Importance of Extra-Curricular Activities for Students in International Universities

Importance of Extra-Curricular Activities for Students in International Universities

Today, we experience more stress as the pace of life has fastened with growing competition at every front. In this juggle of life, people tend to try their best and give all their time towards making better use of their skills and perform better every day. Especially students are the ones who are extremely loaded with studies due to competitive times where everyone trying to make it to the top. So, educational institutions must incorporate extra-curricular activities for the betterment of their students.

Therefore, it becomes important for educational institutions and International universities to help students cope with such times. In this case, many universities globally enable their students with effective programs that include various extra-curricular activities for their overall development. Also, it contributes to the overall image of the university when students in fields of sports or art make a big name. These achievements play a vital role in gaining a place for any educational institute.

It is recommended to indulge in activities outside school which entail practical and personal aspects of life.

Effect of such activities:

1. Confidence

Such activities entitle to make a difference on the overall personality of the student. Emphasis on extra-curricular activities makes the student feel more confident in dealing with every day stress or work. It prepares him/her for what is coming. As achievement takes place from outside of the university, it helps students to make their identity and gain recognition which thereby helps in encouragement and building confidence.
This helps them perform better in their academics by positively affecting their grades. Also, these activities elate one’s personality and prepare him/her for future prospects. Such participation from students also adds to their portfolio which is now under the radar among recruiters/HR professionals for the job profiles as they look for vibrant people with high level of enthusiasm.

2. Mind Space

Once a person indulges in other activity of his/her interest, they tends to channelize energy in other areas of life which ultimately results in bettering the other aspects. It is more like one interest inspires the other. Some times sports, art or travel help students in growth on an inter-personal level, relaxes one’s mind and helps in influencing better thinking and holistic development.
Such activities help students in their professional lives, as today it is not only important to be good at your professional front but also otherwise in the fields of your interest.

3. Knowing People/ Team Work

Since students’ participation is witnessed among clubs and associations, it helps students in meeting new people, sharing their experience and gain knowledge through sharing ideas. In this manner, a student has an opportunity to do something beyond just studies. It is refreshing and recharging. Also, they get to establish relationships with others in the campus which results in a better life away from home at the campus while their education abroad.

It teaches students team work and makes them well-versed with leadership skills on a practical level. Students learn patience, professionalism and how to better work from the teams perspective and not just from the individual perspective.

4. Networking Opportunities

Activities at university campus or programs provide students with the best opportunities to create a network for themselves. University careers office enable students to capitalize on any connections your university has with local organizations. Students get to speak to tutors while their course who may have links or still work in the industry. Universities offer event participation on national and international level, where you get to associate and connect with people from other parts of the world and improve networking while studying. Students do not wish to miss such opportunities offered by colleges in order to be prepared to find work after studies.
These activities witness jury and selection committees of professionals that recruit for bigger industries or corporate houses.

5. Earning Money and Recognition.

Sometimes, these activities also results in earning a few bucks here and there for the students. Thus, there is certain level of motivation seen among students towards these activities. Awards, certification and recognition also add to their motivation and performance. These activities help students to keep in pace with their life on campus where they feel constantly geared up to a new day.

A Study – by World Challenge

World Challenge aims to support and facilitate the development of young people through life-changing experiences.

A new study conducted by the World Challenge specified, “Some 59 percent of staff said evidence of extra-curricular activities has become more pivotal in their decisions, according to a poll of 63 university admissions teams.

World Challenge is a gap-year provider who commissioned this study where only 5 percent say non-academic achievements are less important than they were decade ago. The report is titled – What is the Real Value of Extra-curricular Activities in the University Application Process, published on 15th January.

This research was conducted in order to understand the burdensome experiences that students undergo while their education abroad. These students generally work while they study to cope up with the lifestyle expenses while their stay abroad. Thus, these extra-curricular activities help in making students utilize their energy for the good thereby positively affecting their performance on the academic front.

When asked what types of extra-curricular activities add value to a student’s personal statement, 92 per cent mention work experience and 68 per cent say regular volunteering.

The Duke of Edinburgh Award is the third most cited form of activity (cited by 39 per cent of tutors), followed by fundraising (22 per cent) and captaining a sports team (18 per cent).

The study also highlighted facts on how students were very happy and contented as their university or education institutions offers them scope of participation in sports and outdoor activities. The report also includes 20 one-to-one interviews with admissions staff, as well as 32 further interviews with university staff, heads of sixth forms, university students and applicants.

Key report findings include:

• 97% of universities and students surveyed said that it is important for prospective students to demonstrate their involvement in extra-curricular activities in their personal statement
• 58.5% of universities think that it is more important for students to demonstrate extra-curricular experience in their applications compared with 10 years ago
• The top three ‘soft-skills’ that universities are looking for are communication (64.6%), planning/organization (46.2%) and independence (38.5%). Students perceived the most valuable ‘soft-skills’ to be communication (45.3%), responsibility (40.7%) and teamwork (39.3%)

Ways of Extra-Curricular Activities:

– Be a part of the Union at the University
– Become the representative for the class or hall of residence
– Enroll as a member of a club or student association
– Play for the college team
– Get involved with the university radio station/channel
– Engage in writing for the college tabloid or newspaper
– Volunteer in the local area for social activities or community work

We all love to be a kid at any stage in life; that is something all of us cherish. We recommend indulging in outdoor activities or hobbies of interest in order to strike a balance with your professional and personal life. It keeps you lively and life does not appear monotonous. Not just universities but even professionals must consider and give it thought!

Also, if you have anything to add to the list, please write to us.

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