you find that studying in cafes has the opposite effect, then it might be a good idea to stay home instead.

Would you like the flexibility and freedom to study in cafes? Study tourism with ITC Study From Home! We’re accepting applications now – contact us today to learn more.

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Five things to love about studying from home

Posted on 14/02/2018 by

From staying in your pajamas all day to saving money on public transport, there are a lot of reasons to love studying from home.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

To celebrate the day of love, here are five things to love about studying from home <3

1. You can create your own schedule

You get to choose when, where, and how you study. Want to write your assignment at midnight on a Tuesday? Go ahead! Prefer to work first thing in the morning before you go to work? You can!

Studying from home offers the freedom to study at your own pace, in your own place. You’re in control of creating your study schedule. As long as you get the work done and hand in your assignments on time, you can study whenever suits you best.

2. You can save money on transport

A commute from your bed to your dining room table is pretty sweet, right? Think of all the money you could save on public transport or petrol – especially if you live far from campus.

You’ll also save a lot of time. No more waiting for the bus or getting stuck in traffic. And no more getting stuck in the rain on cold days. Studying from home is a great option if you’re on a budget – or if you’re just a homebody.  

3. You can work part-time and study part-time

ITC Study From Home offers a part-time study option, where you study for 20 hours a week. This frees up enough time for you to hold down a part-time job, allowing you to make some money while you study towards your tourism qualification.

Talk about the best of both worlds!

4. You can turn up to ‘class’ in your pajamas

When you study from home, it doesn’t matter what you wear. You can study in your pajamas, your favourite track pants, or even your wedding dress (it is Valentine’s Day after all!)

Of course, we recommend studying in something comfortable. Some research also suggests that getting properly dressed also makes you more productive – even if you don’t leave the house all day.

5. You can balance study with other life commitments

Thanks to our part-time study option, you can balance study with other life commitments such as raising children or looking after other family members.

Just because you have some non-negotiable commitments doesn’t mean you have to miss out on achieving a qualification. By studying part-time, you can gain further skills while still meeting your other obligations.

Want to fall in love with studying from home? Get in touch today to find out how we can get your airline, travel and tourism career off to a flying start.

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Three simple tips to help you be more organised

Posted on 07/02/2018 by

One of the best ways to be organised is to keep your to-do list short and realistic.

Do you wish that you were more organised?

Let’s turn that wish into a reality!

Being organised is easier than you think. Here are three simple tips to help you be more organised, so you can study from home with less stress.

1. Create a study schedule

Organised people always have a plan. So, the first thing you need to do is create a study schedule for each week. Use a weekly calendar (digital or paper) to block out your weekly commitments, e.g. study, part-time work, and childcare.

Put your schedule on your fridge or somewhere you can see it all the time, and stick to it as best you can. That way, you won’t spend the whole week wondering “should I study now or later?”

For more tips on creating a foolproof study schedule, check out this blog post.

2. Keep your daily to-do list short

One of the most common mistakes people make is to write an unrealistic daily to-do list. A long to-do list will never get completed – and it will probably leave you feeling anxious. Remember, you only have so many hours in a day.

Try to keep your daily to-do list very short. Around three important tasks is a good number. A good idea is to divide your list into sections. Have one section for “must complete” – and pick three tasks that are essential for you to finish on that day. Then create another section for “life admin” – that can be where you jot down all the little stuff, like folding the washing or doing the dishes.

3. Write your to-do list every evening

Plan out your day the night before. This will save you a lot of time the next morning and you will be able to get stuck straight in to whatever task requires your attention.

You can take this one step further and get out your clothes for the next morning and make a packed lunch. The less you have to organise on the day, the more time you’ll have for studying.

The trick to being organised is setting honest, realistic goals for yourself about what you can achieve – and sticking to your plan!

There’s no point in lying to yourself about how much you can get done.

With a little bit of forward-planning and self-discipline, you’ll become an organised person before you know it.

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Six inspiring quotes to help you stick to your study goals

Posted on 24/01/2018 by

Want to smash your study goals in 2018? Here are six inspiring quotes to help you stay on track.

It’s January, and you know what that means – New Year’s Resolutions.

If your goal for 2018 is to study from home towards a tourism qualification, then this blog post is for you.

Here are six inspiring quotes to help you stick to your study goals in 2018.

1. “Motivation gets you going and habit gets you there.” – Zig Ziglar

You know that wonderful feeling when you’re excited to achieve your goals and you have tonnes of energy? That’s motivation – and it’s awesome – but some days motivation might disappear. That’s why you need to create productive habits, such as sitting down to study every day at 9am (no excuses). Creating a habit will keep you on track even when your motivation goes walkabout for a few days.

2. “People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.” – Earl Nightingale

When you set a goal, you clearly tell the universe what it is you want – and when. Goal setting is an opportunity to be bold and articulate your dreams. So don’t hold back from telling yourself what you truly want. Write your goal down, say it out loud, and keep it at the forefront of your mind every day.

3. “A dream becomes a goal when action is taken towards its achievement.” – Bo Bennett

Do you dream of working in the tourism industry? Then all you need to do to turn this dream into a goal is take action – for example, by enrolling in one of our airline, travel & tourism qualifications. You could be qualified and industry-ready in as little as 20 weeks.

4. “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.” – Robert Louis

You might have to read this quote a few times to get the idea – but it’s worth the head scratching. Essentially, what Robert Louis is trying to say is ‘don’t expect success overnight’. A small amount of work each day (“the seeds you plant”) will eventually help you achieve your long-term goal.

5. “Guard your time fiercely. Be generous with it, but be intentional about it.” – David Duchemin

Studying requires a large time investment – especially when you study from home. You will need to develop ways to “guard your time fiercely” so that you’re not wasting precious hours on unimportant tasks that will not help you achieve your goal (such as binge watching Riverdale).

6. “One day, or day one. You decide.” – Unknown

Sometimes it really is this simple: is your goal far away in the future, a ‘one day dream’, or could this be day one of the rest of your life? Make today day one by taking action towards achieving your goal (see quote number three for inspiration). You’ve got this!

Study From Home is enrolling now for 2018. Get in touch today to learn how we can help you kickstart your career in New Zealand’s thriving airline, travel & tourism industry.

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How to refocus on your studies after the summer break

Posted on 10/01/2018 by

Wish you were still on holiday? Here are some tips for swapping reading at the beach for study!

Returning to study after the summer holiday is tough – especially when you study from home.

It can be challenging to motivate yourself to study when the sun is shining and you have no tutor to supervise you.

Thankfully, we’ve got some great tips to help you refocus.

Here are five ways to get back into study after the summer break.

1. Make your first day all about getting organised

On your first day back at your desk, focus on getting organised rather than doing actual study. Create a study schedule for the week ahead, write a to-do list, put important deadlines in your calendar, and do whatever else you need to do to feel back in control.

2. Write a list of all the reasons you’re studying

Are you feeling sad that the summer break is over? Are you dreading returning to your study notes? You need a change in perspective! Write a list of all the reasons why you’re studying towards a travel and tourism qualification – and then put this list somewhere you can see it every day. This list will motivate you to keep going and remind you of your end goal.

3. Just start!

It’s easy to procrastinate going back to study. “Just one more day off…” you’ll say. But, the more you delay studying the more likely you are to fall behind and create a stressful situation later on. Stop overthinking and just start! You’ll feel much better and you’ll probably get more done than you expect.

4.Make the most of your time off

Plan some summer fun in your time off. For example, take a picnic blanket and eat dinner on the beach or at the park with your family. Or plan a beach trip on the weekend with some friends. Reward yourself with a scoop of ice cream in the sunshine after a long week. There are plenty of ways to keep the summer spirit alive.

5. Remember: you’re not alone

Think of all the other people who are going back to work and study after the summer break. You’re not alone! Returning to “real life” after a holiday is always a challenge, but we’re all in this together.

You can also get in touch with your Study From Home tutors any time, if you require some additional motivation and support. Drop us a line and let us know how your summer break was – we’d love to hear from you.

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Highlights from 2017

Posted on 20/12/2017 by

Here are the best blog posts from 2017, a big year for NZ tourism and ITC.

We’ve published some gems on the Study From Home blog this year. From study tips and inspiration to tourism news and student interviews, there are plenty of articles to help you on your Study From Home journey.

Here are some of the highlights from the Study From Home blog in 2017.

Regional tourism boom creates jobs throughout New Zealand

Tourism expenditure is on the rise throughout New Zealand (not just the big cities), which is great news for those who live in the regions.

ITC Study From Home donates $1,000 to community playground

The children of Waimauku have a wonderful new playground thanks to the generosity of the Waimauku Lions and supporting businesses, including ITC Study From Home.

Distance learning vs. classroom learning: What’s right for me?

A great blog to help you decide whether you’re better suited for studying from home or studying in the classroom.

“Don’t let life get in the way of your dreams” says SFH graduate

An inspiring interview with Study From Home graduate Stacey Harris, who is now working as a Reservations Consultant for Millennium Hotels.

Solo mum of three finds dream job as travel consultant

Read about how Study From Home graduate Rachel McIlroy landed her dream job as a travel consultant for You Travel in Eltham, Taranaki.

Study From Home students shine at 2017 graduation

Several Study From Home students travelled from all over New Zealand to receive their certificates at ITC’s special graduation ceremony, held at the Langham Hotel in Auckland.

SFH student lands dream job with Air New Zealand

Kristina McGaffin is another Study From Home success story. Read about how she landed her dream job with Air New Zealand earlier this year.

Tips for juggling part-time work with part-time study

Studying from home and working part-time can be a great way to earn money while you gain a qualification. Here are some tips on how to balance the two.

Looking for more Study From Home inspiration and tips? We’ll be back next year with more blogs, starting January 10.

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Motivational study tips from ITC graduates

Posted on 29/11/2017 by

Want to feel like this about your studies? Read on for motivational tips from ITC graduates.

Need some motivation to study? These motivational tips from ITC graduates will do the trick!

“Always keep on top of assessments” – Kristina McGaffin (Air New Zealand Lounge Host)

Kristina’s study tip is to stay up-to-date with all of your assessments. “Don’t leave/skip them till the last minute,” she says.

If you don’t keep on top of your assessments, you could risk falling behind. The longer you take to complete your qualification, the longer you will take to find a job in the industry. So do your best to stay focused.

“Don’t be shy” – Mary Jean Rivera (Passenger Services Agent for Menzies Aviation)

If you have a question, “don’t be shy”, advises Mary Jean Rivera. After all, that’s what the tutors are there for – to educate you and answer your questions along the way.

“Ask for help from your tutor if you’re not sure. They’re always willing to help you.”

“Be brave, be bold, be you!” – Arietta Pauva (Customer Service Representative for Jetstar)

There’s only one you so don’t be afraid to be yourself, says Arietta Pauva. “One thing that this field has taught me is to speak up and shine,” she says.

She also advocates “doing everything with reliability and commitment”.

“Remember why you applied” – Adrian Bunn (Delivery Care Consultant for Air New Zealand)

Whenever you’re tempted to give up, “remember why you applied”, says Adrian.

“Never think you can’t, because you can. Always try and try, again and again,” he adds.

“Be patient” – Cassandra Devas (Customer Service Consultant for Fullers Group)

Achieving a qualification doesn’t happen overnight, so “be patient” and keep working towards your goals, says Cassandra Devas.

“Don’t lose hope and give up if things aren’t working. Just try your best and be patient.”

“Don’t worry about any set backs along the way” – Taryn Brown (Flight Attendant for Air New Zealand)

Everyone makes mistakes – but the trick is not to let them hold you back, says Taryn Brown.

“Aim high and you will get there. Don’t worry about the set backs and bumps along the way as they are a great learning curve.”

“Never give up” – Andrea Liu-Dantzer (Check-in Agent for Air New Zealand)

Andrea believes “it’s crucial to stay focused” and to “never give up”. She says it took her two years to reach her goal, but it was worth the wait and effort.

“If you have a goal in mind, pursue it. Chase your dream. Never give up. Focus on doing what you need to do to achieve your dream.”

ITC Study From Home is enrolling now for 2018 courses. Get in touch today to find out how we can get your airline, travel and tourism career off to a flying start.

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International tourism is good for regions, say most Kiwis

Posted on 15/11/2017 by

International tourism gets a big thumbs up from most New Zealanders, according to a recent survey.

Most New Zealanders are supportive of international tourism, a recent survey by Tourism New Zealand has revealed.

According to the results, 95 per cent of Kiwis believe international tourism is good for the country as a whole, and 91 per cent believe it is good for their specific region.

Such positive public sentiment is good news for the industry. As more and more tourists flock to New Zealand, it’s important that Kiwis feel welcoming and supportive, especially in the regions where there may be some teething issues, such as pressure on local infrastructure.

Tourism New Zealand chief executive Stephen England-Hall says the agency is committed to addressing issues that are of concern to New Zealanders.

“We are committed to managing tourism growth in a way that is sustainable and acceptable to our communities,” says Mr England-Hall.

In the meantime, Kiwis seem to be in agreement that the benefits outweigh the challenges, with international tourism doing much to boost regional economies.

“The 95 per cent support for tourism overall suggests that Kiwis recognise the benefits of tourism and that it represents one of New Zealand’s biggest growth opportunities,” says Mr England-Hall.

“Tourism accounts for one in 10 jobs and one in five export dollars. In a tangible sense that translates to benefits such as more events for our regions, more cafes, restaurants and retail stores,” he adds.

With tourism on the up throughout the country, it makes an excellent career choice. Wherever you live in New Zealand, you can study towards a tourism qualification with ITC Study From Home.

We offer three qualifications via distance learning, which can be studied full-time or part-time. Get in touch today to learn about our courses for 2018 and get qualified to work in one of regional New Zealand’s biggest industries.

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15 inspiring quotes about learning to motivate you to study

Posted on 08/11/2017 by

Write down your favourite quotes about learning on post-it notes and stick them around the house to motivate you on slow study days.

Feeling a little lacklustre towards your studies? Already dreaming of Christmas and the summer holidays? Here are 15 inspiring quotes about learning to get you back on track.

“Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears, and never regrets.” – Leonardo Da Vinci

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go.” – Dr Seuss

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” H. Jackson Brown Jr

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” – John Dewey

“The future belongs to the curious. The ones who are not afraid to try it, explore it, poke at it, question it, and turn it inside out.” – Unknown

“Failure is a great teacher, and if you’re open to it, every mistake has a lesson to offer.” – Oprah

“Don’t wait until you reach your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud of every step you take.” – Karen Salmanshon

“Everything you do now is for your future. Think about that.” – Unknown

“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” – Albert Einstein

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” – Henry Ford

“Learning is the beginning of wealth. Learning is the beginning of health. Learning is the beginning of spirituality. Searching and learning is where the miracle process all begins.” – Jim Rohn

“Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.” – Chinese Proverb

Tip: write your favourite quotes on post-it notes and stick them around the house. That way, you’ll be surrounded by inspiring quotes to motivate you every day.

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Tips for balancing life and study

Posted on 01/11/2017 by

Struggling to remember the last time you went out with your friends? Read on for some tips on making time for your hobbies while you study.

Do you ever feel like studying takes over your life?

Do you wish you had more time to study and enjoy your favourite hobbies, like watching TV or catching up with friends?

If so, this blog post is for you.

While studying is a huge commitment, with the right approach you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Here are our tips for balancing life and study.

Plan ahead

When you’re studying, it’s important to have a plan – assignments don’t miraculously get done if you’re ‘winging it’. Follow these steps to create a study plan and schedule in time for your hobbies, too. For example, you might set aside every Sunday afternoon to go to the beach or catch up on TV.

According to Study From Home graduate Rachael McIlroy, the trick to making your study plan work is sticking to it.

“Set a plan for study and life and stick to it, as if your life stops you from studying it will interfere with your goals,” says Rachael.

Be realistic

There are times in our life when we have a lot of freedom to enjoy our hobbies – like over summer holidays. But when you’re studying, you will have less time so it’s important to be realistic about your hobbies. Now is probably not the right time to start binge watching a new television show or take up a new sport!

Instead, be realistic about how much fun you can have once you’ve studied, worked, and factored in other commitments, such as family time or household chores. You might find that you only have a few hours of free time each week, so use them wisely!

Make the most of your study breaks

Very few people can study for hours on end without some small breaks. So why not have fun on your breaks? For example, you could try out a new cafe for lunch or go for a walk around the block in the sunshine in the afternoon. Fitting in your hobbies in your study breaks might be more realistic than working towards a whole day off.

If you’re meeting up with friends in your study breaks, just make sure they know you can only take a short break – in fact, encourage them to remind you when you need to get back to your work! Friends and family can be great motivators if you let them.

Practice gratitude

Try to focus on what you enjoy about studying instead of spending the whole time wishing you were doing something else. Write down everything you’re grateful for, such as the opportunity to achieve a tourism qualification and your future career prospects.

Sometimes a shift in your mindset can make all the difference to how you approach each day – and even what you consider to be fun.

Seek support from your tutors

Your tutors are there to support and guide you as you study from home. They are only ever a phone call away! If you need some extra motivation or you’re feeling stressed, they will have some tips to help you enjoy your studies.

“Listen to the tutors, they have a wealth of knowledge,” says Rachael.

“Think positive and be realistic about your goals, and do everything you can to reach them,” she adds.

Remember: you won’t be studying forever

Studying does take an enormous amount of your time, but it’s not forever. Once you’ve finished and you start working, your evenings and weekends will be yours to enjoy once more – so you can catch up on all your TV then!

In the meantime, squeeze in your hobbies while you can and stay focused on your end goal: achieving your qualification and embarking on an exciting career in the airline, travel and tourism industry.

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Study tourism: your ticket to the world

Posted on 25/10/2017 by

Map your global adventures with a tourism qualification from ITC Study From Home.

Do you dream of travelling and working abroad? If so, a tourism qualification could be your ticket to see the world.

A tourism qualification will provide you with the skills and knowledge to work in the tourism industry both here in New Zealand and overseas.

And the best part? With ITC Study From Home, you can achieve your tourism qualification from the comfort of your own home – allowing you to study from anywhere in New Zealand and at your own pace.

ITC Study From Home offers three qualifications for the travel and tourism industry:

 
Each of these qualifications can be studied full-time (40 hours per week) or part-time (20 hours per week). And since studying from home is so flexible, you can juggle part-time work with your studies, allowing you to save money for your overseas adventures.

Here are just some of the jobs you might qualify for after your studies:

  • Flight attendant
  • Customs officer
  • Airport security
  • Baggage assistant
  • Tour guide
  • Travel agent
  • Reservations agent
  • Customer service representative
  • Adventure tourism worker (e.g. bungy jump operator)
  • Cruise ship worker

 
All of these jobs are global jobs – meaning you could take your qualification overseas and find work all around the world. Imagine becoming an international flight attendant and travelling to new cities? Or working on a cruise ship and discovering new horizons? A qualification can help you get your foot in the door of the global tourism industry.

Study tourism: your ticket to the world.

Get in touch today to register your interest and find out how ITC Study From Home can get your global career off to a flying start.

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It’s not too late to study from home in 2017

Posted on 18/10/2017 by

Thinking about studying in 2017? You’ve still got time!

Christmas decorations may be popping up everywhere, but 2017 is far from over.

ITC Study From Home is still accepting applications for its tourism and travel qualifications starting in late October.

Here are three reasons why the end of the year is a great time to start studying. Get in quick so you don’t miss out!

You get a break over Christmas

When you start studying in October or November, there’s only a short wait until Christmas. Many students find it easier to focus on their studies knowing they will be able to enjoy a holiday soon.

The days are longer in summer

There are more daylight hours in summer, which can make you feel like you have more time in your day! Make the most of those bright early mornings and light summer evenings by getting ahead on your studies.

You don’t have to wait until 2018

The new year is still a few months away – think of all the study you could achieve in that time. If you start now, you could be halfway through your qualification come January! Don’t delay your studies, get started today so you can graduate sooner. If you know you want a career in travel and tourism, there’s no point in waiting!

The New Zealand Certificate in Tourism Level 3 and the New Zealand Certificate in Travel Level 4 start on October 23. Contact us today to register your interest.

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Should I work and study at the same time?

Posted on 04/10/2017 by

Working while studying is good for your bank account – but is it always a wise choice? Read on to discover the pros and cons of combining work and study.

Working while studying is a great way to earn money, gain customer service experience, and meet new people – but it can also be challenging and time-consuming.

If you’re thinking about working and studying from home at the same time, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons before making a decision.

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of combining work and study.

PROS

Financial security

There’s no doubt about it – having a part-time job will help you stay on top of your finances and pay your bills. That said, when you study you could be eligible for a student allowance. It’s worth chatting to a Study From Home tutor about your options.

Work experience

A part-time job looks excellent on your CV, and means you will graduate with some customer service experience. You may find it easier to find full-time work once you complete your qualification.

Confidence

Many students report that working part-time gives them confidence, especially when it comes to interacting with customers. Even working just one day a week could help you apply the skills you learn throughout your course.

