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Distance Education while Living Abroad

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I first discovered distance education in 1998 while my wife and I were living in the eastern African country of Uganda. After several years away from school, I had decided that it was time to go back and work on a graduate degree. At first, I thought my timing couldnít be worse. My wifeís contract with her employer wouldnít allow us to just easily pick up and leave, and I couldnít see universities in the state accepting transfer credits from a Ugandan university. During a trip home, I started crawling around on the Internet to see which universities had the degree program I wanted. It was while doing this that I stumbled across an online course that sound of interest through the University of Colorado.

Living in Uganda in 1998 provided itís own unique challenges to online learning. In-home Internet access was nonexistent. The first Internet cafť in the country didnít start up until 1999 and in 1998 there wasnít even a hint that one might be starting. When it did come it was 30 kilometers away in the capitol. Fortunately, my wifeís work did have e-mail and the course I took didnít require any type of live chats or other forums. Instead, once we had registered for the course we got a list of books to read and a list of assignments. While still in the states I e-mailed the instructor to make sure she didnít have a problem with the situation and she e-mailed back that she would love to have me take the course.

The course turned out to be a huge success for me personally. The keys to this success were the same keys that make online learning ideal for many individuals. Most importantly at the time was the mobility that it afforded. I could be literally half a world away from Colorado, sitting on the equator, doing assignments. I also needed flexibility. Anyone who has ever lived in a developing country knows that almost nothing happens on a strict schedule, and if there is any predictability, itís that things are unpredictable. One of the things that I loved most was the convenience. I got the books while in the States, though I could have ordered them and received them in Uganda, and then I read them when it was convenient. Of course, because I was in an extremely unique location the themes of the assignments that I turned in, via e-mail, also tended to be unique which both the instructor and I appreciated.

Would I recommend online education to others? You bet I would. Since my days living in Uganda, Iíve gone on to get finish my graduate degree at a traditional university, but the projects that I completed for my distance education course are still the most memorable. Hereís an idea find an online degree program for a reputable college and move abroad. Guarantee you youíll get more out the course than staying home and sitting in a class room.


About the Author

David recommends checking out these websites for more information on education http://www.fmeducation.com and http://www.educationaltec.com

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