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DISTANCE LEARNING All you need to know about studying online and how to find the right programme

What is Distance learning? Distance learning is a mode of education and instruction, often on an individual basis, to students who are not physically present in a traditional setting such as a classroom.

It allows students to study most or all of their course without attending a campus- based institution. The students communicate with faculty and other students via email, electronic forums, videoconferencing, chat rooms, bulletin boards, instant messaging and other computer-based communication.

By studying online, you have the chance to obtain a degree from an international university whilst staying at home. This gives you much more flexibility and is most of the times also much more economical than studying on-site. It allows you to study next to your job, taking care for your family and/or professional obligations that would prevent you from attending your studies at the institution of your choice.

Distance and online learning possibilities exist for bachelor and Master degrees as well as for several PhD programmes

and other postgraduate courses. It is also possible to just join short courses or single modules of a full degree programme online. Nowadays you can find a distance learning programme for almost every subjects. Many universities have set up a very good system to guarantee that online students receive the same level of support and supervision as on-campus students. The main difference is that all classes and communication will take place online via emails, audio and visual communication services (for example via Skype).

How long does an online degree take?

The time you spend studying online depends of course a lot on your own pace – so how much time you are able to invest per week into your studies. On the other hand many universities suggest a certain time period to complete the programme – often this is still flexible and can be extended if necessary. Make sure you discuss this with the administration staff of your desired institute before you definitely subscribe to a programme.

Distance learning requires a lot of self-discipline, motivation, determination and time-

management. It is not suitable for everyone. If you are used to the structure of a traditional learning environment and find it difficult to study on your own it can become much more difficult to keep track. It is a flexible alternative though, for those who already have a very clear goal, but who are prevented from attending a university on site due to other commitments like job, family, illness, etc. Please also bear in mind that each institution has its own arrangements regarding admission to for example exams and where these should be taken. It is common that students are also required to attend in person for the end exam so again: check this before you subscribe.

Tuition fees of an online degree As with traditional programmes there is no simple answer to this. Tuition fees for distance learning vary from institution to programme to country. However, often the programmes are a bit cheaper than on campus degrees. Of course you also don’t have to spend any money on moving, new accommodation and transportation and can maintain your current living expenses.

It is important to have a look at the tuition fee of your institution of

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