CONS

Time

If you work while you study, you will likely find that you have very little time to do anything else! Please note that if you study full-time with ITC Study From Home, you will need to put in at least 40 hours per week of study. If you study part-time, you will need to put in at least 20 hours per week. It’s therefore advisable to study part-time if you wish to work more than 10 hours. Just bear in mind that if you study part-time, it will take you longer to complete your course.

Focus

Some students find it difficult to focus on both a part-time job and their studies, while others find it easy and enjoyable to juggle study and work. This really depends on your personality and how you learn. Be honest with yourself: will you be able to focus on both or will your studies suffer if you work?

Lifestyle

Everyone’s lifestyle is different – and it’s important to consider yours before you make a decision. Do you have a family to support? Do you need to think about childcare? Do you live near your place of work or do you have a long commute? Do you want to finish your qualification quickly or are you happy to study part-time? Do you have the energy to work and study at the same time? Are you prepared to put in some long hours?

There are no right or wrong answers to any of these questions – it’s up to you to decide whether studying and working fits in with your lifestyle.

Whatever decision you make, the Study From Home team are on-hand to help you complete your qualification – and they may even be able to offer some advice if you’re still struggling to decide whether combining study and work is right for you. Get in touch today to discuss your options and learn more about our exciting airline, travel, and tourism courses.

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Top tips for communicating online

Posted on 27/09/2017 by

Sharpening your online communication skills will serve you well throughout your studies and beyond.

When you study from home, most of your communication will be online. Even though you probably communicate online with friends and family every day, it’s a slightly different ball game when it comes to your education.

Here are some tips for successful online communication throughout your studies and into your career.

Be crystal clear

Being perfectly clear about the purpose of your email is vital. When you email your tutor, the clearer you are and the more specific your question is, the less room there is for confusion.

If it helps you to organise your ideas and questions, use bullet points, italics, or bold text to make it obvious exactly what it is you’re after. This will help your tutors (and in future, your bosses and colleagues) to help you!

Use correct grammar

Spelling, grammar and syntax might not matter in a conversation with friends, but they’re important in professional online communication.

Read over every email to check for grammar and spelling before you send it, and install a website plug-in such as Grammarly to help you get it right if you’re unsure.

Be friendly  

A rookie error in online communication is to skip straight to business and be blunt about what it is you’re emailing about. Even though you don’t mean to be brusque, the tone of the message can come across this way.

Add a quick note about hoping their day is going well, make a comment about the weather, or throw in a reference to looking forward to the weekend. These little friendly remarks will soften the tone of the email and ensure you come across the way you mean to.

Don’t make people wait for a reply

If someone emails you, make it your goal to reply as soon as you can (ideally within a day or two). Even if you only reply to tell them that you’re busy today and will take a closer look tomorrow, at least acknowledge that you’ve received their email and that you’ll get back to them as soon as you have the chance.

Online communication is an important part of any modern job, so if you can get this right when you’re studying, it’ll serve you well once you start working in the tourism industry.

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4 perks of studying from home outside of Auckland

Posted on 20/09/2017 by

The Hobbiton movie set (pictured) in Matamata is just one of many tourist destinations located outside of Auckland.

Aside from the fact that you can wear pajamas to every single ‘lesson’, one of the best perks of studying from home is that you can do it anywhere in New Zealand – you don’t have to live in Auckland.

Wherever you live in New Zealand, there are certainly plenty of perks of studying outside of Auckland – here are a handful of the best.

Cost of living 

It’s no secret that Auckland is undergoing something of a housing crunch right now. The median weekly rent here is $530, whereas the national median is much lower at $450 per week.

Lower living costs outside of Auckland can make it that much easier to balance your finances when you’re spending at least 20 hours per week studying. 

Lifestyle

Auckland is New Zealand’s busiest and biggest city. And while the city life suits some people, it’s not for everyone.

Getting out of the hubbub of the Big Smoke usually means a more laid-back lifestyle, and one where you can get a little closer to nature each day.

Less competition for jobs

More than 1.4 million people call Auckland home – that’s roughly a third of the country’s entire population. With so many people, the competition for jobs can be fierce.

Even though there is still competition in other areas, you may find it easier to nab a job in a city with fewer people. 

Unique work opportunities 

In the tourism industry, geography plays a huge role in the types of jobs available. For example, you can’t work on the ski fields in Auckland! Many of New Zealand’s small towns have unique tourist attractions, such as Hobbiton in Matamata or the glow worm caves in Waitomo.

There are so many beautiful tourism destinations throughout the country, so why limit yourself to Auckland? Study From Home from your location of choice and embrace your local tourism scene. Get in touch today to secure a spot on the next Study From Home course.

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Tips for juggling part-time work and part-time study

Posted on 13/09/2017 by

With ITC Study From Home, you can study part-time hours while you work. Here are some tips for juggling the two.

Studying from home part-time and working part-time can go hand in hand. As long as you can commit to 20 hours per week of study time, you can hold on to your part-time job and keep that money coming.

Here are a few tips on how to balance the two!

1. Be realistic about how many hours you can work  

Perhaps your boss wants you to work 30 hours per week, or perhaps you’d like to work overtime to save up for a holiday. But before you commit to working a certain number of hours, sit down and figure out what’s actually reasonable. We recommend working a maximum of 20 hours per week while you study – any more and you might not have enough brainpower to complete your assignments.

If you over-commit to work, you may start missing out on basics such as sleep, time with your friends and family, regular exercise, or simply downtime. Sooner or later, you won’t be able to work or study as efficiently as you could if you had a realistic balance!

2. Ensure your job works for you 

Even though a part-time job is an excellent way to gain experience and earn money, it shouldn’t compromise your studies.

For example, do your shifts run late past midnight and make you too tired to study the next day? Do you have a long commute that steals hours of driving time that could be spent studying? Is your boss flexible and understanding about you not being able to do overtime?

If your job is making studying from home too difficult, keep an eye out for one that is a better fit.

3. Plan your downtime  

Normally, downtime happens for full-time students when they’re not in school, and it happens for full-time workers when they’re not on the job site. For you, you’ll need to actively plan your rest time so you don’t miss out.

Plan one day off work and study each week. Whether you get out for a hike, spend the day relaxing with friends, or just pottering around at home, your mind needs this time off to refresh and prepare for the next burst of study and work!

And one last tip: remember that you won’t be juggling part-time study with part-time work forever. It might seem hard at times and you will probably have to make some sacrifices, but it will be all worth it when you graduate with that hard-earned qualification.

Study From Home is enrolling now for courses starting in October 2017. Get in touch today to learn how we can help you get your airline, travel and tourism career off to a flying start.

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SFH graduate lands dream job with Air New Zealand

Posted on 06/09/2017 by

Study From Home graduate Kristina McGaffin loves her job as Lounge Host in the Air New Zealand Koru Club Lounge at Wellington Airport.

When Kristina McGaffin began the New Zealand Certificate in Tourism Level 3 with ITC Study From Home, she wasn’t sure what her future held.

“I did not think I would ever be where I am today, but here I am!” says Kristina, who is now working her dream job with Air New Zealand.

Kristina is a Lounge Host in the Koru Club Lounge at Wellington Airport. Her job is to greet customers and ensure they have a positive experience.

She credits ITC Study From Home with helping her land this position. She says she was inspired to study with ITC after reading about student success stories.

“The success stories were very positive and the support sounded great,” says Kristina.

She was also drawn to Study From Home so she could continue working full-time while she gained her qualification.

“I wanted to be able to study in my own time while working a full-time job. I appreciated the flexibility to study wherever and whenever I needed.”

Originally from Hawke’s Bay, Kristina is enjoying living and working in Wellington, and hopes to do some international travel in the near future. Current destinations on her wish list include Vietnam, Thailand, and Hawaii – or, as Kristina says, “anywhere there is a beach!”

She has a few words of wisdom for students considering studying from home.

“Do it. You won’t regret it! And don’t give up on what you want. Anything is possible.”

Are you inspired by Kristina’s story? Get in touch today to learn how we can help you get your airline, travel and tourism career off to a flying start.

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What to do when you’re struggling to study

Posted on 30/08/2017 by

Struggling to stay focused on your studies? Try reaching out to your classmates or your tutor for some support.

It’s inevitable that sooner or later, you’ll hit a ‘study wall’ and struggle to stay focused on your assignments.

The good news is, there are plenty of ways to overcome this mental roadblock. It’s simply a matter of finding the right one for you. Here are some ideas.

Try a new study technique

Perhaps your preferred study technique is to create flash cards and then use them to test yourself. Even if this has worked in the past, if you’re bored it might be time to try something new.

Ask your friends and family for their favourite study techniques and try using one of their ideas. Perhaps they prefer to draw mind maps, talk out loud, or watch online tutorials to help them learn. Sometimes a fresh approach can be all you need to get started again.

Study with others 

Studying with others can make a big difference as you can bounce ideas off each other, help one another to understand concepts, and work together to find answers to questions that you’re both asking.

Even though you study from home, you can still study with others by using the forums to chat with other students all around New Zealand. You could even set up a virtual study group on Skype.

Schedule a chat with your tutor

It’s great to be able to ask questions online, but nothing is quite the same as a real conversation. Schedule a time to talk to your tutor on the phone and let them know you’re struggling with motivation. They will be more than happy to listen to your concerns and share their tips and tricks for success.

Come back to it 

Can you afford to take a short break from your studies? If you’re up-to-date with your assignments, you might need a few days off to give your brain time to recharge. Try to spend a day or two away from your study notes and get plenty of sleep and exercise.

When you return to your studies, you might find you’re refreshed enough to tackle your next assignment with ease.

Study From Home offers a supportive way to learn about airline, travel and tourism from anywhere in New Zealand. Get in touch today to learn about our exciting qualifications. 

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The best apps to help you get a good night’s sleep

Posted on 23/08/2017 by

Sleep like a stress-free seal with these clever apps.

Getting enough sleep each night will help you study from home, especially if you’re juggling study with part-time work or parenting. A proper sleep will allow you to concentrate for longer and get the most out of your study time.

That said, sometimes a good night’s sleep is easier said than done, so here are a few handy apps to help you drift off to dreamland.

Sleep Genius 

With a claim to fame as the ‘World’s most scientifically advanced sleep app’, Sleep Genius was originally created to help astronauts fall asleep. The main function of the app is to train you to fall asleep with specially designed music and sounds, which then help to guide your brain through each stage of the sleep cycle for a longer, deeper sleep.

The app also offers a power nap function and a 30-minute relaxation program.

F.lux

It’s recommended that you put down your phone as soon as you get into bed, as the blue light emitted from your cellphone screen suppresses melatonin, which keeps you awake.

F.lux is clever little app that recognises that many of us aren’t able to simply put down our phones right away.

When you use F.lux, it will adjust the colour of your screen to a warmer hue, so you’ll be able to catch up on social media and news from your phone before bed – without stopping your body’s natural process of shutting down for the night. 

Sleepmaker Rain

There’s nothing quite like falling asleep as rain pounds on your windows, but it’s a rare treat at best.

With Sleepmaker Rain, you can hit the play button and listen to the soothing sounds of rain ‘onto concrete’, ‘with trickling puddles’, or ‘rain against windows’. There are even options for medium and heavy downpours, so you can find the sound that best works for you.

Struggling to stay awake at your current job? Bored with your current life? Make a change and study towards a qualification in airline, travel or tourism. Apply today!

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How to think positively about study

Posted on 16/08/2017 by

Study doesn’t have to be a slog. Follow the below three tips to stay smiling!

“A negative mind will never give you a positive life.”

It’s a famous saying that’s true for practically every aspect of life, from study and work to relationships and self-confidence.

Thinking in a ‘glass-half-full’ way will help you study from home successfully, so here are a few tips for keeping a positive frame of mind.

Stay focused on your big goals

The point of study isn’t simply to pass the next test or to put a certificate on your wall, but it can be easy to lose sight of that when you’re busy or stressed.

Stay positive by reminding yourself of your big goals – the ones that you’ll achieve once you’ve graduated, such as getting a new job or securing a promotion. Focusing on your long-term goals can help to keep your spirits up.

Never forget that it’s a learning experience

It’s only natural to feel a bit stressed or overwhelmed from time-to-time when you’re studying, so try to be gentle on yourself and trust that you will figure it out in the end. After all, you wouldn’t have taken the course if you already knew everything!

Remember that studying is a learning experience and sometimes you will take some time to gain confidence.

Remind yourself of your successes

Did you do well on a particular assignment? Stick the grade on your wall in front of your desk. Did your tutor give you some positive feedback? Write it out at the top of your notepad each day to remind yourself of your strengths. Remember these positive feelings whenever you start to struggle.

Reminding yourself of your successes – large or small – can be a great way to keep a positive frame of mind when you tackle your next assignment.

Would you like to study towards a qualification for New Zealand’s airline, travel, and tourism industry? Get in touch today to learn about ITC’s Study From Home courses. 

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5 things every Study From Home student needs

Posted on 26/07/2017 by

A reliable computer and internet connection is essential for studying from home – and coffee helps, too!

New to studying from home? Here are five things every distance learning student needs to thrive in a study from home setting.

1. Reliable internet connection

Our study from home tourism qualifications are taught online, so a reliable internet connection is a must. Make sure you have enough internet data to check your emails, submit your assignments, participate in forum discussions, and make the odd video or Skype call. It’s also a good idea to have a backup plan if your internet becomes disconnected due to circumstances out of your control, such as bad weather. For example, your backup plan might be to study from the library or a friend’s house.

2. Laptop or desktop computer

You’ll also need a reliable laptop or desktop computer to work on your assignments – a tablet probably won’t quite cut it, unless it comes with an excellent keyboard and mouse. If you don’t have a computer, keep an eye on Trade Me for second-hand options, or consider borrowing one from a friend or family member for the duration of your course.

3. Cellphone or landline

Although most of your studying will be done online, it helps to pick up the phone every now and then. Your tutors are available to answer any questions you might have – be sure to give them a call whenever you encounter a challenge or are uncertain about any of the topics you’re studying. It’s also a good idea to speak to your tutors on the phone if you’re struggling to keep up with the workload. The sooner you let them know you need help, the easier they can help you find a solution.

4. A study plan

A realistic study plan is essential to your success as a study from home student. Without regular classes to attend or tutors to look over your shoulder, you need to be organised and self-motivated. A study plan helps you plan out your week and stick to a schedule so you stay productive and make the most of your study hours.

5. A study space or ‘study kit’

If possible, create a space in your home that’s dedicated to studying and set up your desk, computer, printer, and other essentials. If it’s not possible to create a home office, put together a ‘study kit’ instead – this is where you keep your laptop, study notes, and everything else you need to study in one portable box or bag, so you can set-up your study space anywhere from the kitchen table to the local cafe. The point is to make it as easy as possible for you to start studying, so you don’t waste precious time gathering your things together or looking for your computer cord.

Study From Home is enrolling now, with courses starting 21 August. Get in touch today to learn how a Study From Home qualification could get your airline, travel, and tourism career off to a flying start. 

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How to stick to your study routine

Posted on 12/07/2017 by

Stay focused and submit your assignments on time with these tips for sticking to your study routine.

Creating a study plan is a great strategy that helps you feel organised and well-prepared – but it only works if you follow it.

Family, friends, and the latest episode of your favourite TV series can all get in the way, so here are a few tips to help you stick to your study routine.

Reward yourself for all achievements 

Studying can be tough and tiring, but it’ll only seem worse if there’s no end in sight. Reward each milestone you hit with a treat for yourself that matches the magnitude of the task.

For example, if you need to read a chapter of a book, place a jelly bean at the end of each page. Or, if you reach your goal of four full hours of study during the day, give yourself the night off to enjoy a movie. And if you manage a full week of productive study time, treat yourself to a day off on the weekend.

Identify and remove distractions

Start by singling out all of your biggest distractions. Your mobile phone is often the worst culprit, but other distractions include open social media windows on your laptop, a good novel sitting by your bed, and even a pile of washing that needs to be put away.

Be it something enjoyable or a task you can use to procrastinate, put it out of sight and out of mind so you can focus on your study.

Study at times that suit you best

By now, you’ll know if you’re a chirpy morning lark or a wide-eyed night owl. For some, early mornings are the most productive time of day, while others would prefer some extra time to sleep in and are better suited to working in the evenings.

Know the times that suit you best for study, and make the most of them. 

Remind others that you can’t be disturbed

If you have others in your home that could disrupt your routine, post your study times on the fridge or your door (or both) so they know not to disturb you during those hours.

Study From Home is enrolling now for airline, travel and tourism courses. Get in touch today to register your interest and learn how you can study from home anywhere in New Zealand. 

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How to get a good reference from your Study From Home tutor

Posted on 05/07/2017 by

A glowing reference from your Study From Home tutor could help you stand out from other candidates.

When you start to apply for tourism jobs, a glowing reference from your Study From Home tutor will go a long way.

It’s worth keeping this in mind as you complete your studies – you want to do everything you can to get a good reference at the end of your course.

Here are some tips:

Treat your studies like a first job

A good way to make a positive impression on your tutors is to treat your studies like a first job. Be professional, punctual, and polite. Take your studies seriously, but also show plenty of enthusiasm and curiosity. Be excited to learn, ask questions, and let your passion for travel and tourism shine through.  

Form a positive relationship with your tutor

When you study from home, you can be relatively independent and do a lot of your work online. That said, take the time to call your tutor every now and then – they are there to help you succeed. Talking on the phone regularly will also help your tutor get to know you better, allowing them to provide a more detailed reference when the time comes.

Hand in your assignments on time

When providing a reference, a tutor will be honest with the potential employer about your commitment to your studies. If you handed in assignments late or missed important deadlines, they may feel obliged to reveal this information to the interviewer. If you’re falling behind on your studies, talk to your tutor as soon as you can – they may be able to help you find a solution.

Ask your tutor if they’d be willing to provide a reference

The Study From Home tutors love providing references for their students and helping them get their first job – but it’s still important to ask if you can include their contact details on your CV. That way, they will know to expect a phone call and won’t be caught off-guard if it comes out of the blue.

Ask your tutor for interview tips and tricks

Your tutor wants to see you do well. They want nothing more than for you to ace your job interview and start working in the industry. Take advantage of their expertise and ask for feedback and advice. This shows that you’re motivated and focused, and will inspire them to give you a great reference when the time comes.

Study From Home is enrolling now. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you kickstart your airline, travel and tourism career. 

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Five reasons to study from home in Auckland

Posted on 21/06/2017 by

Just because you live in Auckland doesn’t mean you can’t study from home. Distance learning might be the best option for you.

If you live in Auckland, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to on-campus study options. That said, have you ever considered studying from home? Just because you can commute to class doesn’t mean it’s the right option for you.

Here are five reasons why you might want to consider studying from home in Auckland instead.

1. Escape the commute

It’s no secret that public transport in Auckland is expensive, especially if you live far away from the city centre. Save money (and time!) by ditching the commute and studying from home instead. Just think of how much study you could get done in the time you’d spend sitting on a bus, train, or ferry.

2. Study part-time

If you need to study part-time hours due to childcare or work commitments or even just personal preferences, then studying from home is a good option. Our on-campus courses are all full-time (at least 40 hours a week), but with distance learning you can choose to study for 20 hours a week if you prefer.

3. Enjoy a flexible lifestyle

Are you one of those people who thrive on flexibility? Do you love mixing up your routine every week and do you have great time management skills? If so, you will love the freedom of studying from home. You are able to set your own schedule and study when it suits you best. As long as you meet the deadlines for your assignments, you’re free to create your own hours.

4. Juggle study and kids

Many Auckland-based parents choose to study from home so they can juggle getting a qualification with looking after their little ones. You can choose to study full-time or part-time and fit your study schedule around your childcare obligations.

5. Get the best of both worlds

Studying from home in Auckland offers the best of both worlds. You live in New Zealand’s biggest city, which is overflowing with tourism jobs, so you won’t be short of job opportunities when you graduate. Yet, you can enjoy the flexibility of studying in your local community without needing to commute every day. By the time you graduate, you will be able to choose where in Auckland you’d like to kickstart your career. The opportunities are endless!

Study From Home is enrolling now for our airline, travel, and tourism courses. Get in touch today to find out how you could gain a qualification in this exciting industry.

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Tips for talking about studying from home in job interviews

Posted on 14/06/2017 by

When you go for a job interview, make sure you let potential employers know the benefits of studying from home.

Studying from home requires motivation, focus, and commitment. It shows that you’re driven, determined, and willing to succeed – and that you can work well independently with minimal supervision. With this in mind, a Study From Home qualification makes you an ideal candidate for many tourism jobs around New Zealand.

However, not all employers will understand how distance learning works. Some of them might wonder if your Study From Home qualification is the same as an on-campus qualification (it is, by the way!). Others might wonder how you will work in a team environment.

That’s why it’s up to you to talk about your study from home experience in a positive light at job interviews. An interview is your chance to show potential employers how studying from home makes you a great candidate.

