Virtual Study Abroad Programs Advantages
Alfa Photo/Shutterstock.com

Online Degree Vs. Studying Abroad

While the global community is still fighting the coronavirus and the idea of moving abroad is not feasible, virtual study abroad programs might be a great solution for those who are not ready to give up on their dream. So let's take a closer look at the top 5 reasons to study abroad and the alternatives offered by remote education.

Broader Cultural Horizons

Studying abroad is a perfect way to explore a different culture from within. Spending time away from your homeland will help to gain a fresh perspective on other ways of living. You will encounter various customs, traditions, activities, and cultural habits specific to your host country and thus get a better understanding of its people and how they express themselves. So while staying abroad, you will not only excel in your academic path but also experience the rhythms and routines of your new home.

Online courses take international exposure up a notch. With your peers coming from all over the world, your virtual classroom is likely to become a mini version of the global village. Of course, pursuing a remote degree won't provide the same level of cultural immersion as living in another country, but you can still get a taste of it. The greatest benefit of eLearning is that you can combine your academic life with traveling and thus explore the world. You'd be able to study wherever you are, be it a bungalow with an ocean view somewhere in Bali or a cozy café in downtown Paris.

Global Networking

Going overseas unlocks lots of new opportunities, you might not have access to if you stay home. Making friends with your peers, interacting with the professors, and meeting locals is not only about creating personal bonds. It's also the way to form your professional network and gain hands-on experience in cross-cultural communication.

Online degree programs lay a perfect basis for creating a strong international community of aspiring professionals. Your virtual classroom is the meeting point where you can get in touch with your future colleagues from all over the world. Additionally, by the time you graduate, you will become a pro in digital communication. You'll learn how to make a stand in virtual discussions, master the art of persuasive speaking during video chats, and know-how to convey your message to various people in online forums. In the times when more and more business operations are transitioned online, that will definitely gain you a competitive edge in the job market.

Top-Quality Learning

Many people choose to pursue their education abroad because they can't find domestic programs that satisfy their academic and professional goals. Discarding geographical constraints enables students to learn from the leading experts in their field, get access to the world-best research facilities, or simply have direct contact with their subject of study (e.g., language courses).

Yet, the quirks spurred by coronavirus pandemic showed that you don't have to be physically on-site to get the same high-quality education. The more universities embrace the eLearning trend and move their programs online, the broader is the scope of locations you can actually choose from. Obtaining a virtual degree enables you to study at the top colleges around the globe and take classes from world-renowned professors without even leaving your apartment.

Affordable College Price

Rapidly rising tuition costs are another reason that drives potential degree-seekers to study abroad. This is especially true for American students who choose to go to college in Europe to escape the massive burden of student loan debts. Some of the most popular study abroad destinations are Italy, Spain, France, Greece, and Austria. In Germany and the Czech Republic university study is available free of charge, which attracts hordes of youngsters from all the corners of the globe. For example, international students who decide to pursue their degree in one of the most historic European capitals, Prague, will have to pony up just about $6,000 per year to cover the living costs. This is almost half the average sticker price at an in-state U.S. public college.

Virtual degree programs may not be entirely free, but they allow students to massively save on the cost of attendance. As a rule of thumb, tuition fees for online courses are more affordable than the traditional on-campus classes. Remote learning also allows you to cut other expenses, such as room and board, books, supplies, and transportation. Plus, compared to studying abroad, online education proves to be a more financially beneficial option, as you don't have to shell out extra thousands of bucks for airfare, visa application, and insurance coverage.

Personal Growth

Stepping out of the comfort zone and making a fresh start in a new place is quite a bold step. A decision to pursue higher education in a foreign country is likely to become a life-changing moment for many students. Such experience will not only have a long-term impact on your academic interests, cultural development, career path, and world views but is also going to be a catalyst for increased maturity.

Learning how to take care of yourself in a new setting will bring out your independent nature and help you to adapt to diverse situations. Of course, it can be overwhelming at first, and dealing with issues like cultural shock, homesickness, and the language barrier might even affect your academic performance.

When studying online, you often stay in the same familiar environment, but then you have to learn to juggle between school, work, and personal issues. That calls for discipline, a high level of self-motivation, and excellent time-management skills.

Close