Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Time Zone Challenges

Student Guide to Time Zone Challenges

Below are some tips from international students who weathered the move to emergency remote learning at Yale this past spring:

Build Your Schedule
Consciously crafting a manageable schedule is even more important when you and your peers are in different time zones. Students in Asia may prefer early morning classes over afternoon ones, whereas late evening classes in New Haven may be particularly difficult for students in Europe. Large lecture classes should offer sections in a broader range of time slots–look for ones that fit for you.

Create Routines
Aim for short periods of concentrated work, cut up with short and longer breaks. Perhaps most important, be sure to put into your schedule long periods of flexible time. Build in fun time as well as work time. A number of resources on the Academic Continuity and Neurodiversity web pages can help you with planning your schedule and creating your routine.

Open Dialogue with Professors
Be honest with your professors about your situation as early in the class as possible. If you are having trouble making office hours because of their timing, or if a collaborative assignment is difficult because of your time zone, write and tell them. Professors understand that this is a difficult situation and will likely be flexible in accommodating your concerns.

Power Naps
If you are in a  time zone that is radically different from Connecticut’s, consider taking afternoon naps allowed them a way to gear up for late night classwork online.

Develop a Support Network Online
Given the extreme social distancing of virtual learning, it is even more important that you reach out to other students online and stay connected. Student-to-student conversations can help combat social isolation and support your own academic work. Study groups that might otherwise have emerged organically will now require more explicit planning, but they are important and can still happen. Likewise, many online tutors and mentors at the Poorvu Center have flexible scheduling now that the university is fully online. Take advantage by talking to a real person about your writing, STEM work, or study strategies. If alternative hours are not posted, write and ask for a different time–given our virtual environment, tutors have more flexibility than they had before.

Academic Strategies
You can always reach out for individual consultations or workshops through the Academic Strategies Program if you want to talk more explicitly about an academic plan for the upcoming semester.