Here are some tips for talking about your experience in a way that will help you impress potential employers.

Always use positive language

Frame your decision to study from home in a positive light.

Don’t say: “I decided to study from home because I didn’t want to spend money commuting to campus.”

Instead, say something like “I chose to study from home because it allowed me to be more productive with my time.”

Use language that draws attention to the positive aspects of your decision.

Focus on your qualification

Whether you study from home or on-campus, you still graduate with the same qualification. Make sure your employers understand that your study from home qualification is not inferior in any way.

Talk about the skills you learned, the assignments you completed, your favourite topics, and showcase the quality of the qualification.

Be a team player

Studying from home may be physically isolating, but you still study as part of a team. Explain in your interview that you interact with classmates using online forums and the telephone. Talk about how you’re confident talking to people both in person and online, and how this is a great customer service skill.

Make it clear that although you chose to study from home, you love working with people and you can’t wait to be in an office environment. Dispel any doubts they may have about your ability to be a team player.

Talk about your strengths

As mentioned above, studying from home requires many strengths, so don’t forget to mention this in your interview.

Draw on examples from your study from home experience to show how it makes you:

  • Independent
  • Resilient
  • Focused
  • Determined
  • Self-motivated
  • Willing to learn
  • Adaptable
  • Flexible
  • Able to self-manage
  • Able to work autonomously
  • And more!

 
Be sure to add your own strengths to this list. And remember, a job interview is your time to shine – so don’t hold back from talking about your positive qualities. Good luck!

Study From Home teaches four airline, travel, and tourism qualifications throughout New Zealand. Enrolments are open now for upcoming courses – get in touch today to discover if studying from home is right for you.

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Solo mum of three finds dream job as travel consultant

Posted on 07/06/2017 by

Rachael McIlroy rocks a new haircut ahead of starting her dream job as a travel consultant for You Travel in Eltham.

When Rachael McIlroy was thinking about enrolling with Study From Home, she read the success stories on our website.

At that moment, she felt a spark – a strong motivation to become a Study From Home success story herself.

“From the beginning I said to myself ‘I am going to be a success story’ – and I set out to do it,” says Rachael.

It’s safe to say she achieved her goal. Rachael is now working her dream job as a travel consultant for You Travel in Eltham, Taranaki. In this role, she helps people book overseas trips by offering professional advice and selling travel packages.

The solo mum of three has wanted to work in travel since she was just a toddler, when she started flying with her grandfather in his Cessna. Studying tourism from home helped her confirm this passion.

She’s thankful she had the opportunity to study from home and encourages other tourism hopefuls to do the same.

“If you’re unable to attend campus training, I encourage you to take the first step and take hold of your dreams by studying from home. With the fantastic and helpful staff, you will not regret it,” says Rachael.

She has a few tips for future Study From Home students.

Dress to impress

Wearing professional attire is not something most Study From Home students think about until they graduate – but Rachael made a point to dress professionally from the start. She found this helped her take her studies more seriously.

“From the word go, prepare yourself professionally. Even at the Orientation Day, I wore professional attire to help me prepare for this industry,” says Rachael.

Try to finish early

Another tip from Rachael is to try to hand in assignments early if you can.

“Try to complete the units early, as you never know what may come up that may hinder your studies for a short time,” she says.

“That said, if this happens the tutors are very helpful,” she adds

Treat study like a first job

“When doing assessments, think to yourself: ‘If I was in this industry already, how would I answer this question to my boss?’ This method helps you produce top quality results of a very high standard,” advises Rachael.

It’s hard work – but it’s worth it.

“I’m happy to say I have my dream job because of this hard work.”

Would you like to find your dream job in airline, travel or tourism? Get in touch today to learn how a qualification from ITC Study From Home can help you become a success story just like Rachael.

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[Quiz] Is studying from home right for me?

Posted on 31/05/2017 by

Could you study from the comfort of your own home? Take our short quiz to find out!

Are you thinking about studying from home? Here are ten quick questions to ask yourself to discover if studying from home is a good option for you.

1. Do you live outside of Auckland?

You can study airline, travel or tourism from home with the International Travel College from anywhere in New Zealand. You can also study from home in Auckland if you’d prefer to skip the commute!

2. Are you a parent?

Studying from home is a great way to juggle getting a qualification with looking after your kids. Many parents choose a part-time course so they can balance studying with childcare.

3. Do you have good time management skills?

Are you highly organised and a pro at managing your time? Studying from home requires a lot of self-planning and sticking to a schedule.

4. Do you enjoy your own company?

You won’t be coming into a classroom every day, so it’s important that you feel comfortable spending time alone. That said, you’ll be able to interact with your tutors and classmates online and on the phone.

5. Is your family supportive of your studies?

Studying from home is often a family affair – the support of your loved ones can help you stay motivated and on-task. You may also need to share the load of childcare and household duties with your partner or extended family.

6. Do you want to study part-time?

Studying part-time is not an option for on-campus courses, so if you want the flexibility of part-time hours, studying from home could be for you.

7. Are you motivated and determined?

You’ll need to the motivation to focus on your studies when the TV and the fridge are only a few steps away.

8. Do you want to work while you study?

You can study from home part-time and work part-time – a great way to earn an income while you gain a qualification.

9. Do you have a laptop or computer and a reliable internet connection?

Our study from home courses are taught online, so make sure your technology is reliable.

10. Would you be prepared to travel to Auckland for a day?

We hold an Orientation Workshop for our study from home students in Auckland. This is a great way to meet your classmates (and a great excuse for a trip to the city). It’s not compulsory but it is well worth attending if you can.

If you answered mostly “yes”… then you’d thrive when studying from home! It sounds like distance learning is the perfect fit for your lifestyle. Get in touch today to find out about our upcoming classes.

If you answered mostly “no”… then on-campus study might be a better fit. If you live in Auckland, you can study on-campus in the city centre or in Botany. Contact ITC to book a free tour of one of the campuses.

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Three tips for remembering your study notes

Posted on 24/05/2017 by

Did you know that drawing colourful diagrams or flash cards could help you learn faster?

Do you find it hard to remember what you learn each day? Do you feel like you have to read the same paragraph ten times to make the information stick? And do you get really bored of reading?

There is a better way!

Instead of just reading pages and pages of notes, try these three tips to help you retain information. You’ll be surprised at how much quicker you learn.

1. Read your notes out loud

Find a quiet room and read your study notes out loud to yourself in a clear, slow voice. When you read out loud, you’re forced to slow down and really notice each word and its meaning. Do this when you’re trying to process a complicated idea or you’re finding it really hard to concentrate.

It’s also worthwhile to read your assignments out loud before you submit them for grading, as you’re more likely to pick up on typos and spelling mistakes.

2. Make flash cards

Whenever you’re trying to memorise information – for example, for a job interview or a presentation – put your notes on flash cards to prompt your memory. Keep these flash cards handy and review them whenever you have a spare moment, such as during the ad breaks on TV or waiting in a queue.

Keep a copy of your flash cards in your hand bag and on your bedside table so you remember to review them regularly.

3. Draw diagrams

Are you a visual learner? Do you respond better to pictures and diagrams than words on a page? If so, turn your study notes into colourful diagrams and drawings. Get out your felt tips and create pretty mind maps, symbols, illustrations, and whatever else helps you remember information.

Many people find drawing a fun and relaxing way to learn – it’s far less boring than sitting still and reading notes for hours on end.

Give these three tips a try to see if they help you learn faster. Remember, it’s all about studying smarter, not harder!

ITC Study From Home is enrolling now. Get in touch today to learn how we can help you study towards a qualification in airline, travel or tourism.

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Aviation, travel or tourism? Which qualification is right for you?

Posted on 17/05/2017 by

Which career pathway will you choose? Aviation, travel or tourism?

You know you want to study from home with ITC – you just have one big decision to make. Should you study aviation, travel or tourism?

We teach three courses via distance learning:

  • New Zealand Certificate in Tourism Level 3
  • New Zealand Certificate in Tourism with a Strand in Aviation Level 3
  • New Zealand Certificate in Travel Level 4

 
Which qualification is right for you? Here is some more information about each course to help you decide.

The New Zealand Certificate in Tourism Level 3 is perfect if you:

  • Are at the very beginning of your tourism career
  • Want to keep your options open and discover your “dream job”
  • Love learning about New Zealand tourism destinations

 
Even though it’s called the ‘New Zealand Certificate in Tourism’, this qualification covers some aviation and travel subjects, too – making it the perfect introduction to the entire industry. It’s a great place to start if you’d like to discover a wide range of career options.

The New Zealand Certificate in Tourism with a Strand in Aviation Level 3 is perfect if you:

  • Know you want to work for an airline or at an airport
  • Love all things aviation – planes are your jam!
  • Want some help to find your dream aviation job

 
This qualification is a great introduction to a career with an airline or at an airport. If you want to be a flight attendant, check-in agent, customs officer, or work in customer service at an airport, then this course is a perfect fit. You’ll learn all about passenger handling, online ticketing & reservations, what it’s like to work for an airline, and much more.

The New Zealand Certificate in Travel Level 4 is perfect if you:

  • Have already completed a Level 3 qualification
  • Want to take your education to the next level
  • Love learning about international travel and tourism

 
There’s a reason this qualification includes the word travel – it teaches you about the exciting world of international travel and tourism. If you dream of one day working overseas, you’ll love this course. It’s also ideal for students who wish to apply for management roles – having a Level 4 qualification will help your CV stand out from the rest.

So there you have it – three fascinating courses. What will it be: aviation, travel, or tourism? If you’d like some more help deciding, get in touch with the friendly Study From Home team. We’ll help you discover which course is right for you.

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How to involve your family in your studies

Posted on 10/05/2017 by

The support of your family will help ease the challenges of studying from home.

When you study from home, the support of your family can have a huge impact on your success. A supportive family will help you stay motivated and on-task. They will remind you why you started and help you get to the finish line.

A good way to get the support of your family is to involve them in your studies. Make them feel included – take them on this journey with you.

Whether you seek the support of your children, partner, parents, or extended whanau, here are some ideas for getting your family involved.

Be enthusiastic

Enthusiasm is infectious. Never underestimate the power of a positive attitude and a big smile! Show your family that you are excited about your studies. Tell them all the reasons why you chose to study travel and tourism. Talk about your dreams and goals and the amazing jobs you will be able to apply for when you graduate.

When your family sees how happy and enthusiastic you are, they will find it easier to support you – and they will come to associate studying with positive thoughts. If you only talk about your studies when you’re stressed, anxious, or grappling with a challenging assignment, they might associate studying with negative thoughts. It’s up to you to show them that studying is a positive experience for you.

Share your study plan

You will create a study plan before you start your course. Your study plan will show the times you’re dedicating to study, as well as the times you’re dedicating to other commitments in your life – such as childcare, part-time work, or household chores.

Print out this study plan and put it somewhere the whole family can see it, like on the fridge. That way, they will know exactly when you need quiet time to concentrate on your assignments and when you’re available for family time.

Celebrate milestones as a family

When you hand in a big assignment or get a good grade, find a way to celebrate with the whole family. Have a family movie night at home or go out for an ice cream – whatever you do, do it together. Use this opportunity to thank your family for their support so far.

You might also like to find a way to celebrate on your own. Give yourself a sleep-in on the weekend or treat yourself to a quiet coffee at your favourite cafe. A small celebration will motivate you for your next assignment.

These simple ideas are fun, easy to implement, and will help your family feel included in your study from home journey. Take them along for the ride – they’ll be the ones clapping the loudest at your graduation!

Study From Home is enrolling now for June courses. Get in touch today to learn how we can help you get your airline, travel and tourism career off to a flying start.

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“Don’t let life get in the way of your dreams” says SFH graduate

Posted on 03/05/2017 by

Study From Home graduate Stacey Harris has some great advice for mums who would like to juggle studying with raising kids. Here she is pictured with her family at one of New Zealand’s famous Maori landmarks, Te Kohatu o Hatupatu. 

Study From Home graduate Stacey Harris started dreaming about travel as a young girl, listening to her aunt’s travel stories.

“My aunt told me stories about her OE. I found it so fascinating to hear about all the places she visited at the young age of 24!” says Stacey, who recently completed a travel and tourism qualification with ITC Study From Home.

Stacey was also inspired by her high school social studies teacher, who regaled the class with stories about Ancient Egypt and Greece.

One thing is for sure: Stacey is passionate about travel.

But she also understands the challenge of juggling travel with study and motherhood. As a mum to three children (aged 10, 4, and 2) Stacey knows what it’s like to be a busy, multi-passionate mum – and she has some advice for other mums who are thinking about studying from home.

“Take the plunge. Take the first step. APPLY!” says Stacey.

“If you are anything like me, and you’re passionate about travel, I urge you to take this amazing opportunity to further your skills and knowledge. Life sometimes gets in the way of the career you always wanted, but with Study From Home you can make it work.”

She says studying as a mum is not always easy, but it’s so rewarding – and so worth the effort.

“Your studies will challenge you like never before. You may lose sleep (but sleep, what is that?). You may stress to meet deadlines and bite your nails waiting for your results. But, when it’s all said and done, and you graduate with that Certificate or Diploma in your hand and those little faces looking up at you – up TO you – smiling with pride and joy, well… there’s no greater reward!”

Stacey adds that studying with ITC isn’t all hard work – it’s also a lot of fun. Her favourite part of the course was learning about all the different travel options and experiences.

“From overnight luxury train travelling to luxury coach tours and my favourite, cruises! I loved learning about all the different cruise options, from the big cruise lines to the small ships. It was amazing, so the next holiday on the bucket list is definitely saving to do a family cruise,” says Stacey.

But before she sails away, she’s settling into her new job as Reservations Consultant for Millennium Hotels – a role she found soon after graduating.

“Upon completion of my course I took a short, much-needed holiday with my partner to Fiji, and then I got stuck into job hunting. I was extremely lucky to get an interview and be offered the job all in the space of 10 days,” says Stacey.

“I love my new job. It’s exciting, fun, and challenging all in one,” she added.

If you love travel as much as Stacey, and you’re looking for a fun new career, a travel and tourism qualification could be perfect for you.

“Travel and tourism is not just a job. It’s not even just a career. It’s an adventure, it’s a challenge, it’s a journey. And it’s YOUR journey!” says Stacey.

“The world is your oyster, you get to personalise it however you like. So get out there and start your journey today. Start it here with the International Travel College of New Zealand.”

Study From Home is enrolling now for the second half of 2017. Get in touch today to learn how we can help you get your travel and tourism career off to a flying start.

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How to study in distracting places

Posted on 26/04/2017 by

Sometimes it’s hard to find a quiet place to study. Here are some tips for studying in distracting, noisy places.

If life was perfect, we’d all study from a beautiful home office, tucked away from distractions like our kids, the fridge, and that never-ending pile of washing. But for most of us, studying from home looks less like Pinterest and more like revising notes on a messy kitchen bench while your kids ‘play the drums’ on pots and pans in the background – right?

Sometimes the dream of a gorgeous home office just isn’t practical. Maybe you don’t have the space? Or maybe you just never sit at your desk because you always need to be somewhere else?

If this sounds like you, it might be time to give up on the dream of a home office and instead learn how to study from anywhere – be it a friend’s couch, a noisy cafe, the local library, or your messy bedroom floor.

While these study spaces aren’t ideal, sometimes you have to start somewhere. It’s better to be flexible about where you can study than to procrastinate until you create the ‘perfect’ environment.

Here are three tips for channeling your inner Jedi so you can study in distracting places.

Create a portable ‘study kit’

If you’re always studying in different places, you need to be able to take your study things with you wherever you go. Create a portable ‘study kit’ – fill a backpack with everything you need to work on your assignments.

Here are some great study tools to include in your kit:

  • Laptop (and charger)
  • Notebook
  • Pens and highlighters
  • Drink bottle
  • Healthy snacks
  • Post-it notes

 
Keep everything you need in one place so you can find it quickly and easily.

Use a timer

When you’re studying in a new place, there are usually a lot of distractions. Whether the TV is too loud, someone in the library has the sniffles, or the dirty dishes in the kitchen are making you feel anxious, you need to find a way to focus – and fast.

A great way to focus is by using a timer. Set the stopwatch on your phone for 25 minutes and commit to studying. Once the timer goes off, you can take a short break to get a glass of water or look at your surroundings. Then, set the timer again and repeat the cycle. It’s amazing how quickly your brain can focus when it feels like it’s racing against the clock!

Using a timer will also help you keep track of how many hours you spend studying. By focussing intently for 25-minute blocks, you will hopefully get a lot done in just a few hours.

Invest in noise-cancelling headphones

Next time you try to study somewhere noisy, just block out the noise! Invest in some good quality noise-cancelling headphones that you can wear in libraries, cafes, or when your kids want to watch cartoons on maximum volume.

Choose music that helps you focus. Most people find it hard to concentrate when listening to songs with lyrics, so opt for vocal-free classical, house, or electronica instead. Or, just put the headphones on with no sound – it’s amazing how much noise they block out even when you’re listening to nothing at all.

Good luck and happy studying!

ITC Study From Home is a flexible alternative to classroom learning. We’re currently accepting enrolments for our May classes. Get in touch today to get your airline, travel or tourism career off to a flying start.

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How a morning routine can help you study smarter

Posted on 12/04/2017 by

What you do each morning can have a powerful impact on the way you study. Aim to start the day in a way that makes you feel happy and focussed.

Do you have a morning routine that sets you up for a productive, successful day?

Several studies have found that following a healthy, positive routine each morning can have powerful benefits for your wellbeing and productivity.

There’s something about starting your day “on the right foot” that helps you stay focused and calm, no matter what challenges are thrown at you. If you start your morning feeling good, then you’re more likely to apply yourself to your studies – whether you hit the books at 9am or 9pm.

Here are some tips for creating a morning routine that works for you.

Start the day with something you love

Try to wake up slightly earlier so you have time to do something you love every morning. This might mean getting up before the kids so you can enjoy a cup of coffee in peace. Or it might mean reading a few chapters of a book, writing in your journal, going for a walk, or even watching some TV. Give yourself 30 minutes to do something just for you.

When you start the day doing something you love, it becomes easier and easier to wake up feeling positive. You might even find yourself looking forward to your alarm instead of dreading it!

Eat a nutritious breakfast

Fuel your body and your brain with a healthy breakfast jam-packed with nutrients. A good breakfast should leave you feeling energised and keep you going until lunch. Some yummy ideas include eggs, homemade smoothies, porridge, and fruit and yoghurt.

When you eat well, your brain will have more energy to learn and you’ll find it easier to concentrate on your assignments.

Write down your ‘why’

Every morning, write down why you’re studying on a piece of paper. For example, are you studying so you can start an exciting career in tourism? Or do you want to get a better job so you can support your family? Or maybe you want to travel overseas in the not-too-distant future?

Whatever your motivation to study from home, write it down every single morning so you don’t forget. Doing this will help you stay focused on your studies.

Do you have a morning routine? What’s your secret to starting your day with a smile? Share your tips in the comments below.

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Distance learning vs. classroom learning: What’s right for me?

Posted on 05/04/2017 by

Are you better suited to distance learning or classroom learning? Read on to find out.

You know you want to study towards a qualification in airline, travel or tourism with ITC. You just have to decide whether you want to study from home or in the classroom.

Here are five questions to ask yourself to help you decide which option is right for you.

Would you like to study part-time?

One of the best things about distance learning is that you can choose to study part-time (you can’t do this on-campus). This means you can juggle a part-time job with your studies and earn some money as you learn.

Studying part-time is also a great option if you have young children or other personal commitments.

Are you self-motivated?

Are you the sort of person who loves goal setting and writing to-do lists? Do you motivate yourself to achieve your dreams? Are you good at staying focused without someone else to tell you what to do?

To enjoy studying from home, you have to be self-motivated. There’s no teacher standing at the front of the classroom reminding you to stay on track. You can get plenty of support via email and on the phone, but it’s ultimately up to you to make the best of your time.

Do you have young children?

Commuting to College five days a week can be exhausting when you have young children. Many parents choose to study from home part-time so they can look after their kids and save money on childcare costs.

It’s not easy to juggle study and parenthood, but it’s totally possible! You’ll find lots of your classmates are parents, too, so you’ll always have plenty of people to turn to for support and encouragement.

Are you comfortable communicating online and on the phone?

If you struggle to communicate via email or hate talking on the phone, you might prefer the classroom environment.

Almost all study from home communication happens online or by phone, so you need to be comfortable using technology to connect with your tutors and classmates.

Don’t worry – we’ll train you how to use our online forums and guide you through each step of the process. In the meantime, here are some tips for communicating online.

Do you live in Auckland?

ITC has two campuses in Auckland – one is in the heart of the CBD, and the other is at Botany Town Centre.

Both campuses are located near public transport and reachable from most areas in Auckland. If you live locally, the best thing to do is pop into your closest campus for a tour to see if you like the classroom environment.

