Education Opportunities Abroad: The Online Solution

Ryan Ayers's picture

Studying abroad is a program, in which students go to school in countries outside their country and receive academic credit towards their courses, 

Education presents various study abroad opportunities for students and faculty in several countries, these opportunities include: dual degree programs, semester exchanges, international internships, summer and short term programs and service learning.

Goals of these programs are:

To equip the students with cross-cultural skills and knowledge,

To familiarize the students to the various education systems existing in different countries and to enhance students skill in language acquisition, but this has changed over the years due to rapid technological changes which has led to emergence of on-line education where the students do not have to travel to the countries where their majors are offered and instead take classes wherever places or countries they are.

Online learning courses are taken without meeting a teacher in a classroom, that is, the student can study at home or at work. These courses do not require one to be online all the time but that you are active in the course during the schedule.

Online students use computers, smartphones and tablets with an internet connection to be able to interact with their instructors around the world.

The mobility benefits of taking online classes are:

• Students can study at their own convenient time and pace.

• Students learn at the comfort of their home or work station.

• It's economical as there is no need to travel to the college.

• Problems of late  arrivals and class distractions are solved

• The majors fit into life, work schedule and family.

• Online education instructors are accessible and friendly.

• This program is less intimidating than in a classroom setting for shy students.

• Online education improves students' technology and internet skills.

As long as there is internet access at your home or office you can get education anywhere.

Limitation of online education:

Online learning is not suitable for all students as some find it hard to study on their own without the face to face interaction with the instructor.

Computer complications and unreliable internet connection can cause students to meet the assignment deadlines

Students who are not familiar with browser and email will have a challenge.

Implication of online education on engineering majors:

Low response rate from the students as the engineering major are more technical and require face to face interaction with the instructor

Production of incompetent engineers since they never attended any classes,

There has been improvement in computer technology to transmit interactive, multiple site audios and high quality data over a long distance and at lower cost

There is less direct contact with the instructor since the communication is through e-mail and virtual discussion forums; it takes away the team building that occurs in a class

Implication of online education on medical majors:

Due to numerous surveys because the system is new, the students complete numerous surveys and evaluations and get to a stage where their interest is waned

Clinical rotations done in the later years are time consuming and do not allow easy access to online computers by student from middle income countries

Increased students intakes at existing medical schools and establishing of new medical schools

Online learning to medical majors is a means to an end rather the end in itself resulting to higher educational opportunities for students.

Implications of online education on business majors:

Increased number of students enrolling in various universities and colleges due to its convenience.

Interactions between countries have been improved through the study abroad program which is online.

Higher dropout rate for online students as compared traditional learning 

Ryan Ayers is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to education. In this article, he describes how the definition of studying abroad is changing through the implementation of online education and what this means for future generations. He aims to encourage further study with a bachelors in medical laboratory science.