How to Study Abroad and Take Online Courses

If you plan on going abroad this summer, you may want to think about also taking some online courses to keep yourself on track for graduation at your school. Whether you are enrolling in online courses in general education requirements or you just spotted the perfect course being offered online, you should be able to pick up a summer course and still take yourself to far off shores to study in person. As long as you have a laptop, there's no reason why you can't get started on an online course before or after you get to your summer destination. Here are some tips for picking an online course and doing well while overseas.

1. Technologically Sound

You need to make sure that while you're away, you'll have access to a computer or laptop, and that you will also have Internet access. These two things are essential to taking an online course. Whether you are able to study at the international university or use the computer of your host family, you must be able to have at least this basic access to keep up with your online coursework.

2. Register Early

You don't want to wait to register for your online class. You should already be enrolled before you go on your trip. This way, you can get the necessary books and supplies to help you study and complete the assignments online. Hopefully, you can have a course that will let you work at a flexible pace and give you plenty of time to do your assignments by the end of the summer.

3. Create a Schedule

Use a calendar or other method to plan each day on your summer abroad trip. You'll have courses to take at the international school, and you will probably take excursion and vacation trips on weekends. You need to find time to work on your online course in between. Plan for time at night to complete readings and assignments, or you can take time during the weekends to finish your school work.

4. Keep Some Sanity

You should make sure that the workload from your study abroad class will not conflict with your online class workload. For that reason, think about picking an online class that isn't as rigorous as something else. This is a good time to take an elective online or even a foreign language, particularly if you are studying in the country where the foreign language is spoken. Most colleges require foreign language courses to graduate.

5. Talk to Your Professor

You also need to make sure that you are talking to your online professor and letting them know that you will be overseas. This is a double-edged sword. Some students want their professors to understand that they are overseas, while others don't see why it's any of the professor's business. If you do need more time on an assignment, such as a discussion thread post or you can't take a test on a certain day, let the teacher know beforehand and the reasons why. If you can read the syllabus for the abroad course and online course, circle any conflicting dates and talk to your teachers about a solution. Otherwise, you may be safer not taking the online course or just looking for another course with an easier schedule.