If you live outside of Auckland, then your mind is made up for you! We only have campuses in Auckland, but we offer distance learning throughout New Zealand, from Cape Reinga to the Bluff. No matter where you live, we can help you achieve your airline, travel or tourism qualification.

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How to make friends when you study from home

Posted on 29/03/2017 by

One of the best ways to make friends when studying from home is to call your classmates at least once a week.

Are you scared you will become a social recluse if you study from home?

Don’t worry – there are plenty of ways to make friends when you study tourism via distance learning. You just have to get a little creative.

Here are some of our favourite ways to expand your social circle, both online and offline, when you study from home with ITC.

1. Attend Study From Home’s Orientation Day

We host an Orientation Day at the beginning of every Study From Home qualification. It’s the perfect opportunity to meet your tutors and your classmates and get your studies off to a social start.

You do need to make your way to Auckland for the Orientation Day, but we will give you plenty of time to book ahead so you can secure affordable transport and (hopefully!) stay with friends or family.

If you can’t attend our Orientation Day, don’t worry – you can email us a video introduction instead.

2. Organise an ‘e-meeting’ with your classmates

There are so many ways to ‘e-meet’ people online. Arrange a Skype date with your classmates, use FaceTime, or create a class group on WhatsApp, Viber or Facebook.

Make the most of social media to get to know other people on the same course. After exchanging a few Snapchats, it’ll feel like you’ve been friends for years!

3. Pick up the phone

Take it “old school” and give your classmates a call. You could form a wonderful friendship with someone just by chatting on the phone once a week. Schedule in a regular chat to exchange study notes and catch up on life.

4. Join a local coffee group

Do you study from home because you have little ones? Connect with local mums by joining a coffee group nearby. This is a great chance to get out of the house and meet like-minded souls. Your kids will make new friends, too.

5. Volunteer for work experience

Make friends in the tourism industry and give your career a headstart at the same time by volunteering for work experience. Offer to help out at a nearby business once a month or as a one-off.

You’ll get a glimpse into the tourism industry and make new friends – a win-win situation.

6. Switch up your study space

Just because you study from home doesn’t mean you need to stay at home all the time. Take your study notes to your local library or a nearby cafe every now and then. Chances are you’ll run into other people studying or working from home.

At the very least, you might make friends with your barista!

7. Get a part-time job

If you study from home part-time, you’ll probably have the flexibility to apply for a part-time job. This is a great way to earn some money while you study and maintain your social life.

Look for part-time jobs in the tourism industry or in customer service. These will set you up well for your first full-time tourism role after graduating.

We hope these tips help you make friends when you study from home. We know it’s not always easy, but the flexibility of setting your own study schedule is often worth the extra effort.

Remember: you don’t need to see people in person for them to become close friends. With social media and modern technology, you can meet new people all over the country. Good luck!

Study From Home is enrolling now for airline, travel and tourism courses beginning in May 2017. Contact us today to register your interest.

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How to boost your attention span when studying from home

Posted on 08/03/2017 by

Increasing your attention span can help you stay on task and tick more items off your to-do list.

Do you struggle to stay focused on one task?

Do you find yourself constantly checking your phone or browsing Facebook when you should be studying?

Do you spend ages staring into the fridge even though you’re not hungry?

You probably have a short attention span.

When studying from home, it’s tough to stay on task. There are so many distractions vying for your attention – the couch, the television, the pile of washing in the corner of your room (just to name a few).

If this sounds familiar, here’s a technique that will help you increase your attention span.

Use a timer

Did you know that most people can only focus for around 20 to 40 minutes before they need to take a short break?

Set a timer for 20 minutes and promise yourself not to give in to any distractions during that time. Ignore your phone and stop checking social media. Just give your full concentration to your study.

After the timer goes off, take a short break. Set another timer for 5-10 minutes. During this time, you can do whatever you like – stare into the fridge, browse Facebook, watch funny cat videos. Just make sure as soon as the 5 minutes is finished, you go back to studying.

Repeat this cycle (20 minutes study, 5 minutes rest) for as long as you can. After about 4-5 cycles, take a longer break (30 minutes) to eat some food or go for a stroll.

Try to work your way up to 40 minutes of study, 10 minutes of rest if you can. Your attention span will increase with practice.

Here are some of the things we love about using a timer:

  • You get to “treat yourself” every 20-40 minutes with a quick break – so you always have something to look forward to.

  • It’s amazing how much work you can get done in 20-40 minutes when you’re truly focused.

  • Pretty much everything can wait 20-40 minutes, so there’s no reason to cheat.

  • You will start to learn how much you can get done in a few hours, which will help you plan ahead.

  • If you’re short on time, you don’t need to study for hours – just 40 minutes of timed, distraction-free study is better than nothing.

  • You can teach your family to respect the timer, too. Let everyone know not to interrupt you until they hear the buzzer!

  • It becomes a fun game – you can get competitive with yourself to see how much work you can complete in each 20-40 minute cycle.

 

So what are you waiting for? Try using a timer today! Just remember to turn your phone on silent or put it in another room. The timer system doesn’t count if you cheat. Good luck and let us know how you get on!

Study From Home is enrolling now for 2017. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you kickstart your career in airline, travel or tourism.

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“Eat the elephant”: What it means and how it can help you study from home

Posted on 22/02/2017 by

“Eat the Elephant” – what does this strange metaphor have to do with studying from home? Read on to find out.

Does the thought of completing a qualification make you feel anxious and overwhelmed?

Is your to-do list spiralling out of control?

Do you feel like there’s not enough time in the day?

Here’s a weird idea that might help you stay calm: “Eat the elephant one bite at a time.”

This strange saying has been around for years. It means to “approach a task one step at a time”. You can’t eat an elephant all at once. That would be impossible! Instead, you have to break it down into tiny portions.

(Note: if the thought of eating an elephant weirds you out, replace the word elephant with something equally giant – like a life-sized chocolate castle or the Great Wall of China made out of cake).

The same concept applies to studying travel or tourism. You can’t complete your qualification in one quick step – you have to break the task down into bite-sized chunks.

As soon as you realise that you don’t need to do everything at once, you will begin to feel better.

Every morning, instead of looking at the whole “elephant”, just focus on the one or two bites you need to finish before you go to sleep.

If you do this every day, you will look back and be surprised at just how much you’ve “eaten”!

While we’re enjoying this metaphor, here are a few more tips to keep in mind:

  • Try not to “binge eat” – eating one bite a day is much better for your sanity than trying to cram 20 bites into one evening. In other words, don’t leave everything to the last minute!

  • Make a plan. Figure out at the beginning exactly how long it will take you to “eat the elephant” based on your projected pace. For example, will you need to study part-time or full-time to complete your qualification?

  • Start every day fresh. Don’t worry about yesterday’s failures or tomorrow’s anxieties; just focus on ticking off your tasks for that day.

  • Track your progress. At the end of each week, look back to see how far you’ve come. Reward your efforts with a small treat, such as a movie night or some chocolate.

  • Ask for help if you’re struggling. Your tutors might have some ideas on how you can get back on track.

 

Study From Home is enrolling now for 2017. Contact us today to begin your journey towards a qualification in airline, travel or tourism.

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Study tourism for an exciting future

Posted on 15/02/2017 by

Want your career to make you feel like this? Study tourism from home with the International Travel College of New Zealand.

Imagine your life ten years from now. What do you see? Where do you live? What kind of job do you have?

If you dream of an exciting, rewarding career, then a job in New Zealand’s tourism industry could be perfect for you.

The tourism industry is booming. Last year, 3.5 million international visitors came to New Zealand – and whose job was it to show them our beautiful country? You guessed it: tourism workers.

With a qualification in airline, travel or tourism, you can be part of this fun industry and meet people from all around the world. Our graduates work as tour guides, travel agents, flight attendants, cruise ship workers, customs officers, and many more exciting roles.

It’s never too early to follow your dreams

Perhaps you’re thinking: “I’d love to work in tourism but now isn’t the right time” or “I’ll start my tourism career once my kids have gone to school”.

It’s natural to want to wait for the ‘perfect time’ to begin a new career. But it’s never too early to start studying towards a qualification.

Our part-time courses take nearly a year to complete, giving you plenty of time to prepare for a job in the industry.

Besides, you don’t have to apply for a job straightaway. Once you have your qualification, you can enter the workforce whenever you’re ready.

That’s what one Study From Home graduate, Lexi Hegh, decided to do. She was recently approached by Flight Centre to work as a travel consultant – but she decided to turn down the role to look after her new baby. But now she can enjoy motherhood with the peace of mind that there will be opportunities for her in the future.

“Unfortunately, because it’s 45 hours a week I won’t be taking it due to my dedication of being a stay at home mum for one year,” Lexi posted in the Study From Home students Facebook group.

“Thanks so much ITC for all of your help. Studying through you works!!”

Qualifications last forever

Just like Lexi, you might have other plans that overlap with your tourism ambitions. But that doesn’t mean you have to wait to get started.

Tourism qualifications last forever. Once you have put in the hard work and achieved a qualification, it will open doors for you for years to come.

Start studying today so you can enjoy a brighter future. Tomorrow always comes quicker than you think.

Study From Home is enrolling now for 2017. Contact us today to find out how we can help you kickstart your airline, travel and tourism career.

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7 fun activities to keep your children happy while you study

Posted on 18/01/2017 by

Studying at home with kids? Make sure you have plenty of toys on hand.

Juggling looking after kids with studying from home can be a challenge. It’s a good idea to have a few clever tricks up your sleeve to keep them entertained while you hit the books.

Here are 7 fun activities that are worth a try.

1. Set them a creative assignment or challenge

Make your children feel like grown-ups by giving them their own “assignment”. For example, give them the challenge of building a castle out of blocks or writing a short story (depending on their age, of course). This will help them feel involved in what you’re doing – as if you’re studying together.

When they’ve finished their mini assignment, give them a small reward such as half an hour of television or some new stickers. Try to choose a reward that will distract them for a little longer so you can squeeze in a few minutes of extra study.

2. Colouring in or paint by numbers

Buy your children a special colouring book or paint by numbers set that they can only use while you’re studying. This will make it feel like a treat. You could even give them some special felt tip pens or colouring pencils, too.

3. Study outside

Do your kids have cabin fever? Take your study notes outside and let them enjoy some fresh air. Children often love playing in the garden and can entertain themselves for hours chasing bugs or playing tag.

Keep an eye out for discounted sand pits or playsets on Trade Me to create the perfect backyard fun.

4. Invite a playmate over

Older children love having friends over – they are the perfect distraction! Arrange a play date while you study so your kids don’t complain “I’m bored” every three seconds. Just make sure to keep an eye on them while you revise.

5. Build a “study fort”

Kids love forts! Build a “magical study fort” with sheets and tell your children that they need to be extra quiet inside. It might not work for everyone, but if your kids have an overactive imagination they might just fall for it!

6. Arts and crafts

It’s amazing how much fun can be had with a few old toilet paper rolls, some felt tip pens and a glue stick. See what crafty things you can find around the house and set the kids to work creating something special.

If you have a birthday or special occasion coming up, give them the task of creating handmade birthday cards.

7. The ‘Electronic Babysitter’

If all else fails, there’s always the “Electronic Babysitter”. Otherwise known as the TV (or the iPad), this “babysitter” can be a lifesaver when you’re trying to study. Let your kids enjoy a movie on the TV or play an educational game on the computer or tablet.

Try not to feel too bad about the extra screen time – if it helps you achieve a qualification, then it’s going to be great for your family in the long run.

Do you have any ideas for keeping the kids entertained while you study? We’d love to hear them – share in the comments below.

Study From Home is enrolling now for 2017. Contact us to learn how we can help you kickstart an exciting career in airline, travel and tourism.

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Forget New Year’s Resolutions – set Intentions instead

Posted on 11/01/2017 by

Make 2017 a year to remember by setting some thoughtful Intentions.

Happy New Year! Before you set some New Year’s Resolutions, can we make a tiny suggestion?

Set some New Year’s Intentions instead.

What’s the difference? we hear you ask.

A Resolution is “a firm decision to do or not to do something”.

An Intention is simply “an aim or a plan”.

Resolutions tend to be firm, strong, and non-negotiable; Intentions are flexible, gentle, and sustainable.

How to set an Intention

Resolutions usually pose the question: “What do I want to achieve?” (E.g., lose weight or save $1000).

Intentions pose a different question. They ask: “What kind of person do I want to be?” (E.g., healthy, wealthy, joyful).

Take some time to deeply reflect on who you want to be in 2017. How do you want to feel on a daily basis? What kind of attitude and energy do you want to bring to your work and study? How do you want to interact with friends and family?

Intentions are often just one word, such as “joy” or “creativity”. Their power is in their simplicity.

“Intentions aren’t to be confused with goals,” writes author Marla Tabaka for Inc.com. “They are about who you want to be, what you wish to contribute to the world, and how you choose to touch the lives of others.”

That said, Intentions will help you achieve your goals. If your goal is to finish studying in 2017, then an Intention such as “focus” or “curiosity” will help you stay on track.

“Intentions give you purpose, as well as the inspiration and motivation to achieve your purpose,” adds Marla.

Are you ready to set your 2017 Intention? Here are some more tips and ideas to get you started.

Applications for Study From Home are now open. Contact us to learn more about studying towards a qualification in airline, travel or tourism.

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The best of 2016

Posted on 21/12/2016 by
It's been an amazing year for ITC Study From Home! We reflect on some of our favourite blogs.

It’s been an amazing year for ITC Study From Home! We reflect on some of our favourite blogs.

With just eleven sleeps until 2017, now is the perfect time to reflect on the past twelve months. At ITC Study From Home, it’s been a big and rewarding year. In case you missed any of our updates, here are some of our highlights from the blog.

1. How to create a study plan (and stick to it!)

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” This quote by Antoine du Saint-Exupery sums up our approach to study plans. Creating a study plan will turn your ‘wish’ to graduate into a concrete, achievable goal. Read more.

2. Meet the Study From Home team

Ever wondered who the friendly faces are behind Study From Home? Meet Carla, Richard, Joy and Ali, the four fabulous tutors that are on-hand to answer any questions you might have throughout your studies. Read more.

3. Record numbers of tourists visit regional New Zealand

2016 was a bumper year for New Zealand tourism, and not just in the big cities. Record numbers of tourists are flocking to small towns and regions, making tourism a great career option wherever you live in the country. Read more.

4. How to motivate yourself when you feel like giving up

It’s normal to feel exhausted and unmotivated every now and then – but that doesn’t mean you should think about giving up. Here are three tips to help you re-find your study mojo! (Tip: Bookmark this post and read it again in the new year). Read more.

5. Studying travel & tourism from home has never been easier

Thinking about studying in 2017? Or maybe it’s time for a career change? It’s now easier than ever to study tourism from home, no matter where you live in New Zealand. Here’s why.

Study From Home is closed for the festive season. We reopen on Monday January 9. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

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Ten ways to treat yourself over the Christmas break

Posted on 14/12/2016 by
The Christmas break is the perfect time to relax, unwind, and get ready for next year.

The Christmas break is the perfect time to relax, unwind, and get ready for next year.

With the Christmas holidays just around the corner, it’s nearly time to set aside your study notes and relax for a few weeks. After months of putting study first, you can finally treat yourself to all your favourite activities.

Here are ten ways to make the most of your break so you come back to study feeling refreshed and rejuvenated in 2017.

1. Bake Christmas cookies with family

Nothing says “holiday season” like a Christmas baking session with family. Get together with loved ones to make some delicious spiced cookies or Christmas mince tarts.

2. Catch up on your favourite television shows

When you’re studying from home, there’s not much time to indulge in reality television or addictive Netflix series. Spend a day in your PJs and get up to speed with all your favourite shows.

3. Spend a day at the beach

Remember that day a few weeks ago when you were stuck inside studying while your friends were at the beach? You can make up for it this Christmas! On the next sunny day, grab your togs and head to the coast for a day of sun, sea and sand.

4. Go camping or hiking

Studying requires spending a lot of time inside. Make up for all the days you spent in the library by getting some fresh air. Go camping, fishing, on a long hike – whatever you do, enjoy time outside.

5. Be a tourist in your own backyard

You might be on a study break but that doesn’t mean you have to stop learning. Do a nearby tourist activity to experience your local tourism industry firsthand. Check out these ideas for inspiration.

6. Donate some food to families in need

Christmas isn’t just about relaxing and getting presents – it’s also about giving. See if you can donate some food (or time) to a local charity this year. Giving is good for the soul, and will help people in need.

7. Decorate the Christmas tree

If you haven’t done so already, spend a day putting up fairy lights, getting out the tinsel, and hanging baubles on your tree. This is fun and relaxing and will most definitely get you in the holiday spirit. Don’t forget to listen to your favourite Christmas carols as you decorate!

8. Catch up on sleep

Enjoy the sweet, sweet feeling of switching your alarm off for a few weeks. Nothing beats waking up naturally!

9. Read as many books as you like

Does the thought of curling up with a good book sound like pure bliss? Get out a stack from the library and read for pleasure instead of study.

10. Dedicate a day to doing “nothing”

Can you remember the last time you woke up with zero plans? Keep one day of your break completely free and enjoy having “nothing” to do – you’ll be surprised at how relaxing and indulgent it feels!

ITC Study From Home will be closed from Friday 16 December and reopens on Monday 9 January. Enjoy your study break and we will see you in the new year!

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Four ways studying from home can save you money

Posted on 07/12/2016 by
Being able to cook home-cooked meals is just one of the ways that studying from home can save you money.

Being able to cook home-cooked meals is just one of the ways that studying from home can save you money.

If you’re considering studying travel & tourism from home, you’ll be pleased to know that it could save you money.

Here are four ways studying from home could be good for your bank account.

1. You don’t have to commute to class

Forget paying for public transport, petrol, or parking – commuting from your bed to your desk costs absolutely nothing (except a little bit of self-motivation). It’s amazing how quickly transport costs can add up, so make the most of this unexpected saving.

2. You can eat at home

Eating out can burn a huge hole in your wallet and, depending on your choices, might not be great for your health. Save your money (and your waistline!) by swapping takeout for home-cooked meals. Here are 10 healthy study snack ideas to get you off to a good start.

3. You can wear whatever you want

Dressing up for class can dig into your savings – but not when you study from home! You can wear comfortable ‘house’ clothes and save your best outfits for job interviews or social outings. You’ll also save money in makeup and shoes.

4. You can juggle study with childcare

If you’re a parent, you can save on the cost of childcare by keeping your kids at home with you throughout the day. That said, it’s important to schedule in some quiet time for your assignments. Try to share the childcare responsibilities with your partner or other family members. If you can’t get any help with the kids, you may want to consider switching to a part-time course.

Thinking about studying travel & tourism in 2017? We’re now accepting enrolments for the new year. Get in touch today to learn more about studying from home with ITC.

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Studying travel & tourism from home has never been easier

Posted on 23/11/2016 by
It's never been easier to gain a qualification in travel and tourism from the comfort of your own home.

It’s never been easier to gain a qualification in travel and tourism from the comfort of your own home.

ITC Study From Home is making it even easier for students all around New Zealand to access a high-quality travel and tourism education.

Earlier this year, the College made amendments to its Study From Home programme to ensure that more New Zealanders could achieve a travel & tourism qualification.

Previously, students were required to attend an on-campus Orientation Day in Auckland and to attend classes at either the City or Botany campus for up to four weeks in certain courses. These restrictions – which were largely out of ITC’s control – meant that students who could not make it to Auckland were unable to enrol in the courses.

Now, thanks to changes to the AMADEUS curriculum, students no longer need to attend any in-person classes as part of their studies. They may also choose not to attend Orientation Day if they submit a video recording to the Study From Home tutorial team.

These changes make it much easier for students who live far away from Auckland to study travel and tourism via distance learning. Whether you live in Kaitaia or the Bluff, you can enrol in one of Study From Home’s leading travel and tourism qualifications.

That said, it’s still worth coming along to the Orientation Day if you can find affordable transport and accommodation to Auckland. The Orientation Day is a wonderful opportunity to meet your classmates and get to know your tutors – not to mention it’s a good excuse for a little trip to the City of Sails!

Whatever you decide, the good news is it’s never been easier to study travel and tourism from the comfort of your own home. If you’ve been thinking about a career in this exciting industry, get in touch today. We’re now taking enrolments for 2017 and we’d love to hear from you.

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Three tips for climbing the (travel & tourism) career ladder

Posted on 16/11/2016 by
ITC graduates share their advice for climbing the travel & tourism career ladder.

ITC graduates share their advice for climbing the travel & tourism career ladder.

Calling all travel and tourism students and professionals: do you dream of one day getting promoted to a supervisory or management position?

If you want to advance your travel and tourism career, but you’re not sure where to start, look no further – here are some tips from ITC graduates who are currently doing amazing things in the industry.

1. “Work while you study”

“Work while you study, no matter what job it is,” says Aish Rangarajan, Marketing Manager at Tourism Malaysia.

“Every experience gets you that much closer to your dream job.”

