For people living or working overseas, distance learning universities provide a challenging education through digital means.
If you live overseas as a volunteer, a missionary, are traveling for business frequently, or simply do not have access to a ground university for geographic or other reasons, distance learning universities offer distinct advantages. These universities offer a full range of courses in majors as varied as education to business leadership. Below is a list of important things to remember that will lead to your success if you choose to attend one of the many programs distance learning universities can offer.
- Be sure your internet accessibility is reliable. That includes having a laptop or computer station that you can work on remotely. Before enrolling in a class, make sure you have any additional downloads or software needed in order to be an active member of the class. Waiting until the last minute to do this can be costly to your education in the short and long-term. Internet speed is important if the class requires you to watch video or listen to a lecture.
- Carry a sturdy flashdrive. If you are constantly on the go, a flashdrive that has all of your written work and a backup of all the work you may have submitted via the internet is a good idea. Keep this in a safe, clean and dry place. Nowadays, you can purchase heavy-duty flashdrives if you work in harsh conditions. This might be great for journalists, volunteers or missionaries that need to protect their flashdrive from the harsher elements. A lot of email servers, such as Gmail, allow user to store documents virtually. This is another way you can backup your work in the event that your flashdrive is lost or stolen.
- Be aware of time differences between you and the virtual classroom. A lot of distance learning universities realize that not all of their students live in the same state, or region for that matter. They usually make deadlines that give all students a chance to submit work in a timely manner. However, it is the responsibility of the student to be aware of these time differences as they complete assignments. If live chat it not an option during traveling, teachers usually give credit to well-informed and relevant forum posts in response to classmates and the teachers.
- Have teacher contact information handy at all times just in case. Having your teacher’s contact information handy to call and let them know of the problem will notify them in advance if you cannot do something for the class on time. This would also be a good time to make a Skype account. When you set it up, go ahead and add funds right away so you are never caught without the ability to make a call.
- Different countries mean different ways of calculating measurements and spelling words. Tools such as a metric conversion table or a British to American conversion chart will help you to write or calculate formulas in the way that the university grades in. Once again, this is the responsibility of the student to know the protocols of the distance learning university that they attend.
Living or working overseas frequently doesn’t have to be a disadvantage when you want to go to school to earn a degree or advance one that you already have. With the rising popularity of distance learning universities, ever-evolving Internet and technology, and the many resources out there for student professionals, it can actually be a great advantage. We live in a global society today, with much of what we produce and purchase, read, or eat coming from or going to another country. A student that is fluent and experienced in another culture only makes them better prepared for a future in whatever field they choose.