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Tips for remote studies

A desk with a laptop, headphones, notebook, desk light and plant.

On this page we have collected tips for how you can create a good study environment for yourself when you are studying remotely.

If you have other tips or ideas that you would like to share, use the hashtag #thisisGU or #hemmahosGU on social media. Don't forget to tag the University in your posts so that we can help spread all the great ideas that students are sharing.

You are also welcome to visit our page Sustainable student life, where you can find out more about student health, study environment and equal treatment. There is also a page with resources that you can use to promote healthy studies and a sustainable student life.

Sustainable student life

Tips for remote studies

  • 1. Make up a study schedule

    When things change quickly it's easy to fall out of your everyday routines. Because of this it's important to try especially hard to stick to your regular schedule, or take the opportunity to make a new one.

    Make up a study schedule

    The first thing you can decide is if you would like a daily or weekly schedule. Do what works best for you. Full time study is based on 40 hours a week, so this should be your guideline. When making up your schedule, consider the following:

    • What do I need to do? Make a checklist with your tasks for the day. In this way you won't forget anything important and you get an overview of the things you need to do. It's also a nice feeling each time you can cross something off your list!
    • When will I begin and end my day of studying? Choose a time when you will start studying and also when you will stop studying each day.
    • When should I take a break? Study for a maximum of 45 minutes at a time and then take a break for a maximum of 15 minutes. How long study sessions should be for optimal focus varies from person to person. Perhaps you might need 30 minutes of studying followed by a break. Find what works best for you.
    • When should I have lunch? Plan a lunch break that is at least 30 minutes long.
    • How do I make sure that I will stick to my schedule? Be strict but fair to yourself. For example, if you have planned to have lunch at 12.30, eat lunch then and not an hour later. If you make up a study schedule that you know will work for you from the beginning, it will be easier to stick to your planning.

    Set up goals and milestones

    A trick for sticking to your planning is to set up goals and milestones. You can have goals for each week, each day or each course.

    Keep in mind that goals should:

    • Be easy to understand.
    • Be possible to achieve.
    • Motivate you to grow and develop.
    • Be short and concise.
    • Challenge you.
    • Be positive.
    • Be possible to evaluate so that you will know if you actually reached them.


  • 2. Separate studies and leisure

    When you are studying remotely you should start your day just like you would if you were going to a lecture. It doesn't have to make a big difference that you are studying at home. To make this easier you can start your day by talking a walk around the block and decide that your day of studying starts when you return home. Then you can do the same thing at the end of the day. This will give you clear boundaries for your day of studying and it will give you an opportunity to get some fresh air and stop thinking about your studies for a while.

    It is also important to separate studies and leisure in your home. For example, don't study lying in bed. Instead, create a study spot, preferably at a desk with good ergonomics.

  • 3. Take breaks

    What does it mean to take a break? Ask yourself, ”what does it take for me to stop thinking about studying for a while?” Here are some suggestions for things to do during a break:

    • Take a walk.
    • Check out a funny video on YouTube.
    • Take care of your plants or plant new seeds.
    • Check if the mail has arrived.
    • Make a phone call that you should have made earlier.

    Regardless of what you do during your break it's important to let go of your studies for a while, and it's especially good if you get to stretch a little and switch environments.

    Feel free to take a look at the resources we have compiled on the Student Portal.

    Resources for a sustainable student life

  • 4. Get your body moving

    The rumours are true: physical activity is important. But physical activity doesn't have to mean a strenuous workout. It may be more than good enough to take a walk to get your pulse going and get some fresh air. Here are some examples of activities to get your body moving:

    • Take a bike ride or a walk to get your pulse going, for at least 30 minutes.
    • Do a tabata session. Tabata is a short but intense training session that you can easily do at home.
    • Use stairs outside. There are several places in Gothenburg where there are long and steep stairs – guaranteed to get your pulse going!
    • Find an outdoor gym in Gothenburg. Outdoor gyms are good places to work out when you can't or don't want to go to a regular gym.
      Outdoor gyms and obstacle courses on the Gothenburg City website (in Swedish)

    If you want to work out at a regular gym, make sure to follow all recommendations and guidelines for gyms that apply right now to lower the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus.