At ITC Study From Home, we offer a part-time study option for all our courses. Learn while you earn and advance your career at the same time as gaining a qualification.

Our Level 3 courses are a great option for people at the start of their career, and our Level 4 course is best suited to people with some travel & tourism experience who are looking to get promoted in the near future.

2. “Make a name for yourself”

Nick Steele, the Executive Concierge at Barclay Suites Hotel, believes success is one-part hard work and one-part ‘who you know’. His advice is to work hard and make an excellent impression on everyone you meet.

“Never forget how small the tourism industry really is. If you make a positive (or negative) impact in your job, this will be spread around the industry,” he says.

“Many of the managers are good friends – and tourism providers are very friendly with each other. Make a great name for yourself and this will stead you in good hands for the rest of your career.”

3. “Never lose your sense of wonder”

If you’re curious, enthusiastic, and open to new learning opportunities, you can’t go too far wrong – at least according to Anita van der Mespel, a Retail Travel Consultant at House of Travel.

“Learn everything you possibly can from every opportunity (both in the interviewing stage and once you get a job that may be your ticket to more experience),” says Anita.

“You’ll get there. Never lose your sense of wonder.”

To summarise: invest in your education, work hard, make a name for yourself, and stay curious. With these tips on your side, you stand a great chance of finding your dream job.

Want to learn more about studying travel & tourism via distance learning? Call 0800 788 394 or send us a message. We’d love to hear from you.

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Five ways to stay motivated when job hunting

Posted on 09/11/2016 by
Here are five ways to stay motivated when looking for a job in airline, travel or tourism.

Here are five ways to stay motivated when looking for a job in airline, travel and tourism.

The airline, travel and tourism industry is booming – there’s never been a better time to start a career in this sector.

That said, finding a job still takes practice, patience and perseverance, especially if you’ve just graduated and you’re trying to build up experience.

If you’re currently job hunting, here’s five ways to stay motivated and keep faith, even on the days when it feels like a challenge.

1. Polish your CV

Aside from a friendly smile and a professional, can-do attitude, a well-written CV is your biggest job-hunting asset. Spend some time polishing your CV to make sure it’s free from spelling, grammar and formatting errors.

If possible, try to keep it to one page – most employers prefer short and sweet CVs that clearly demonstrate your experience without going into unnecessary detail.

You might also like to write a brief ‘personal statement’ at the beginning of your CV, outlining who you are, what you can bring to an organisation, and what type of work you’re looking for. Just be sure to change this to suit each job application.

2. Volunteer for work experience

Doing some unpaid work experience is an excellent way to bulk up your CV and get to know potential employers in your area. Plus, it will keep you busy and teach you some professional skills so that you don’t feel like you’re wasting time at home.

Check out our post from last month for tips on how to approach employers for work experience.

3. Talk to your tutors

Did you know your Study From Home tutors might be able to help you with your job search? Ask them for some tips and pointers – no matter what, you can definitely count on them to provide some motivation and cheer you on from the sidelines.

4. Sign up to job alerts

Don’t miss out on the job of your dreams – sign up to alerts from Seek, Trade Me Jobs, and other job sites, so you get opportunities delivered straight to your inbox.

It’s also a good idea to set aside at least an hour per day to send out applications and trawl through job boards.

5. Make the most of every opportunity

Your first job might not be your dream job – nor your second job, or even your third. It takes time to build your dream career, and the only way to speed the process up is to make the most of every opportunity. Every job can teach you something and will get you one step closer to your goals.

As ITC graduate Jen Fiddes summarises: “Your dream job will come along – if it doesn’t straight away, just be patient, because it will happen eventually.”

This post was written for graduates of ITC’s Study From Home qualifications. If you’re interested in studying with ITC via distance learning, please contact us to find out more about our exciting airline, travel and tourism courses.

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What to do when life gets in the way of study

Posted on 02/11/2016 by
Feeling distracted or a little blue? Here are some tips to help you get back on track when "life" gets in the way.

Feeling distracted or a little blue? Here are some tips to help you get back on track when “life” gets in the way.

You’ve written a study plan, mapped out your goals, and you’re on track to graduate in six months. You’re feeling good. Then BAM! Out of nowhere, “life” happens and throws you off track. Maybe you get sick or have a fight with a friend. Or maybe something really exciting happens – like you fall in love.

Whether the distraction is good or bad, the outcome is the same: you can’t concentrate on your studies and you start to feel stressed and anxious about meeting your deadlines.

We can’t predict life’s unforeseen events, but we can control how we respond to unexpected changes in our environment. If you find that “life” is currently getting in the way of study, here are some things you can do to stay focused and get back on track.

1. Don’t beat yourself up

Guilt is a huge energy-sucker. It feels awful, and it will only distract you more. If you fall behind, try not to beat yourself up – instead, look for ways to solve the problem. You’re only human and sometimes life doesn’t go to plan. There’s no point in feeling guilty for days or weeks on end – it won’t move you any faster towards a solution.

2. Write it out

When you fall behind, it’s very easy to get stressed and anxious. One of the best ways to overcome stress is to write down everything that’s on your mind. Scribble all your thoughts in a notepad or write a giant to-do list. Once your anxiety is out of your head and on paper, you can start making a plan of action.

3. Talk to your tutor

Don’t be embarrassed to talk to your tutor if you’re running late – they can’t help you if they don’t know you’re struggling. Your tutors want to see you succeed and will offer solutions and support if they can. Keep the lines of communication open and trust in their advice. Our tutors have decades of teaching experience between them and will be able to help you move forward.

4. Talk to your friends & family

Just like it’s important to talk to your tutor, it’s also important to chat to your friends and family. Let them know that you’re feeling distracted and would appreciate any extra support. In some situations, this might mean not seeing your friends for a few weeks (hard at the time, but worth it in the end).

5. Be honest with yourself

Ask yourself honestly: “why am I falling behind?” The answer might surprise you. Is it for reasons you can control? For example, are you spending too much time with friends or staying up late binge watching TV? Or is it due to circumstances outside of your control, such as challenges with a friend or family member?

If the reasons are within your control, it might be time for some ‘tough love’. Say no to social outings with friends and keep the TV turned off. If it’s for external reasons, see if you can gently remove yourself from the situation. If there’s “no avoiding the problem”, make arrangements with your tutor and make plans to come back to study when you’re ready.

6. Schedule in ‘fun time’

A good compromise is to let life get in the way – but only on your terms. For example, if you love hanging out with your friends and family, schedule in time to catch up with people on a Sunday afternoon, but don’t let them distract you at any other time during the week. This can be easier said than done, but in most cases people will respect your boundaries and do what they can to help you succeed.

7. Give yourself permission to try again

One of the worst things you can do when “life” gets in the way is to give up and stop trying. Just because things didn’t go to plan this time doesn’t mean they won’t go to plan next time. Give yourself permission to try again, again, and again! You will learn and get better as you go. And remember, your tutors are here to help you along the way.

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How to ask for work experience

Posted on 26/10/2016 by
Asking for work experience is a great way to get a foot in the door of the airline, travel & tourism industry.

Asking for work experience is a great way to get a foot in the door of the airline, travel & tourism industry.

Do you dream of a career in airline, travel or tourism? In addition to gaining a qualification, the best thing you can do is get some work experience in the industry.

Here are some tips for good ‘work experience etiquette’: how to ask for it, how to handle rejections, and what to do if you’re successful.

1. Make a list of businesses to approach

Write down all the airline, travel and tourism businesses in your area. A good way to do this is to visit your local i-SITE and browse the marketing brochures. Don’t forget to factor in nearby transport hubs, such as airports or ferry terminals.

Once you have a list of employers, highlight three businesses you’d really like to work for, and make a plan to approach these ones first. You can always come back to your list later if you have no luck with your preferred options.

2. Write a CV

Even if you have limited experience, it’s a good idea to put what you can on a professional, well-formatted CV. Include any high school qualifications or relevant life experience (babysitting, volunteer work) and write a brief personal statement outlining why you are pursuing a career in airline, travel and tourism. Keep your CV to one page or less.

Please don’t hesitate to approach your Study From Home tutor if you’d like some help with your CV.

3. Drop your CV off in person

Choose a smart, professional outfit, make sure your hair is tidy and your shoes are polished, and drop your CV to your chosen employers. Let the person on reception know that you are currently studying with ITC and looking for work experience opportunities while you complete your qualification.

4. Try to relax

If the thought of approaching employers makes your stomach do flip-flops, try to relax. Remember: there’s no harm in asking, and it’s okay for people to say no. This doesn’t mean you did anything wrong – it just means it’s not the right time. Think of this as a fun experiment and don’t take anything personally. Smile, relax, and try to enjoy the challenge.

5. Decide what you’re willing to offer

If an employer expresses interest, first of all – congrats! You’re on your way to securing a work experience placement. The next step is to negotiate a fair and reasonable arrangement.

Think of work experience as an exchange; you’re willing to give your time (for free) in return for knowledge. Consider how much time you have available and make a suggestion that you believe is reasonable (and won’t distract you from your studies). This might be one afternoon, a weekend-day, or an entire week.

The employer is under no obligation to accept your suggestion, but it will provide a useful starting point for discussions. If anything, the employer will likely be impressed that you have taken the time to think carefully about your availability – it shows good time management.

6. Follow-up

After you’ve completed your work experience, write a kind follow-up email expressing your gratitude and asking politely for a short written reference. Again, not all employers will be able or willing to provide this, but it’s always a good idea to ask. You might also want to drop the hint that you’re graduating soon in case they have any permanent roles available.

The airline, travel and tourism industry is all about cultivating relationships. Being polite, friendly, and approachable will take you far – so try not to be scared about work experience and instead see it as a chance to meet new people and grow your network. Good luck!

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Study from home tip: Stay curious

Posted on 12/10/2016 by
One of the best things you can do to succeed at distance learning is to stay curious and open to new knowledge.

The travel industry is vibrant and ever-changing. Stay curious and open to new knowledge, and you will go far.

Welcome to Part 6 of our six-part series ‘Becoming a Successful Distance Learner’. Every week, we share one practical tip to help you excel at your studies. This is the last tip in the series – be sure to check out the five other tips (see the end of this article for links).

We’ve written about the importance of getting organised, building a support network, improving your reading and writing skills, and becoming a great communicator, but this week’s tip is a little different. It can be applied not just to studying from home, but to your life in general.

If you remember anything from this six-part series, remember these two words: stay curious.

By this we mean: remain open-minded about all the things you don’t know. Ask questions. Soak up knowledge like a sponge. Listen to your tutors and peers and be interested in what they have to say. Cultivating curiosity will help you learn and ensure you remain interested in your coursework.

But you don’t just have to be curious about your studies. It’s also a good idea to be curious about the travel industry in general. Be on the alert for opportunities to widen and enhance your learning experience. For example, read the travel section in newspapers, borrow travel magazines from the library, or keep an eye out for travel-related TV programmes and documentaries.

Believe it or not, SKY TV is actually a superb source of travel information – as long as it doesn’t interrupt your study schedule! The Discovery Channel often has excellent travel shows, and CNN covers the world news in detail.

The good news is, it shouldn’t be difficult to “stay curious” – the travel industry is vibrant and ever-changing. There’s always something new to learn or observe. Anyone who dreams of working in this industry must be ‘up with the play’ on a daily basis.

What are your favourite sources of travel information and inspiration? Share in the comments below :)

Check out the other posts in our series ‘Becoming a Successful Distance Learner’.

Part 1: How to Get Organised
Part 2: How to Improve your Reading and Writing Skills
Part 3: How to be a Great Communicator
Part 4: How to Build a Support Network when Studying From Home
Part 5: How to Make Contacts in your Community

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Study from home tip: Make contacts in your community

Posted on 05/10/2016 by
A great way to learn about the tourism industry is to visit local travel and tourism businesses in your town or region.

A great way to learn about the tourism industry is to visit local travel and tourism businesses in your town or region.

Welcome to Part 5 of our six-part series ‘Becoming a Successful Distance Learner’. Every week, we share one practical tip to help you excel at your studies. Be sure to check out the other blog posts in the series (see the end of this article for links).

When you study via distance learning, the world is your classroom! You can study where you want, when you want – as long as you hand in your assignments on time and put in the hours, you can enjoy a very flexible lifestyle.

However, one downside to studying from home is that you can’t rely on your tutor to arrange industry visits or famil trips. Instead, we encourage you to take this into your own hands and get out there to experience the tourism industry for yourself.

All you need to do is find some tourism businesses in your region or town. You’d be amazed at how many there are to choose from. Make a list of local contacts and industry employers, such as travel agents, airports, car hire companies, attraction operators, hotels, and visitor information centres – just to name a few.

These businesses will be a great resource for you throughout your studies. Make a point of visiting them during their quiet periods – you can grab a free brochure or simply take a look around.

If approached professionally, most employers will be more than happy to answer some of your questions and be supportive of your studies. Who knows, they might even offer you some work experience in the future?

Another idea is to pretend to be a tourist for a day. Catch a bus or ferry, splash out on an adventure tourism activity, or enjoy a meal at a nearby hotel. You will have some fun and learn a lot along the way.

So what are you waiting for? Get out and about and discover the tourism industry in your backyard.

Check out the other posts in our series ‘Becoming a Successful Distance Learner’.

Part 1: How to Get Organised
Part 2: How to Improve your Reading and Writing Skills
Part 3: How to be a Great Communicator
Part 4: How to Build a Support Network when Studying From Home

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How to build a support network when studying from home

Posted on 28/09/2016 by
We know that students who are supported by family and friends are more likely to do well - so get them on board early!

We know that students who are supported by family and friends are more likely to do well – so get them on board early!

Welcome to Part 4 of our six-part series ‘Becoming a Successful Distance Learner’. Every week, we share one practical tip to help you excel at your studies. If you’re new to the series, be sure to check out Part 1: How to Get Organised, and Part 2: How to Improve your Reading and Writing Skills, and Part 3: How to be a Great Communicator.

Becoming a successful distance learner is often a team effort – the road to success is rarely travelled alone. Behind every ITC graduate, there is a supportive friend, family member, tutor or mentor.

We recommend that you enlist the help of your friends and family throughout your studies. While they can’t write your assignments for you, they can help you manage your time and cheer you on from the sidelines.

So how can you go about building a support network?

The first thing to do is to inform your close friends and family of your intention to study from home (or, if you’re already studying, to keep them updated about your progress). Tell them your reasons for studying and let them know that you might be busier than usual throughout the duration of your qualification. Also tell them your career goals and what you’ll do with the qualification once you graduate.

Telling your friends and family will help them feel involved in your decision, and they might even offer to help! For example, they might offer to babysit the kids one day a week or take on some extra chores around the house.

If they don’t offer, and you feel like you could use some extra support, try asking – they probably didn’t realise you needed help, and will be more than willing to lend a hand. The most helpful thing they can do is give you time and space to focus on your studies, especially when you’re working on an assessment or preparing for a telephone role-play.

That said, no matter how supportive your friends and family are, if they have never studied from home then they probably won’t “get it”. Sometimes the best support comes from your fellow classmates. Connect with people taking the same course as you online through the Moodle forums or ask your tutor to pair you up with someone in your course. Two minds often make better than one.

If all else fails, you can always rely on the tutors for support. Whether you need some extra guidance about an assignment, or just want someone to cheer you on, the tutors are there to help you succeed.

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How to be a great communicator

Posted on 21/09/2016 by
What do all airline, travel and tourism jobs have in common? The need for excellent communication skills.

What do all airline, travel and tourism jobs have in common? The need for excellent communication skills.

Welcome to Part 3 of our series ‘Becoming a Successful Distance Learner’. Every week, we share one practical tip to help you excel at your studies. If you’re new to the series, be sure to check out Part 1: How to Get Organised, and Part 2: How to Improve your Reading and Writing Skills.  

New Zealanders are famous around the world for being friendly and polite communicators. For example, in London you’ll find many Kiwis working in pubs and hotels – tourism and hospitality employers just love our charming approach to customer service.

Although we have a natural talent for communication, there’s always room for improvement. At ITC Study From Home, we don’t just teach airline, travel and tourism – we also give you the skills you need to be an effective communicator in a professional environment.

When you study with us, your natural communication skills will be supercharged!

In the meantime, you can start practising good communication skills from today.

The first step is to be aware of how you – and others – communicate. Start reflecting on your own habits, and observe those of others around you. For example, do you remember to say please and thank you when appropriate? How do customer service representatives treat you in shops and restaurants? What makes you feel valued and respected, and what makes you feel unseen or unappreciated? By being aware of other people’s habits, you can start to refine your own.

Another tip is to listen carefully. Most people think of communication as talking – when in fact, the best thing you can do is listen. Pay close attention to what people say and you will naturally find it easier to respond to them in a polite and genuine manner.

When communicating online, it’s also important to write clearly. Did you know that around 90% of communication is nonverbal? This means people pay a lot of attention to the tone of your voice, your hand gestures, and your overall ‘presence’. When you’re writing an email, all of these important communication cues disappear – you only have the words on the page to convey your true meaning. So try to write as clearly as possible, and always remember to be kind! See our Online Communication Tips for Distance Learners for more advice.

Becoming a great communicator takes practice and patience, but if you remember to listen carefully and be polite, you can’t go too far wrong! Just remember the wise words your mother told you: ‘treat others as you’d like to be treated’.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask your tutor or post a comment below. We’d love to help. 

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How to improve your reading and writing skills

Posted on 14/09/2016 by
Becoming a great reader and writer can help you achieve your Study From Home qualification

Becoming a great reader and writer can help you achieve your Study From Home qualification.

Welcome to Part 2 of our six-part series, ‘Becoming a Successful Distance Learner’. Every week, we will share one practical tip to help you excel at studying from home. Be sure to check back every Wednesday for the next tip.

Last week, we published Part 1 of the series: How to get organised and ace your studies. Hopefully by now you’re a whiz at time management and you’re sticking to your study schedule.

This week’s tip is all about reading and writing. These two skills are important for any course or career. Here are some ways you can improve your reading and writing abilities.

Practice makes perfect

Let us start by saying: no one is born a brilliant reader or writer. It takes practice. So even if you hate reading and writing, have faith – the more you do it, the less difficult it will become.

Our best tip for new distance learners is to keep trying. Don’t give up on your assignments, even if they seem hard at first. Good things take time. By the end of the course, you’ll be surprised to see how far your reading and writing skills have come.

Proofread assignments

Did you see our article from last month about the power of proofreading? When you’re writing an assignment, try to leave time to proofread it with fresh eyes before you submit it for final approval. You’d be surprised at the small mistakes you pick up on.

Try ‘real’ writing – with a pen!

Sometimes writing with a pen – instead of typing on the computer – can help you concentrate and figure out exactly what you want to say. Plus there’s no distractions – just you, your thoughts, and a blank piece of paper. Give yourself 30 minutes to brainstorm some ideas and see what you come up with.

Take notes as you read

Many people struggle to retain information through reading. If you find that you forget a sentence as soon as you read it, taking notes might help. Jot down key points on a small notepad, or highlight important sections of text so you can come back to it later. Another tip is to read everything through twice.

Pay attention to feedback

No one gets it 100% right the first time! When you hand in an assignment, ask your tutor to provide feedback about how you could do better in the future. They will be more than happy to provide ideas for improvement.

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How to get organised and ace your studies

Posted on 07/09/2016 by
One of the best ways to get organised is to plan for the week ahead on a Sunday afternoon. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and do some planning - you'll be surprised at how 'in control' it makes you feel.

One of the best ways to get organised is to plan for the week ahead on a Sunday afternoon. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and do some planning – you’ll be surprised at how ‘in control’ it makes you feel.

Welcome to Part 1 of our six-part series: ‘Becoming a Successful Distance Learner’. Every week, we will share one practical tip to help you excel at studying from home. Be sure to check back every Wednesday for the next tip.

Do you ever feel like “there’s just not enough hours in the day?” or “no matter how hard you try, you can never cross everything off your to-do list?”

We understand. Life is busy, and it can be incredibly difficult to fit study around work, family and personal commitments.

Difficult, yes. But impossible? No. All you have to do is get REALLY organised!

Don’t worry – we can help. Getting organised is often a matter of creating positive, productive habits. And like any habits, they can be learned with patience and practice.

Here are three habits of highly organised students – incorporate these habits into your weekly routine and you’ll be amazed by the results.

1. Create a study plan (and stick to it!)

Every Sunday afternoon, sit down and plan for the week ahead. Use a calendar, diary, or planner to block out all of your non-negotiable commitments (such as picking the kids up from school or going to work), and then dedicate time to study around these commitments.

There’s an art to creating a study plan and everyone has a slightly different approach. The most important thing is that you stick to it! For clear instructions on how to create a plan, including a free study plan template, check out this blog post we wrote on the topic earlier this year.

2. Choose your Study Spot

Successful distance learners study in the same spot all the time (or at least as often as they can). This could be a corner of a bedroom or living room, a spare room, or even the garage – try to choose a spot where you will be comfortable and uninterrupted.

