Quality Online Education
Whether it’s because of family, travel, or other commitments, you may be thinking about studying internationally. Many people choose to study abroad, and with the standard of online university education at an all-time high, it’s becoming even easier to take courses through an internationally accredited university.
Types of Online Education
Some courses are offered exclusively online. However, there are many options for blended learning, which consists of a combination of face to face lectures and online content. This offers you the best of both worlds and provides social interaction and networking that may be more challenging when studying exclusively online.
If you would like to eventually transfer your credits over to another university, or your course is a springboard for a specific career change, then it is important to note whether your course is accredited. Accreditation can be at a college, regional, national, and international level.
International accreditation can be given by organisations such as the Accreditation Services for International Colleges (ASIC). There is no exhaustive list online, but it is worth checking with your university of choice to see who they are accredited with.
Accreditation does not always necessarily mean a higher quality of education, but it does mean you will encounter less problems later if you want to transfer your credits. It also affects whether you will be eligible for federal financial aid.
The Benefits of Studying Internationally Online
You may have work or family commitments meaning you can’t travel overseas or attend lectures during the day. An online course offers a solution, with lectures and seminars scheduled for evening hours, or in some cases, course material recorded and available 24/7.
You can study where you like and when you like. You can study many courses full time over one academic year, but you can also take your degree course over as long as five years to suit your schedule. An added bonus is you can turn up to lectures in your pajamas and no one will bat an eyelid. What’s not to like about that?
Access World Class Experts
You may have always wanted to study abroad, and although you won’t physically be there, that means you don’t need to go through the hoops of a lengthy student visa application process. You can get to experience different educational systems and make the most of the expertise of renowned experts in their fields from across the world.
For an online course, there’s no need for expensive train fares or extra fuel for the tank. Course materials also tend to be provided online in electronic form, meaning potentially less expenses on textbooks and printing.
Wider Range of Courses
The growth of online education has led to many universities offering courses that may have once been too obscure for them to run on a local or regional level. However, with a potential world-wide student body, this has led to a much larger range of courses to choose from.
Completing Semesters Abroad
There are numerous benefits to studying abroad, such as immersing yourself in a new culture and language, as well as the personal and life skills you can learn from time away from home. Options range from completing one semester abroad, an entire academic year, or even a full degree. Many countries in the European Union have significantly lower tuition fees than American colleges, which also makes this a potentially more affordable option.
If you have European Union citizenship, you may be able to benefit from the Erasmus exchange programme, but unfortunately this is not open to American citizens.
You may need to inquire with specific universities for their study abroad programs. American universities often have partnership links with universities around the world and have student exchange programs. They also run their own semester abroad programs. There are some websites that offer information for a range of study abroad programs such, as AIFS.
Although tuition fees may be less than in the United States, living costs in cities abroad may be significantly higher. The US Department of Education offers financial aid in some cases international education. A variety of scholarship options can also be discovered via the go overseas website and NAFSA.
Again, its important to note whether or not the credits you receive overseas will be accepted at American institutions, especially if you are not completing your whole degree overseas, or if you are aiming to go into a vocational field that requires licensing (such as medicine or law).
Top Online Universities
There is a huge range of international universities to choose from. Many traditional universities offer online courses, but here is a list of some of the best known and most reputable from across the world:
United States and Canada
- Walden University
- American National University
- UMass Online
- University of Florida
- University of Southern California
- Canadian Virtual University
- eCampus Alberta
- University of Fredericton
- Yorkville University
- University of Liverpool (voted best e-learning university in the world by the Financial Times)
- The Open University
- University of Birmingham
- Geneva Business School
- Utrecht University
- University of Helsinki
Rest of the World
- University of Pretoria
- University of Southern Queensland
- Massey University