  • 5. Take care of your social network

    Social distancing doesn't mean that you can't have any social contact – you just need to be a bit creative! Here are some suggestions for spending time together at a distance: 

    • Invite your fellow coursemates for a digital fika. It's important that everyone in your course, programme or group is invited so that no one is left out.
    • Use digital solutions to keep in touch with coursemates, friends and family – video chat is one example.
    • Call someone on the phone instead of chatting or texting.
    • Write a letter. A handwritten letter shouldn't be underestimated – even if it takes some time getting a reply!
  • 6. Create a study spot

    Studying from home is not always easy. There are a lot of things that can be distracting, from your mobile phone to your TV and your computer. It can also be difficult to create good ergonomic conditions. Here are some good tips for creating a healthy study environment at home:

    • Turn off notifications on your phone and other devices so that you won't be interrupted. If you really need to focus you can put your phone in another room.
    • Close all programmes on your computer that you don't need for your studies so that you won't get distracted. You can also temporarily turn off your WiFi so that you can't go online.
    • Plan your day of studying so that it's clear when you will start and end your day and when you will take breaks. Follow your plan!
    • Create a specific study spot at home.
    • Make sure the ergonomic conditions are good, for example when it comes to your sitting or standing position and light and sound from your environment.
    • Physical activity is important for the sake of your health and it's also a good way to rest from your studies. It doesn't have to be a session at the gym – it's often more than good enough to take a walk and get your pulse going.


  • 7. Keep in touch with your coursemates

    Everyone is different and has different habits, also when it comes to studying. Differences in study habits can become even more apparent when you are studying remotely. For this reason it's important to decide on common rules and guidelines together with your coursemates so that you can handle your studies together as smoothly as possible.

    An example can be during group work, which is a part of many courses at the University. To minimise the spread of the novel coronavirus it's important right now to find digital solutions for group work instead of meeting in person. To do this smoothly it's important to keep contact with each other, for example so that everyone knows how to use the required digital tools and when a digital meeting is scheduled.

    Common guidelines can also be useful if you live for example in a dorm. You can call a dorm meeting to discuss aspects that you need to handle together when everyone is studying remotely. For example it may be a good idea to talk about your study habits, what you are distracted by and what your routines are. By creating understanding for each other's habits and personalities it will be easier to study remotely together.

  • 8. Ask for help if you need it

    Loneliness is a health risk and not everyone finds it easy to be social. Social distancing and the increased use of digital tools can make the feelings of loneliness even stronger. It's important to try to invite everyone to digital hangouts and to reach out to coursemates and people close to you and ask how they are. A question that seems simple to you may be important for someone else to make them feel less lonely.

    It's equally important to ask for help if you need it, or to reach out if you just want to talk about something other than your studies for a while. This is true for your course mates as well as for your friends and family.

    Remember that you can also turn to our provider of student health services for support with health issues relating to your studies.

    Student health

  • 9. Familiarise yourself with digital tools

    It is important that you feel comfortable using the different digital tools required when studying remotely. Try out different things and ask for help and support when challenges come up.

    You can read more about digital solutions for remote studies on the Student Portal.

    Digital solutions for remote studies

  • 10. Tips from other higher education institutions

    All higher education institutions in Sweden are currently facing the same challenges and to make the situation easier there is an ongoing exchange of information and experiences. A part of this exchange is to share work that is being done at the different institutions regarding the novel coronavirus.

    Support for students at the University of Gothenburg

    Information about support for students at the University of Gothenburg is available on the student health page. If you are feeling worried or if you are experiencing other health issues relating to your studies, you can turn to Feelgood for support. It is also possible to contact the student chaplains.

    Tips and information from other higher education institutions and more

    The links below can give you good tips for how to best handle remote studies and the situation regarding the novel coronavirus. Please note that some of the information from higher education institutions other than the University of Gothenburg only applies to students at those institutions.

Page Manager: Educational Affairs|Last update: 11/18/2020

This page is printed from the following webpage:
Print date: 2020-11-27

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