The reason why it’s good to choose a Study Spot is that it means you can keep all of your ‘study tools’ in one place. For example, your computer, pens, notes, and books. This will save you from getting up every five minutes. Try to make sure all your tools are within arm’s reach.

Studying in the same spot all the time also means you can separate ‘home life’ from ‘study life’. When you sit down at your desk you know it’s time to concentrate. And when you leave your desk, you know you can relax and not worry about study again until the next day.

3. Set small goals and reward yourself as you go

Another habit of highly organised students is that they reward themselves for hard work along the way. Staying organised can be tiring, so you might as well give yourself a pat on the back when you do well.

Here are some examples of small goals and rewards for being organised:

  • If you stick to your study plan all week, you can go to the movies with friends on Saturday night
  • If you finish your assignment on time, you can sleep-in on the weekend
  • If you don’t look at your phone during any of your study sessions, you can buy yourself some new stationery

 
Set rewards based on what will inspire you the most – for some it might be a cup of hot chocolate at a nearby cafe, for others it might be a brand new pen from the stationery store.

Staying organised takes time and commitment, but once you form good habits you’ll find it becomes easier and easier to stick to your study plan. Remember to celebrate small wins along the way, and if you have any questions, be sure to reach out to your ITC Study From Home tutor.

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The power of proofreading

Posted on 24/08/2016 by
Worried that your assignments are riddled with spelling errors? Get out a red pen and mark them the old-fashioned way!

Worried that your assignments are riddled with spelling errors? Get out a red pen and mark them the old-fashioned way!

Is there any better feeling than writing the last word of an assignment?

But wait! Before you jump for joy and hit ‘send’, there’s one more thing you need to do: proofread your work.

So many students skip this important step, but proofreading your work with fresh eyes (ideally a day later) can do wonders for your overall grade.

Of course, you will only have time for proofreading if you finish your assignment before the deadline. If possible, try to work ahead so you have at least one extra day to proofread your work before you submit it to your tutor.

Here are a few proofreading tips to get you started:

Proofread with fresh eyes

What time of the day do you feel the most focused and awake? For most people, this is in the morning after a cup of tea or coffee. Choose this time to proofread your work. You’ll be more likely to pick up mistakes if you’re not sleepy.

Print out your work

It’s hard to catch typos on the computer screen. Print out your assignment and go through it the old-fashioned way – with a red pen!

Read it out loud

Sometimes you won’t realise something is wrong until you read the words out to yourself. Find a quiet room and read your assignment out loud and see if you can find any errors.

Ask for help from a friend

Find a ‘study buddy’ and proofread each other’s work. This is a great way to get feedback – just make sure you don’t copy each other’s ideas.

Use spellchecker

When all else fails, use the spellchecker on Microsoft Word or a free editing software such as Grammarly.

While typos aren’t the end of the world (we all make them), it’s good to get in the habit of regularly proofreading your work. This habit will serve you well during your studies, and also in your career (for example, when sending emails). Good luck and get out those red pens!

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How to stop multitasking and focus on your studies

Posted on 17/08/2016 by
Do you struggle to stay focused when studying from home? Below we share five tips to help you kick your multitasking habits to the curb.

Do you struggle to stay focused when studying from home? Below we share five tips to help you kick your multitasking habits to the curb.

We live in a multitasking society. At any one moment you might be checking your phone, watching TV, eating dinner, and maybe even talking to your family at the same time. And although you might be able to multitask with ease, it’s important not to make this a study habit.

When it comes to studying, multitasking is the enemy of productivity. It’s much better to sit down for 45 minutes of uninterrupted, focused study than to sit down for 1.5 hours of ‘multitasking study’. Imagine how much more you could achieve if you studied in focused bursts instead of checking Facebook every ten minutes.

Finding focus is hard when you study from home. There’s always dishes to be done or washing to be hung out. We understand that the temptation to multitask can be strong, especially if you have young kids.

Below we’ve outlined five tips to help you focus.

1. Try the Pomodoro technique

Have you heard of the Pomodoro time management technique? In a nutshell, this technique is about working in 25-minute bursts. You set a kitchen timer for 25 minutes and focus 100% on the task at-hand during that time (for example, the task might be reading study notes or completing an online test). You can’t veer from the task for 25 minutes (no Facebook or checking your phone).

Once the timer goes off, you’re allowed a 5-minute break. Then, once you’ve completed four ‘pomodoros’ in a row (four 25-minute bursts), you can take a 15-20 minute break.

Many people love the Pomodoro technique because it gives them a small break to look forward to every 25 minutes. Often it’s easier to not check your phone for 25 minutes than it is to not check your phone for four hours. Why not try this one at home?

2. Hide your phone

Your smartphone can be a real productivity killer. Turn your phone on silent and leave it in another room while you are trying to focus on your studies – out of sight, out of mind. If you’re expecting a phone call, leave it in another room but turn the ringer on loud. That way, you’ll have to get up if it rings – saving you the temptation of checking Instagram every five minutes.

3. Study without internet

If possible, print out your study notes or download them to your computer and ‘go offline’ for a couple of hours. The internet is full of distractions and can be a huge time-waster. Alternatively, you could try blocking the most distracting websites, such as Facebook and YouTube. There are several apps that will do this for you – check out this list from Mashable to get you started.

4. Go to the library

Do you find studying from home really distracting? Maybe it’s impossible to concentrate unless your house is clean? Or perhaps you keep finding yourself at the fridge door? Sometimes the best thing to do is leave the house for a few hours. Go to the library and study in the peace and quiet. Many people also find that they are more productive at the library because everyone else is in a ‘working’ mode. The atmosphere can help you stay motivated and on-task.

5. Ask your family for support

Sometimes your family can be the biggest distraction. Let them know when you need to focus so they know not to interrupt you. Ask for their support and understanding, and remind them that you won’t be studying forever – once you have your qualification you’ll have more time for your family again. If you have young children, maybe try to study after they have gone to sleep or when they are having an afternoon nap.

What do you do to stay focused and stop multitasking? Do you have any tips that aren’t on this list? Let us know in the comments below!

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The power of studying in the same spot every day

Posted on 10/08/2016 by
Studying in the same spot every day can help you stay focused.

Studying in the same spot every day can help you stay focused.

One of the perks about studying from home is that you can technically study anywhere – from bed in your pajamas, from the library, from your local cafe. Wherever you can get electricity and an internet connection, you can study!

Yet, just because you can study from anywhere, doesn’t mean you should. There’s power in creating a designated study space and studying in the same spot every day.

Here are three ways this makes you more productive.

1. Everything you need is in one place

How many times have you gone to the library only to realise that you’ve left half your study notes at home? It’s easy to forget things when you’re rushing from one place to the next. With a designated study space, you can enjoy peace of mind that everything is right where you left it.

2. Your study space is a distraction-free zone

If you study somewhere different every day, you’re more likely to stumble across distractions. But if you’re studying in the same spot, you’ll start to associate it with learning. When you sit down at your desk, you’ll know it’s ‘study time’. The good news is, this also works in reverse – when you leave your desk, you’ll know study time is over and that you can relax.

3. Better study-life balance

Following on from point number two, creating a designated study space helps you enjoy better study-life balance. When you’re studying from home, it can be hard to switch off – especially if your study notes are scattered throughout the house. Many people find that keeping their study notes in one place helps them to feel more organised and less overwhelmed. And the good news is, you don’t need a home office to make this work: check out this motivated mum who created a study space in her wardrobe.

These are just some of the benefits of studying in the same spot every day. Have you tried this technique? Do you find that it makes you more productive? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Online communication tips for distance learners

Posted on 03/08/2016 by
When you study from home, most of your communication with classmates and tutors will be done online. Read on for some tips on how to communicate effectively via email and forums.

When you study from home, most of your communication with classmates and tutors will be done online. Read on for some tips on how to communicate effectively via email and forums.

What do long distance relationships and studying from home have in common? The importance of communication.

Anyone who’s in a long distance relationship will know that communication is key. It’s hard to keep the love alive if you’re not regularly communicating with your partner.

The same ‘rule’ applies to distance learning. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to communicate with others, no matter how many miles keep you apart (thank you internet).

When you study from home, you’ll spend a lot of time chatting with tutors and classmates via email and online forums. Below we’ve outlined a few tips to help you navigate the world of online communication with ease.

1. Keep it real

The first thing to remember when communicating online is that you’re chatting to real people with real feelings! Your online classmates are just like you. Make sure you communicate with the same level of respect and compassion as you would in a classroom environment.

2. Keep it clean

Take care not to swear, make insensitive jokes, or use too much slang. You don’t have to be completely formal – the use of some ‘text language’ is okay within reason – but try to remember that not everyone will understand what you mean. Where possible, use polite and friendly language, and avoid making jokes that some people could find offensive.

3. Keep it concise

Try to communicate in a clear, concise manner so you don’t overwhelm your classmates with long messages. If your note is more than a few sentences, use paragraphs and subheadings to break up the text for easy reading.

4.Keep it appropriate

Online forums are for study purposes, so don’t use this tool to have private conversations or share inappropriate content. We understand that some conversations will naturally veer away from study, but try to stick to the topic at-hand where possible.

5. Keep it friendly

If you take one thing away from this article, make it this. As long as you communicate in a nice, friendly manner you can’t go too far wrong! Treat other people as you would like to be treated, and you’ll find that the world of online communication can be a warm and welcoming place.

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How to motivate yourself to study when you feel like giving up

Posted on 27/07/2016 by
Sometimes studying can feel a lot like climbing a steep set of stairs - sometimes you want to quit and go down before you get to the top. But stay motivated - the view from above will be worth it.

Sometimes studying can feel a lot like climbing a steep set of stairs – sometimes you want to quit and go down before you get to the top. But stay motivated – the view from above will be worth it.

“I’m so tired.”

“I don’t understand.”

“It’s too hard.”

Do you ever feel this way about studying? Like it’s all too hard, and it might be easier to give up on your qualifications completely?

We’ve all been there. We’ve all had days when we’d rather not write assignments, or read study notes. When we’d prefer to blob out on the couch in front of the television instead.

But although giving up might seem like the easy option, it’s actually the hardest. It might provide you with some short-term relief, but in the long run, you’ll always be wondering: “what if I kept going? What if I didn’t give up my studies?”

Don’t spend your life wondering. We’re here to remind you that you can achieve your qualification. When there’s a will, there’s a way, and we’ll do our best to help you on your journey to success.

If you’re in need of some extra motivation this week, here are three tips to help you stay focused and get back on track.

1. Talk to your Study From Home tutor

When you’re unmotivated and overwhelmed, the first step is to talk to your Study From Home tutor. Let us know how you’re feeling and we’ll happily give you some advice. We’ve helped many students throughout the years and we understand that sometimes motivation can be a struggle – but we’ve got plenty of tips to help you on your way.

2. Look after your health

Do your best to look after your health by getting plenty of sleep and eating a healthy diet. Have you ever noticed how things feel worse when you’re tired or hungry? Don’t let a lack of sleep or too many takeaways make you feel like giving up on your studies. Get a good night’s rest and see how much better you feel in the morning.

3. Write it out

Feel like you have so much to do but don’t know where to start? Write a list? This will help to get your anxieties out of your head and onto paper. Once you’ve written everything down, see if there’s anything you can cross off the list, or put off to a later date. For example, if you allocate two hours for cooking dinner every night, maybe you can stock up on frozen veggies and frozen meals so that you have more time in the evenings? Sometimes what we think we ‘need’ to do is more flexible than we realise.

Remember: you won’t feel this way forever

It’s totally normal for you to feel fed up with your studies every once and awhile, but try to remember that this feeling won’t last forever. It will pass. But do you know what will last forever? Your qualification. Once you graduate, a world of new opportunities will open, and any tough times will fade away. You’ve got this!

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What are you willing to give up in order to achieve your dreams?

Posted on 20/07/2016 by
In order to achieve our dreams, we need to make some small sacrifices along the way.

Sometimes in order to achieve our dreams, we need to make some small sacrifices along the way.

This is a big question, but try to put some thought into it, as your answer could lead to big success.

Whenever we think about achieving something, our focus tends to be on what we’re going to gain – not on what we might have to give up.

But ask any successful person and they will tell you they didn’t get to where they are today without making some sacrifices.

“The most important decision about your goals is not what you are willing to do to achieve them, but what you are willing to give up.” – Dave Ramsey.

There are only so many hours in the day, and when you start studying, you might have to give up a few things to stay on top of your assignments.

It’s all about making the best use of your time.

When Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love set out to be a writer, she gave up television so she could focus on her creative projects.

“What are you willing to give up, in order to become who you really need to be?” – Elizabeth Gilbert.

Grab a blank piece of paper and write down everything you spend your time doing. Next, highlight everything you would be willing to sacrifice in order to achieve your qualification.

This simple exercise will help you identify the things that you can say no to when life gets busy. You don’t need to give things up for good, or all the time – just when you’re behind on your studies.

For example, you might highlight things like television, going out with friends, or baking. Even though these are things you love, they won’t help you achieve your goals – and therefore they can wait until you’ve finished studying.

As hard as this sounds, we promise it will make it easier to reach your dreams.

What’s one thing you would be willing to give up? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Study tip: Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Posted on 13/07/2016 by
It's always a good idea to reach out to friends or family when you need a helping hand.

It’s always a good idea to reach out to friends or family when you need a helping hand.

One of the best study tips we can share with you is this: don’t be afraid to ask for help.

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by your studies, see if there is anyone in your network who can lend you a helping hand.

For example, ask your family if they can help you with some of the household chores so you have more time to study in the evening.

Or, if you have children, see if you know of anyone who would be willing to babysit for a couple of hours a week.

We understand it can be hard to ask for help, but you’ll never know unless you try. From our experience, people are often really supportive.

Here are a few tips to make asking for help easier:

  • Ask as early as possible. Ideally, you should ask for help before you really need it. Talk to your friends and family before you start studying, and let them know you might need some support along the way.
  • Offer to return the favour. You won’t be studying forever. Offer to lend a helping hand once you have more free time.
  • Be open to suggestions. When you ask for help, people will probably give you some advice. This is their way of showing they care, and some of their suggestions might be really helpful. Try to keep an open mind and take some of their tips on board.

 
Don’t forget that we’re here to help you, too. You can contact your tutor through Moodle or by calling 0800 788 394. We’ve all studied via distance learning, so we’ve got plenty of tips and tricks up our sleeves to help you succeed.

Good luck, and remember – asking for help is a strength, not a weakness!

Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness

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Are you ready to study from home?

Posted on 06/07/2016 by
Follow our simple checklist to figure out if you're ready to study from home.

Follow our simple checklist to figure out if you’re ready to study from home.

Studying from home is a big commitment, so it’s a good idea to wait until you’re ready to fully immerse yourself in the learning experience. Rushing into study could cause stress and compromise your success – it’s best to be as prepared as possible.

So, how will you know when you’re ready?

We’ve compiled a checklist of things you should do before you enrol on a distance learning course. These steps will help you prepare for student life.

Please note, this checklist is intended as a guide only. If you have any questions about any of our courses, please contact us.

1. Talk to friends and family

Tell your loved ones that you’re thinking about studying from home. They might have some valuable advice for you, or even offer to help out from time to time. Studying is much easier with the support of your friends and family.

2. Speak with an ITC Study From Home tutor

You probably have lots of questions about studying from home. The best people to ask are the ITC Study From Home tutors. They will be able to help you figure out which course is right for you. Call 0800 788 394 to request to speak with a tutor.

3. Decide whether to study part-time or full-time

We offer two study options for distance learning – part-time or full-time. Part-time courses take on average 40 weeks to complete, and you must do a minimum of 10-15 hours study each week. Full-time courses are 20 weeks on average, and require a minimum of 20-25 hours of study each week. Figure out which option will suit you best.

4. Create a draft study plan

The best way to see whether you have the time to study from home is to create a draft study plan. Follow the steps in this helpful guide to see if you have enough ‘study hours’ each week. Sometimes we don’t know how much spare time we actually have until we see it on paper.

5. Write down what you would be prepared to give up in order to study

One of the hardest things about study is that it often requires you to make some short-term sacrifices. What would you give up for six months or a year in order to achieve your qualification? Write a list of things that you could “live without”. Some examples include television, going out on the weekends, and spending time on social media. You probably won’t have to give these up completely, but you may have to go without them for a week or two during busy times.

Being aware of these sacrifices before you start your course ensures you’re not in for any surprises. We promise all your favourite TV shows will be waiting for you once you’ve achieved your qualification!

We hope this checklist has helped you figure out if you’re ready to Study From Home. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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How to create a study plan (and stick to it!)

Posted on 29/06/2016 by
Don't let time get away on you. Follow our tips for creating a study plan and re-take control over your schedule.

Don’t let time get away on you. Follow our tips for creating a study plan and re-take control over your schedule.

“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.”

“In order to succeed, we must first believe we can.”

“The harder you work for something, the greater you’ll feel when you achieve it.”

We’ve all read the motivational quotes – we know that in order to reach our goals, we need to work hard and put in effort.

Yet although these quotes might inspire us to get off the couch and get to work, they don’t tell us how to achieve our goals.

It’s fantastic to feel motivated – but it’s not enough. The secret to success is actually this: creating a plan, and sticking to it.

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”

The best way to create good study habits is to stick to a study plan. Here’s how to create one.

Step 1: Start with a blank study timetable

First, decide how you will keep track of your time. Choose a calendar format, such as:

  • A diary or journal
  • A wall calendar
  • A digital calendar (e.g. Google Calendar)

 
Or, to get started right away, download our free study timetable (Microsoft Word).

Step 2: Block out prior commitments

On your study timetable, block out all of your prior commitments, such as:

  • Work
  • Travelling to/from work
  • Caring for family/dependants
  • Church, sports, hobbies
  • Eating, cooking
  • Housework and chores
  • Relaxing and socialising

 
Step 3: Block out study time

Once you have entered all of these commitments in your study timetable, count how many ‘spare’ hours you have leftover each week.

Remember, if your course is 20 weeks you must complete 20-25 hours of study each week. If your course is 40 weeks, you must complete 10-15 hours of study each week.

Block out time for study in your spare time. Try to dedicate at least one full day to your studies per week if possible.

If you don’t have enough time to study, consider dropping one of your prior commitments to make room, such as socialising. You will probably find that each week looks a little different – the key is to be flexible and juggle things around to make study fit.

Tip: Plan for disruptions! Don’t fill every available minute with study – you need to keep some free time every day to deal with all those unexpected situations that pop up.

Step 4: Stick to it!

The plan only works if you stick to it! Treat your study plan as your daily schedule/guide and follow it as best you can. Here are some tips for staying on track:

  • Print your study plan and put it somewhere you will see it every day, for example on the fridge or above your desk. If your calendar is digital, set reminders on your phone and refer to it throughout the day.
  • Be prepared to change your plan. Sometimes unexpected things come up and you will need to reshuffle your commitments. For example, if the kids are late to bed one night and you can’t study, try to fit those ‘missed study hours’ in later in the week. Some weeks will go better than others.
  • Reward yourself for following your plan – not every day, but maybe once a fortnight. This could be with some chocolate, a movie – pick something that will motivate you to keep going. Note: a week off studying is not a supportive reward!

 
Habits don’t form overnight, but after a few weeks of sticking to your plan, it’ll begin to feel like second nature: have faith in yourself and keep going.

And don’t forget to ask your tutors if you need any help along the way. Contact us via Moodle, or pick up the phone and give us a call. We’re always here to help. Good luck!

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What are SMART goals and why are they important?

Posted on 22/06/2016 by
The 'SMART goals' approach is a well-known style of goal setting that can be applied to your studies. Here's how SMART goals work and why they matter.

The ‘SMART goals’ approach is a well-known style of goal setting that can be applied to your studies. Here’s how SMART goals work and why they matter.

If you’re struggling to keep up with the demands of studying from home, you may find that setting SMART goals helps you to stay on track. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound.

Here’s some more information about SMART goals and how to set them.

Specific

Goals are more likely to be achieved if they are specific. For example, telling yourself ‘I’m going to read five pages of course notes this Saturday morning’ is far more effective than telling yourself ‘I’m going to do some study this weekend’. What does ‘some’ study mean? It could mean anything from five minutes to five hours. Don’t leave your study goals up to chance – be as specific as possible.

Measurable

You must be able to measure all of your goals. For example, ‘learn section B of the textbook’ is not as clear as ‘correctly answer all the practice questions of section B of the textbook’. Consider using number quantities (how much, how many etc) to set your goals and make them measurable.

Achievable

Make sure achieving your goal is actually possible. Too often we set unrealistic goals for ourselves and this leads to disappointment and frustration. Remember to leave more time than you think you need, and to plan far ahead – the last thing you want to do is get behind because you thought you could cram all your assignments into one weekend.

Relevant

A relevant goal is one that has meaning – one that matters. Ask yourself: ‘If I achieve this goal, will I be helping myself to get ahead? And does it fit in with my long-term plans?’. When it comes to study, we often convince ourselves that things like shopping for new stationery or cooking three-hour meals are really important. When in reality, pretty pens and gourmet meals won’t help you get any closer to your dream job. Focus on the goals that will get you the best results.

