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Published by Afterschool.my on Nov 24, 2020, 04:43 pm
Travel restrictions may have temporarily snubbed your plans to study abroad, but it’s not exactly the end. Thanks to the Internet, you don’t technically need to be outside to study abroad – especially not when you can study abroad online with the “Virtual Study Abroad” programmes.
Hold up, virtual study abroad?
How does that even work? Why would someone study abroad virtually? Won’t that defeat the purpose of studying abroad if you’ll just be doing it remotely?
Today, we’ll explain everything you need to know about this virtual study abroad programmes and why it’s something to consider.
Virtual study abroad experiences can enable students to attend classes in another country without traveling. It recreates much of the study abroad experience, such as learning about a new culture, immersing yourself in a new language, and connecting with people around the globe. What it obviously lacks is the direct experience that one would associate with studying abroad.
However, while you may not be able to wander the winding streets of a new city, you can still gain meaningful cultural experiences virtually.
You just gotta be open-minded about it.
Because the virtual study abroad programme is an online experience, it can be a hybrid in nature. Some virtual study abroad programmes offer a hundred percent virtual experience and combine courses with hands-on remote internships. Or it could be primarily online but with an in-person trip towards the end of the programme.
The point is, there’s not one official approach when it comes to study abroad programmes, which means you’ll be likely to find a niche programme that suits your needs!
It won’t be the same. Online learning does not offer the same cultural experience of living, studying, and socializing in another country. You won’t have fond memories to share about getting lost in the city or tasting exotic foods or making lifelong friendships with the person you least expected to.
However, the current situation is also something to consider. Until a vaccine is available to the public, COVID-19 will indefinitely halt your study abroad plans. Before you completely reject virtual study abroad programmes, let’s look into why it’s actually not a bad idea.
It’s super accessible
Accessibility is relevant especially in todays fast paced world. With virtual study abroad, a wide range of students will have an opportunity to be part of this unlike for traditional study abroad programmes. For instance, students with disabilities and medical concerns can participate in a virtual study abroad experience to benefit from a global education!
It’s an affordable way to dip your toes into the study abroad experience
If you are nervous about leaving home for weeks on a traditional on-site study abroad program, virtual study abroad provides a great opportunity to test the waters and begin your international education.
Cost wise, remote learning eliminates a lot of fees for travel and accommodations which automatically makes it cheaper than the traditional study abroad programme. Many students find that they can earn credits through virtual study abroad programs for a more affordable rate than at their home universities!
Stay on track for graduation
Don’t push back your graduation date...your cap and gown are waiting!
It’s very tempting to pause your education since we’re in the middle of a pandemic and all, but you shouldn’t be. When you study abroad online, you earn credits towards your degree.
Start by looking for courses that you need to fulfill your degree requirements. That could mean searching for courses related to your major, or looking for courses that meet your general education prerequisites.
Virtual study abroad provides another option to consider and can be a functional alternative for folks who might have thought study abroad wasn’t in the cards. So if you're up to it, then go ahead!
Since you're here, check out our other articles!
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