Time-bound

Last but not least, all goals should have a time limit. Without a sense of urgency, there will be no real motivation to complete the task before a certain time. Give yourself deadlines for all of your assignments (or follow the ones set out by your tutor!). Stick to them, no matter what – it might be tough at the time, but it will be so worth it when you’re graduating with your qualification.

If you are having time management troubles, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Study From Tutor and ask for advice – we have plenty more tips and tricks about staying on track.

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How to motivate yourself to exercise in winter

Posted on 15/06/2016 by
It’s common to drop exercise as soon as it gets cold, but there are many reasons why you should keep it up. Here’s how to stay fit in winter!

It’s common to drop exercise as soon as it gets cold, but there are many reasons why you should keep it up. Here’s how to stay fit in winter!

As soon as the days get darker, shorter and colder, exercise tends to drop off the to-do list. Staying inside where it’s warm and cozy is far more appealing than heading outside for a run, walk or swim!

However, it’s important that you stay active during the winter months, especially if you’re studying from home. If you spend too much time cooped up inside, this could negatively impact your productivity and lead to feelings of tiredness, lethargy and even anxiety.

The benefits of exercising in winter 

Exercising during winter will help keep you fit, but you will also benefit from better moods. Many people find they feel happier, stronger and more focused after some physical activity. It doesn’t have to be difficult – a short stroll through the park can do wonders for your energy levels.

Other benefits of exercise include:

  • Health, vitality and a strong immune system
  • Vitamin D and fresh air
  • Keeping warm!
  • Stay in shape

 
How to maintain an exercise routine

So how can you keep exercising when the weather turns moody and the couch is much more appealing than the treadmill?

If you’ve never been much of a gym goer before, this could be the time to sign up. Gyms are much quieter through winter so you can get used to the gear before it gets busy again, and all the new equipment and on-site trainers will help boost your enthusiasm for exercise.

For those who are already gym fans, try signing up for regular classes to mix it up a little. Spin classes, boot camps and dance sessions can help you make the extra effort.

Another incentive is to sign up for an event in early summer. A 10-kilometre run, half marathon or even full marathon all require training before you can complete them, so signing up will give you no choice but to commit to regular exercise in the lead up to the day.

You could also find a friend and plan to work out together. If necessary, sign up for one of the above options or simply create your own plans, and hold one another accountable if either of you fail to do the exercise.

Of course, nothing works quite like a great incentive, so promise yourself some kind of treat each week if you manage to exercise on three days, for example. Whether that’s lunch at your favourite café or a new book, the reward will help you stay motivated to achieve your goals.

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How to reset a bad day

Posted on 08/06/2016 by
Baking a delicious treat is one way to turn your bad mood into a good mood!

Baking a delicious treat is one way to turn your bad mood into a good mood!

We all have them. Those days when nothing seems to go right, when you run out of milk and can’t have your morning coffee, or when you just can’t seem to focus on your study, let alone get anything done.

Bad days happen to everyone, but you don’t have to let it run its course. Instead, hit the reset button. Even though it can take some time, ‘resetting’ can significantly increase your productivity and mood afterwards – saving you from toiling away and not getting anything done at all.

Here are a few great ways to start fresh, even if it’s 2pm!

Clean your house

There’s something about the act of cleaning that simply makes you feel good. Whether it’s vacuuming the whole house, scrubbing the oven or getting the bathroom spotless, the feeling of accomplishment after achieving a tidy, clean home is undeniable. Put on your favourite tunes and get ready to scrub, because this activity can completely reset your day (not to mention, give you a clean house and win you brownie points from the flatmates/family, too).

Exercise

Pull out your yoga mat, put on your running shoes or head to the pool for a swim – any form of exercise can work wonders for your mood. This is because when you get the body moving, your brain releases endorphins, which are chemicals that create a positive feeling.

Once you’ve had your workout, you should be in a much more positive frame of mind, and ready to start the day over.

Phone a friend

Phoning a friend isn’t just a game show shortcut, it’s a legitimate way to improve your day. Give a good friend a ring and catch up, make plans for the weekend and have a good whinge about how badly your day is going. The kind and understanding voice at the other end of the line will help get you out of that rut.

Make a good meal

Cooking and baking can be an extremely cathartic exercise. As you give your hands and mind something specific to do with a set outcome, you’ll quickly lose yourself in the process of making a delicious meal or treat. By the time you’re ready to try studying again, you should feel refreshed, and at the very least, you’ll have something yummy to eat!

Have a nap

If all else fails, head back to bed for a nap. It’s entirely possible that you’re just a bit tired and need an extra hour before you’re truly ready to face the day.

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5 tricks to boost your memory

Posted on 01/06/2016 by
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A great memory helps you be a great student – here are five ways you can improve yours.

No matter what you’re studying or how much you need to learn, a good memory can help you achieve better results and gain confidence in your abilities. The good news is, there are ways you can train your brain to retain more information than usual. Try these five tricks to boost your memory to make studying that much easier.

1. Practice

Even when you’re not studying, practice training your brain to remember things. For example, try to learn your friends’ cellphone numbers, or remember the number plate of a passing car. Simply by forcing your brain to remember things, you can make small improvements. Think of it like exercising a muscle!

2. Eat well

Nutrition plays an important role in your ability to remember things. If you’re too hungry to concentrate on what you’re learning, or you consume too much sugar and then crash, you will probably find it hard to retain information.

Try to enjoy a healthy, balanced diet that doesn’t include too much sugar or processed foods. Specific foods, such as oily fish, pumpkin seeds and other sources of omega-3 fats, have been found to be good for brain function.

3. Play games

Who knew playing games could be good for your studies? Games give your brain a good workout, which can help to strengthen your memory.

Visit the app store on your phone or head online to find a new game. You’ll want something that you haven’t played before, that’s challenging and rewarding.

4. Exercise

It’s good for boosting your mood, for fitness, and of course, it can help your memory, too. Look for any workout that gets your blood pumping (it’s good for the brain in the same way that it’s good for the heart). Sports that include hand-eye coordination (such as tennis or netball) are extra helpful.

5. Get enough sleep

A good night’s sleep is extremely important for everything from your energy levels to your mood, and it can also play a role in your ability to learn new things and remember them. Adults need anywhere from seven to nine hours of sleep to function properly, so spend a week recording how many hours you’re clocking, and aim to improve it if you’re falling behind.

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The pros and cons of studying with others

Posted on 25/05/2016 by
Studying with a friend or in a group has pros and cons – here are the ones you need to know if you’re considering it.

Studying with a friend or in a group has pros and cons – here are the ones you need to know if you’re considering it.

When you’ve been studying from home for a while, it’s easy to become bored with your environment, or simply to want a change to keep things interesting. One way to do this is to get together with friends who also have studies to work on.

Here are the pros and cons of working with others for study!

Pro: They can keep you motivated

If you’re working with someone who is a hard worker, you’ll quickly pick up similar habits. For example, they might be particularly good at knuckling down and working through tasks, which can inspire you to do the same.

Con: They can be a distraction

On the other hand, someone who doesn’t have the best work ethic may actually slow you down. They might find reasons to chat about non-study matters, or end up spending time surfing the net. Similarly, you may be inclined to pick up similar habits or give in to chatting about weekend plans instead of the task at hand.

Pro: You can ask for help

Your study buddy may be able to answer tough questions that you’re struggling with, explain confusing concepts or simply be there to bounce ideas off. A second brain to untangle a puzzle is always a big help, which can really improve your progress.

Con: Timing doesn’t always work

When your studies rely on someone else to be around, it can be tough to make sure it happens as often as it should. If your study buddy is hard to get hold of or tends to pull out at the last minute, you might need to switch back to solo study or find a new partner.

Pro: It can make it more fun

Making studying from home fun is a great way to become more engaged in your work. With a partner there to talk about concepts with, take short breaks with, and troubleshoot with, the time can pass more quickly and leave you feeling like study was less of a chore and more of a rewarding and enjoyable work session.

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5 tips for a good night’s sleep

Posted on 18/05/2016 by
Sleep is an important part of being able to study well from home without feeling tired. Try these 5 tips to sleep better each night.

Sleep is an important part of being able to study well from home without feeling tired. Try these 5 tips to sleep better each night.

The difference between a good night’s sleep and a bad one is more than just a bit of tossing and turning. Sleep poorly and you’ll struggle to concentrate during the day, and you may even feel grumpier or eat more. Sleep well and you’ll be better prepared to focus, and more mentally able to tackle tough tasks – all vital for a productive day of studying from home.

As much as 36 per cent of New Zealanders feel tired or fatigued every day, according to a Southern Cross Healthcare Group survey, so it’s important to aim for the best night’s sleep possible.

Here are our five top tips!

1. Exercise during the day

Exercise is an essential part of a healthy body, but it can also help you sleep. Wear yourself out with sports, walking, a trip to the gym or even just yoga at home. Any amount of exercise is better than nothing, but aim for 30 minutes per day.

2. Create a routine

Your body may respond well to a nightly routine that will help train it into knowing it’s time for rest. This may include a cup of non-caffeinated tea, reading a magazine or book, or writing a to-do list for tomorrow. Ensure that no part of this routine includes exercise or stress, as it should wind you down rather than wake you up.

3. Invest in proper bedding

We spend roughly a third of our lives in bed, so it makes sense to feel comfortable and supported during that time. If your mattress or pillows are old and worn down, you may sleep considerably better on higher quality products.

4. Eat well in the evening

A large, heavy meal for dinner (especially when eaten late) can make it difficult to fall asleep, as can going to bed hungry from not eating a nutritious dish. Aim to eat a balanced meal well before you go to bed, and avoid anything with caffeine that could keep you awake.

5. Stop the naps

One of the most tempting things to do when studying from home is to take a nap when you feel tired. Once you get into this habit, however, you may struggle to fall asleep at night. If you’re tempted to sleep during the day, try some light exercise, drinking water, or giving your brain a break to keep you awake and focused.

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Could these habits be killing your productivity?

Posted on 11/05/2016 by
Being productive is what will get you through your assignments when studying from home, so it's important to be aware of things that kill your focus.

Being productive is what will get you through your assignments when studying from home, so it’s important to be aware of things that kill your focus.

When it comes to studying from home, productivity is the one thing that will get all your tasks completed on time – that, and caffeine!

That’s why it’s important to always be aware of things that can kill your productivity. Many of us have ‘productivity killers’ in common – here are a few of them and what you can do to stop them from stopping you.

Trying to do too much

Everyone knows a to-do list is a great way to move through your workload, so it’s a good feeling when you write one and see all the things you’re going to tick off. For that reason, it’s tempting to write a to-do list that has far, far too much on it. However this can actually have a negative impact on your productivity. Instead of feeling motivated to do the work, you might feel overwhelmed or exhausted. The trick is to push yourself to work hard, but still be realistic. You will need to allow time for breaks, meals, and one or two distractions.

Working on X, Y and Z

You know you have a lot to do, so won’t it save time to do it all at once? Perhaps you cook yourself lunch while reading over important notes and coming up with new ideas for a project on the side? Contrary to popular belief, multi-tasking isn’t great for your brain. By tackling multiple tasks at once, your brain will switch from one to the other, which means you won’t be focusing on any one of them in the way you should (cue a burnt lunch, forgotten notes and lacklustre ideas). Do one after the other to give each task your full attention – it will take a little longer, but the results will be much stronger.

Only aiming for perfection

Aiming for perfection is an honorable goal, but you need to keep in mind that the effort is not always worth the time, as it can mean that your other projects suffer. Naturally, you should still aim for high-quality work, but once you’re satisfied that you’ve done a good job, move on to the next task so you can do a good job on that too rather than rushing it. Save striving for perfection for when you have the time to invest everything you’ve got into a single task. It’s better to consistently pass all of your assignments than do fabulously on one and fail the other.

What kills your productivity? Do you have any tips or tricks that help you stay focused? Share in the comments below.

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Posture check! Is your study space set up correctly?

Posted on 27/04/2016 by
This desk may look gorgeous, but it's probably very supportive for your back, arms or wrists. Read on to find out what you need to ensure you stay comfortable throughout the day.

This desk may look gorgeous, but it’s probably not very supportive for your back, arms or wrists. Read on to find out how to set up a safe and comfortable study space.

Do you ever get to the end of a long study day at home and realise that your back has been aching for hours? How about your shoulders, neck, or wrists? When it gets bad, these pains could be you experiencing RSI (repetitive strain injury), and they are caused by an improper set up at your desk.

It’s almost impossible to simply stumble upon the perfect sitting position for an ergonomic work station at home – you really have to set it up purposefully to get it in the best position for your body.

The chair

Your chair is an important part of your set up. If you don’t already, invest in one that has an adjustable height and back, and has a comfortable (cushioned) seat. Ideally, it should also have arm rests.

The back should be set up quite straight, as if it leans back, you will likely end up slouching at your desk. A chair with lumbar support (or a cheap add-on support) will also help you sit in a way that’s good for your back by pushing your lower spine away from the chair.

The height of the chair should be so that your feet sit flat on the ground, but if you don’t have an adjustable seat and you’re sitting too high with your feet off the ground, put a box or phonebook under them for a makeshift footrest. Likewise, if you are too low, add a cushion to the seat to lift you up.

The desk

Your desk should be arranged so that when you pull your chair in front, sit down and stare straight ahead, the screen is directly in front of you.

If your monitor is too low and you don’t have an adjustable desk, you may consider putting something under the screen so you’re not bending your neck to look down at it. If your monitor is too high, you may need to adjust your chair to be a little higher and add a footrest.

The keyboard

Most keyboards are asymmetrical because of the number pads on the right, but for a good set up, the alphabet should be directly in front of your hands. Rather than placing the whole board right in the middle in front of you, look at the ‘B’ key and put it in front of your nose to ensure the letters are where they should be.

And of course, just doing all of the above isn’t necessarily enough – it helps if you mentally remind yourself to sit up straight and keep your feet flat on the ground!

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How to set up a distraction-free study space

Posted on 20/04/2016 by
Are you someone who gets distracted easily? You'll probably learn better if you strip your study space of any unnecessary distractions - read on for some tips.

Are you someone who gets distracted easily? You’ll probably learn better if you strip your study space of any unnecessary distractions – read on for some tips.

Distraction: “Something that makes it difficult to think or pay attention.”

Distractions are easily one of the toughest parts of studying from home. Whether it’s your kids, your pets, a sunny day outside, a new game on your phone, or even a pile of laundry that needs sorting, distractions will get in the way of your study and can slow you down significantly.

So how can you avoid them? Start by setting up a study space that’s as distraction-free as possible with these simple tips.

Remove your phone

We’re all guilty of idly picking up our mobile phones to see what’s happening on Facebook or in the news. When it’s sitting right in front of you, it’s hard not to.

So remove it.

It’s unrealistic to suggest to turn it off completely, so leave it on loud in case someone tries to get in touch with you, but place it on the other side of the room where it’s out of sight, and out of reach.

Make your decorations boring

Nobody wants to sit at an ugly study space all day, so many people decorate it with photos of loved ones, fun calendars and other cool items. As great as they are, they will ultimately distract you as you stare at them.

Keep some decorations, but make them simple things you won’t stare at – such as a pot plant or set of fairy lights.

Move your desk

Where does your desk currently face? Out the window and into a garden or over a nice view might sound blissful, but it quickly becomes a distraction when study becomes tough.

The trick is to keep the natural light but avoid facing directly outside, as this can help you focus on what’s in front of you on the screen, rather than what’s in front of you out the window. Save those scenic views for your breaks!

Store snacks at your study space

When study becomes a slog, the kitchen can suddenly start looking like a beacon of light. You’ll find yourself opening the fridge and cupboards looking for snacks and ultimately wasting time.

Start each day with healthy snacks and plenty of water at your study space so you don’t have an excuse to leave and look for something to eat.

Warn others

Flatmates, family members, and children can all be effective distractions from your studies. While some things are important, and some kids won’t understand why they can’t talk to mummy or daddy, make it as clear as possible to others that you need time to focus.

Setting up a routine will help those in your household to let you have your alone time for study. One idea is to let them know when you are planning to take breaks so they can talk to you then.

What’s your biggest distraction when studying from home, and how do you manage it?

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5 signs you’re studying too hard

Posted on 13/04/2016 by
Studying too hard can be just as bad as studying too little. Here are five signs you might be overdoing it (+ how to avoid burnout).

Studying too hard can be just as bad as studying too little. Here are five signs you might be overdoing it (+ how to avoid burnout).

When you study online via distance learning, it can be all too easy for your study to take over if you don’t set some study-life boundaries.

While keeping busy with study is a fantastic way to learn and grow, it’s important that you’re not overdoing it. Here are five signs that you might be studying too hard and need to find a way to cut back!

1. You’re not sleeping well

Sleep is a vital component in everyday life – from health to happiness and energy. Unfortunately, when you study too hard you can become stressed and anxious, and by the time you go to bed, you can’t get to sleep because it’s still all churning through your mind.

Stress about your study might also lead you to wake up throughout the night, or wake up earlier than you need to in the morning. It may help to write a to-do list before bed so that you can get those thoughts down on paper for the next day, rather than letting them circle around all night and keep you awake.

2. You don’t have much to show for your study

As much as this one doesn’t sound like it makes sense, it’s actually a common indicator that you’re studying too hard. If you get to the end of the day and can’t really say what you managed to achieve, it’s possible that your brain was too tired and unfocussed to actually achieve much at all.

It takes focus to get a lot done, and you can’t focus 24/7 no matter how hard you try. Make sure you’re taking regular study breaks to give your mind some reprieve from its workload so that you’re refreshed for the next task.

3. Your friends are giving up on you

Did you turn down that coffee date or miss out on that movie you wanted to see with friends because you were too busy studying? Your mates are probably almost as tired of your study schedule as you are.

Don’t forget to give yourself breaks to see your friends and family. Study is important, but you should never have to miss out on seeing the ones you love.

4. You procrastinate more

Procrastination is a normal human behaviour that you shouldn’t worry about too much. However, if you’re getting to the point where your day is more procrastination than study, it’s a good sign that you’ve already burnt out and simply can’t face getting anything done.

Rather than feel guilty about procrastinating, plan time out so you can do other things, then return to your study ready to get started – without checking all your social media accounts first.

5. Your health is suffering

This is a serious one – if you’re eating poorly, missing out on regular exercise, or simply spending too much time sitting still, you won’t be doing your body any favours.

As it’s all too easy to find an excuse to skip the gym or order takeaways instead of cooking a nutritious meal, health is one of the first things to go out the window when study comes a-knocking. If it goes on too long, it can adversely affect your studies and leave you feeling listless and tired.

Look for ways you can fit exercise and nutrition into your days to maintain good health and put yourself first.

Do any of these signs apply to you? Share your ideas for reducing your stress and workload in the comments below.

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How to make studying from home fun

Posted on 06/04/2016 by
Struggling to find the motivation to study from home? See our three tips below to help find the fun in learning.

Struggling to find the motivation to study from home? Read our three tips to help find the fun in learning.

We share a lot of study tips on this blog. From the best snacks to eat to stay focused, to how to study in summer when the beach is calling your name, we’re dedicated to helping you ace your travel and tourism assignments.

But all of our tips might be worthless if you don’t find any enjoyment in studying. Sure, there’s no avoiding some tedious tasks, but there are ways you can learn to love learning – you just need to think outside of the box.

Here are three tips to help make studying from home fun, so that it becomes less of a chore and more of a passion.

use colour to make study fun

1. Invest in fun stationery

Studying is the perfect excuse to buy cute stationery (as if you needed another one!). Swap boring plain lined paper for a sketch pad, journal or even a whiteboard – whatever works for you. Also, try to use plenty of colour. Think bright felt tip pens and post-it notes. The aim of this is to help get your creative juices flowing. Not only will this make studying more fun, it’ll also encourage you to think creatively about what you’re learning.

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2. Find real-world examples

Many people find study boring because they can’t connect what they’re learning on paper to what happens in the real world. Where possible, look for ways to experience what you’re learning first-hand. For example, if you are learning about what it’s like to work at the airport, why not visit your nearest airport for lunch and observe your surroundings? Or if you are learning about customer service, see if you can do some work experience at a local tourism operator.

the aural learner

3. Create a study playlist

Some people find music distracting when studying – if this is you, move right along to the next tip. But if you love bopping along to the beat while you learn, turn up the tunes and enjoy! Create a new study playlist every week as motivation to hit the books. Songs without words are best as they aren’t so distracting, but listen to whatever works for you.

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Five study break ideas to boost your concentration

Posted on 30/03/2016 by
One of the best ways to recharge your mind when you're studying is by taking a quick break to exercise and stretch.

One of the best ways to recharge your mind when you’re studying is by taking a quick break to exercise.

As counter intuitive as this may sound, one of the best study tips we can give you is this: take regular breaks. Many studies have shown that the human mind can only concentrate for short blocks at a time and requires a ‘pause’ approximately every 45 minutes.

Studying for hours and hours on end, without taking breaks, may actually negatively impact your ability to retain key information. For better results, aim to step away from your notes and recharge your batteries at least once every two hours.

Before you get too excited and turn on the television, ‘recharge your batteries’ doesn’t mean binge-watching your favourite television programme. Ideally, study breaks shouldn’t last any longer than 30 minutes and should be something which relaxes and clears your mind, and reenergises you to tackle your next assignment.

Unsure what constitutes a ‘healthy’ study break? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Below are five study break ideas which are guaranteed to boost your concentrate levels.

1. Exercise

The best thing you can do for your brain is get your blood pumping. Go for a walk around the block, hit the gym, do some weights in your lounge – whatever you do, aim to get out of your computer chair and increase your heart rate. If possible, exercise outdoors – the fresh air will do you good!

2. Meditation

Studying can be stressful and overwhelming. If you begin to feel anxious, take some time away from your desk to practice meditation. Never meditated before? Don’t worry, there are several free smartphone apps which can guide you through the process. Download one today to be one step closer to relaxation.

3. Nap

As indulgent as it may feel to take a nap in the middle of the day, this is often exactly what your brain needs. Just remember a nap is about 20 to 30 minutes maximum, so remember to set an alarm. If you sleep any longer than this, you will likely feel worse.

4. Colouring In

There’s a reason adult colouring in books are flying off the shelves – this arty activity is incredibly relaxing and brings out your creative side. Many people view this as a form of meditation, as the act of colouring allows your mind to freely wander and break free from anxious thoughts. Grab your colouring pens and give it a try.

5. Clean

Feel like you have ants in your pants and can’t concentrate on your study? Put on some gloves and give your home a spring clean! The simple act of doing dishes or vacuuming can help to relax your mind and give your body a much-needed break from the computer chair. Plus you’ll get to enjoy a sparkling clean house!

How do you enjoy your study breaks? Share your favourite break ideas in the comments below.

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What is your learning style?

Posted on 23/03/2016 by
Take your study sessions to the next level by finding out what type of learning style suits you best.

Take your study sessions to the next level by finding out what type of learning style suits you best.

We all have different ways of learning. Some people are visual learners and respond to bright pictures and flowcharts. Others need to study by themselves in peace and quiet before they can fully absorb information.

These are just a few examples – there are so many styles out there! Which learning style do you most identify with? Read on to find out, and for tips on how to make your learning style work for you.

The visual learner

Visual learning style

You learn best when looking at bright pictures, photos, videos and other visual media. You’re happiest when doodling ideas on a big piece of paper with coloured pens, or scribbling on the whiteboard.

Study From Home tip: invest in a vision board and decorate it with drawings, flowcharts and other visual aids to help stimulate learning. Surround yourself with colour!

The verbal learner (aka the writer)

verbal learner

Words are your friend. Whether they are written or spoken, you learn best when given detailed explanations. You’re very articulate, love language and adore reading.

Study From Home tip: Always keep a journal close by. You never know when you’re going to need to work out an idea on paper!

The doer

Physical learning style

Not one to sit on the sidelines, you like to get amongst the action. You prefer to be hands-on and you absorb information when physically doing whatever you’re trying to learn, for example through role play.

Study From Home tip: Look for ways to apply your travel and tourism study to real life, through volunteering for work experience or visiting popular tourism hot spots in your town.

The listener

the aural learner

You make a great student in the classroom, as you learn best when absorbing sound or music. To remember tricky information, try making up your own rap, song or rhyme.

Study From Home tip: Listen to music in the background as you study, or record your notes and play them back to yourself.

The social learner

Startup Stock Photos

A great team player, you work best in a group environment and love studying when surrounded by other people. You also love a lively discussion!

Study From Home tip: Get out of the house. Take your study gear to a crowded cafe to boost your energy levels. Or, if possible, create your own study group with other people in your area.

The solitary learner

the solitary learner

You like quiet, clutter-free spaces where you can process information in your own time, at your own pace. You’re highly organised, self-motivated and enjoy setting goals.

Study From Home tip: You are perfectly suited to studying from the peace and quiet of your own home (providing your home is quiet, that is!). Set up a tidy, private study space and let flatmates or family members know not to interrupt.

The logical learner

the logical learner

You have a very ‘mathematical’ brain and tend to approach problems in a very systematical way. You learn best when following a highly organised (and logical!) structure, which makes you great at prioritising and time management.

Study From Home tip: Write a to-do list and the beginning of each day and systematically check off each task as you move through them – this will help you feel in control.

What is your learning style? Share in the comments below!

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10 healthy study snacks to help you stay focused

Posted on 16/03/2016 by
The best study snacks are light and nutritious, providing you with plenty of energy to hit the books.

The best study snacks are light and nutritious, providing you with plenty of energy to hit the books.

For many people, one of the hardest things about studying from home is resisting the call of the kitchen. Do you ever find yourself snacking out of boredom, procrastination or habit? I don’t know about you, but every time I have to learn a difficult topic, I somehow find myself peering into the fridge instead.

Or maybe you have the opposite problem. Perhaps you get so absorbed in your studies that you forget to eat proper meals and end up snacking on whatever’s easiest to prepare – lollies, potato chips, two-minute noodles. This can negatively impact your study, as you won’t be providing the brain with enough fuel to absorb new information.

What you eat throughout the day can have a huge impact on your overall energy levels and your ability to concentrate on studying. To help you make better food decisions (and avoid running to the kitchen every few minutes out of boredom), here’s a list of 10 healthy snack ideas. Give these a try and see how you feel.

1. Carrot sticks and hummus

Fresh, fast and easy to prepare – not to mention delicious – this is a healthy filling snack that will keep ‘hanger’ away.

2. Fruit

An obvious yet underrated choice. Fruit requires minimal preparation and is the perfect thing to eat on-the-go.

3. Nuts

A handful of almonds, cashews or peanuts can be just enough to tide you over between meals. Just watch your portion sizes, as nuts have a high fat content.

4. Yoghurt

Packed with protein, a pot of natural yoghurt is the ideal thing to keep in the fridge for morning or afternoon tea.

5. Brown rice crackers

A healthy alternative to potato chips, these crackers are best enjoyed with sliced tomato or avocado.

6. Popcorn

Believe it or not, without oodles of butter and salt, popcorn is actually a light, healthy snack. Keep a bowl of popped goodness on hand for days when you’re feeling particularly peckish.

7. Muesli bars

Store-bought muesli bars are often full of sugar (you might as well just eat chocolate), but we can’t deny that they are very convenient. Look for low sugar options at the supermarket, or, if you’re feeling really inspired, make your own!

8. Cheese

A few slices of cheese can do much to satiate cravings for fatty foods such as hot chips. Spread a little peanut butter on a slice of cheese for a taste sensation!

9. Milky coffee

Although technically not food, a milky coffee can be filling, not to mention energising. Try this next time you are feeling tired mid-afternoon.

10. Dark chocolate

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to be healthy, chocolate is the only snack that will do. If you are a self-confessed chocoholic, choose brands that have at least 70% cocoa content. And remember – portion control!

Do you have any go-to study snacks to help you stay focused at home? Share your favourites in the comments below.

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5 apps to help you study

Posted on 09/03/2016 by
Technology can be a massive distraction... but it can also be a huge help! Read on for five great apps to help you study.

Technology can be a massive distraction… but it can also be a huge help! Read on for five great apps to help you study.

Study can be a challenge in a digital world that’s full of online distractions. Between updating Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, it’s a wonder we find the time to do anything else!

In all seriousness, social media can really undermine your ability to study from home if you don’t find ways to manage the addiction (yes, addiction!). When was the last time you went for an hour without checking your phone? It can be tough to concentrate on bookwork when all you want to do is send funny cat photos to your friend (trust me, I’ve been there).

The good news is, technology is not all bad. There are actually some great apps that can help you study. We’ve rounded up our five favourites below.

1.StayFocusd

Do you find yourself refreshing Facebook every five minutes, not because you want to, but out of habit? This app will make this a thing of the past. A Google Chrome extension, StayFocusd can temporarily block time-wasting websites of your choice. Next time you know you need to focus for a day simply use this app to block Facebook, and watch your productivity soar!

2.Trello

Used by businesses, individuals and of course students, Trello is essentially a fancy time-management ‘to-do-list’ app. It allows you to create a ‘card’ for each task and arrange them in order of priority. You can even invite other people to view your Trello boards, perfect for when you have a group assignment. If you love being organised, you’ll love Trello, which describes itself as “the easy, free, flexible, and visual way to manage your projects and organize anything”.

3.Flashcards

This iOS app – Flashcards by Brainscape – allows you to create your own digital flashcards; perfect for prepping for a test or trying to memorise important facts. It’s free (or a few dollars without advertisements) and works across all iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, etc).

4. Dragon Dictation

If you find it really hard to ‘think on paper’ and come up with better ideas when talking out loud, the use Dragon Dictation to prepare for assignments. This app will record your voice, so you can play your thoughts back when it comes time to actually write your essay or prep for your test. It’s a good way to make sure you capture all of your ideas without having to take physical notes.

5. Alarmy (Sleep If U Can)

This app is quite possibly one of the most annoying apps ever invented, but it is perfect for those of you who are prone to sleeping in late. Alarmy (Sleep If U Can) is very clever; the only way you can turn the alarm off is by taking a photo of a ‘registered object’. For example, you might register a photo of your kitchen sink or your front door – this means that in order to turn your alarm off in the morning, you have to physically get up and take a picture. Sleep if you can!

Do you use any great study apps? Tell us your favourites in the comments below.

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How to study in summer when the beach is calling your name

Posted on 17/02/2016 by
Trying to study but all you can think about is the beach? See our tips below for how to stay focused on beautiful summer days.

Trying to study but all you can think about is the beach? See our tips below for how to stay focused on beautiful summer days.

Studying from home during the warm summer months can be tough. Beautiful blue sky days probably have you dreaming about the beach. It can be tempting to ignore your assignments, pack a picnic and head to the water for a day of sunbathing and swimming.

While trading study for the beach sounds amazing (let’s be honest – we’d all rather be on holiday all summer!), we’re here to help you stay motivated. Here’s how to stay focused during summer, no matter how loudly the beach is calling your name.

Take your books outside

Staying inside on a beautiful day often feels plain wrong – as if you are wasting perfectly good weather. There’s only one way to beat this: take your study stuff outside. Do some reading in your garden, at a nearby park or even outside at a local café. Just be sure to wear sunscreen and sit in the shade where possible. While we wouldn’t recommend studying outside all day, every day, a few hours in the fresh air will help you stay focused and give your soul a much needed dose of nature.

Study in the mornings and evenings

Here’s a genius idea: if you start studying at dawn and study for a few hours after dinner, then you could spend the middle of the day at the beach! This plan only works if you’re disciplined and stick to your new schedule (we’re talking 5am wake-up calls). But, if you think you could totally squeeze in study around your beach outing, then by all means – give it a whirl. There’s nothing nicer than having the beach all to yourself while everyone else is in class or at work.

Buy a fan or study at an air conditioned library

One of the hardest parts about studying from home in summer is staying cool – literally. Unlike classrooms, most homes don’t come with air conditioning. If your house resembles an oven, it’s a good idea to invest in a fan. This will do wonders for your energy levels! Another good idea is to study at the library. These quiet, air conditioned spaces will help you stay focused even on the hottest of days.

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables

Including a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet is important all year round, but it’s especially helpful when you’re trying to stay focused in the summer heat. Nothing will put you to sleep faster than a carb-heavy hot meal! Instead of digging into porridge for breakfast and pasta for lunch, try to eat lighter meals such as smoothies and salads. Veggie-packed meals will leave you feeling healthy and energised.

Make the most of your time off

Everyone needs a break every now and then. Next time you have a few hours to yourself, don’t waste them inside watching reruns of Friends. Instead, head straight to the beach to get your fix. Summer is often over before we know it, so be sure to make the most of every bit of downtime you have.

Happy studying!

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Five reasons why it’s never too late to start studying

Posted on 10/02/2016 by
Don't let time pass you by. It's never too late to start studying towards your dream career.

Don’t let time pass you by. It’s never too late to start studying towards your dream career.

“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.” – Paulo Coelho

Today, many young people are encouraged to pursue higher education once they finish secondary school – but this wasn’t always the case. Earlier generations often embarked on a different path in life, such as going straight into the workforce or having children. They may have sacrificed studying in order to follow a different dream.

If this sounds like you, you may sometimes find yourself wondering what life would have been like if you had chosen to study your passion. Well, maybe it’s time to stop wondering and give further education a try. Thanks to distance learning, it’s now easier than ever to make studying part of your life.

Here are five reasons why it’s never too late to start studying.

1. Life experience will make you a better student

Some mature students worry they won’t be able to keep up with their younger counterparts. In fact, the opposite is often true! Your life experience will likely give you an edge over other students. You’ll be able to bring real-world experience to the table, and may even act as a mentor or role model.

2. You might have more financial stability

Those who start studying later in life can often afford to pay for some of their courses upfront, hereby reducing financial pressure. Although pursuing a new career path is always daunting, you’ll have peace of mind that you have other experience and jobs to fall back on if needed.

3. There are many flexible study options available

Education has adapted to the digital world, meaning you can now study many courses from home, in your own time, at your own pace! This provides you with the freedom to juggle several commitments, such as part-time work and childcare. Study From Home graduate Rebekah Linton has some great tips for balancing work and study.

4. You’ll be a role model for your children

If you have children, you might be worried that returning to study will leave them feeling neglected. In reality, they will probably admire your motivation. You’ll lead by example and show them it’s never too late to follow your dreams. Who knows, you might even inspire them to study too! This happened to one Study From Home graduate; mum Robyn Hicks studied travel and tourism and now both of her daughters are following in her footsteps.

5. Personal fulfilment will make you happier

There’s nothing quite as wonderful as the sense of achievement you feel when you graduate. Studying is not easy; it takes a lot of hard work and commitment. But the light at the end of the tunnel is increased personal fulfilment and overall happiness. You’ll never regret taking steps to follow your dreams.

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Earn while you study: part-time job ideas for distance learning students

Posted on 27/01/2016 by
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A part-time job can provide you with valuable experience and some extra cash while you study. Even better if it’s within biking distance of your home!

Would you like to earn some money while you study? Getting a part-time job can be an excellent way to boost your bank account and gain some valuable work experience.

As long as your job doesn’t interfere with your studies (achieving your travel and tourism qualification should always come first), working is a great opportunity to meet new friends, improve your self-confidence and add some skills to your CV.

Below are some job ideas that could fit perfectly with your distance learning lifestyle.

CASUAL JOB IDEAS FOR STUDENTS

Although it can be irregular, casual work suits many students because it’s so flexible – you can often make it fit around your studies, and reduce the number of hours you work when you’ve got large assignments.

Mystery shopper

As a mystery shopper, it’s your job to pose as a regular customer in a store and then rate your experience afterwards. You’ll provide detailed feedback about your shopping experience, which the company can then use to improve customer service moving forward. There are several mystery shopping businesses in New Zealand – a quick Google search will bring up several possibilities.

Babysitting

If you’re responsible, reliable and great with kids then you could find work as a babysitter in your local community. Babysitting hours often fall in the evening or on weekends, freeing up plenty of time for you to study throughout the week. You can also get some study done when the kids go to bed.

Dog walking

Many dog owners lead busy lifestyles and don’t have time to walk their pups. You could make their lives easier by offering to walk and play with their dogs a few times a week. This is a great way to keep fit, get outside and make some furry friends!

Gardening and DIY

If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty and consider yourself a bit of a DIYer, you might find some casual gardening or household work with friends or family. From mowing lawns to helping out in the garden, there’s endless opportunities to lend a hand.

PART-TIME JOB IDEAS FOR STUDENTS

Having set hours each week can make managing your finances much easier, especially if you have to pay rent and make regular bill payments. Here are some part-time jobs that suit students.

Office assistant

If you have great admin skills, a warm personality and a motivation to learn, you could make a great office assistant for a local company. It would be best if you could work in a travel or tourism business, as this would be a chance to learn the ropes and get involved in the industry. Perhaps you could drop your CV into local companies and offer to come in for a few days of work experience to see how you go.

Retail work

Love shopping? Great with people? You could work part-time as a retail assistant in a clothes store, gift shop or alike. These jobs will teach you how to deliver excellent customer service, as well as important cash-handling and stock management skills – all valuable experience for the tourism industry.

Supermarket assistant

Working at your local supermarket is a good introduction to the world of customer service, plus you could get to know some of your community. This is a great place to start if you don’t have any work experience and are looking to build up your CV.

Café assistant

The hospitality and tourism sector are closely linked. If you love the buzz of working in a cafe, chances are you’ll love the fast-paced tourism industry. Gaining some experience in a restaurant, hotel or food chain will likely help you get a foot in the door in a travel or tourism role once you’ve graduated.

Do you have a part-time job?

Are you juggling part-time work and part-time study? Do you have any advice to share with our community? Comment below with your experience!

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Post-holiday blues? Three ways to re-find your motivation to study

Posted on 20/01/2016 by
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Does returning to study have you feeling a bit like this? Read on for some strategies for beating the back-to-study blues.

Finding it hard to get back into the swing of study after a relaxing Christmas and New Year break? We feel your pain. Saying goodbye to sleep-ins, lazy days at the beach and uninterrupted family time can be tough!

Unfortunately returning to work and study is inevitable for most people (unless you’ve somehow managed to find the secret to being on holiday all the time – if that’s you, please share!). The good news is – we’re all in this together. And there’s plenty to be positive about, if only you have the right attitude.

Here’s three tried and tested tips to refocus on study and re-find your motivation to succeed.

1. Create a new study schedule

It’s amazing how quickly we fall out of study habits when we’re on holiday. One week you’re waking up at the same time every day and in a really great study routine, the next you’re sleeping in until noon.

A good way to get back into routine is to start fresh. Write a new study schedule (even if it’s exactly the same as your old one). It’s the process of writing it that’s important – it will refocus your mind on your priorities, and it’s much easier than launching straight into study on day one. In other words, start small and you’ll get there.

2. Add a little bit of fun to your everyday life

Getting back into study is hard because we think we have to be studious 24-7 to get good results. While it is important to put in the work, it’s equally important to treat yourself on a regular basis.

If you find a way to add some fun into your everyday routine, you’ll be more likely to stick to it. We’re not saying ditch your notes and head to the beach; instead, set small goals and reward yourself with something you love doing at the end of each study session.

3. Plan your next holiday

One of the main reasons we get depressed after a holiday comes to an end is because it feels like it will be YEARS before we’ll get a chance to go on another one. So why not start planning for your next adventure now?

It may be months before you can get away, but planning is a good cure for wanderlust. It will also motivate you to work harder and save more money – a win-win situation.

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The best of the internet’s New Year’s Resolutions articles for 2016

Posted on 13/01/2016 by
Grab your journal and some coloured pens - it's time to start jotting down strategies for sticking to your 2016 study goals!

Grab your journal and some coloured pens – it’s time to start jotting down strategies for sticking to your 2016 study goals!

In January every year, newspapers, magazines and social media feeds are filled with tips for sticking to your New Year’s Resolutions. What really works? What will set you up to fail? What are the best strategies for staying on track?

One can quickly feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of articles on the topic – it can be hard to know where to start! So we’ve lent a helping hand. We’ve narrowed down some of the best articles (in our opinion) for 2016. Here at Study From Home, we’re big believers in the power of goal setting. We hope this collection of articles gives you some inspiration to get your 2016 resolutions off to a successful start.

+ 12 tips to ensure you actually achieve your 2016 goals via The Entourage

This informative article includes 12 excellent pieces of advice from leading executives within the Entourage, an Australian business dedicated to educating and empowering entrepreneurs.

Excerpt: “When you start actioning your goals the key thing is to just START. The first step is always the hardest, but once you have taken the first step in the right direction, every step after gets a little easier.”

+ How to keep your New Year’s Resolutions via Huffington Post For Women

Here’s some no-nonsense, straight-talking advice to help get you started. Work through the three steps outlined in this article and you’re on your way to success.

Excerpt: “In order to make lasting change, there must be some passion and true desire to do the work. It’s not enough to want the result. You must want the result so badly that you’re willing to make it a top priority this year.”

+ Determined to keep your 2016 New Year’s Resolutions? Here’s how. via Gretchen Rubin

As bestselling author of The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin is more qualified than most to offer great advice for sticking to your goals. This inspirational LinkedIn piece will get you motivated to achieve all your goals and more!

Excerpt: “Treat yourself! This is the most fun way to strengthen your resolutions. When we give ourselves healthy treats, we boost our self-command – which helps us keep our resolutions. When we give more to ourselves, we can ask more from ourselves.”

What are your New Year’s Resolutions for 2016? Do you have some tried and tested strategies for success? Share in the comments below – we’d love to hear your thoughts.

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