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Study abroad : Applying to University

Online courses: Are they worth it?

We help you decide whether you should do an online course

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Online courses are becoming increasingly more popular, and it seems like nowadays you can study just about anything at home in front of your computer. Yes, even from your own bathtub if you feel like it (just make sure you don't drop your laptop). But if online courses were so great, why are not everyone doing it? We took a look at the pro and cons of studying a course online.

 

It is cheaper

Usually an online course is less expensive than a year at university, and some are even free. Not to mention that you can do it while still living at home, and you do not have to pay your own rent or food (or wash your own clothes). Additionally, many students commute to university which can turn out to be quite expensive.There is usually less books involved as well, as most of the readings are found online. And you will probably not go to as many fresher's events as university students, anyways. Money saved!

 

… But not everywhere

In some countries where tuition is generally free (yes, those places exists. Take Scandinavia, for instance), online courses may actually cost you quite a lot of money. There are also some courses that are very expensive and might costs you almost the same as attending university. Do your research before choosing which online course and which online college you will electronically attend.

 

It is relaxing

It is quite lovely to relax in your pajamas while attending an online lecture, isn't it? No one is there to disturb you, and you can soak in the knowledge nice and easy. Perhaps you are out in the garden prepping some English history, or cooking dinner while you're learning about ancient Greece. You can do literally whatever you want, nobody is gonna tell you to sit down and be quiet.

 

… But it can make you lonely

Tuning into social media (you will be on the computer all day anyways) will expose you to all your college friends who have made a tons of new friends and are currently dancing the night away in fancy costumes. The "university experience" is something many talk about, and for good reason. You often make friends for life here, and you are constantly expanding your network. This network might eventually help you with your career, who knows! It can also be beneficial to work in groups to prep for exams or just bounce of ideas of each other. Discussing a problem with class mates can often help a lot.

 

You can study at your own pace

Online courses can easily be wrapped around other commitments, such as having a part-time job, a rewarding hobby or it could be a good options if you have children. If you prefer studying while it is dark outside, or perhaps super early in the morning, everything you need will be on your computer. It is like the Netflix of studying.

 

… But it can be hard to set boundaries

When you have a lecture to go to, you know that you will have to sit down for an hour or two and just listen. But when you are at home, a lot of other small activities become important. Perhaps you should go and water those flowers instead of reading another chapter of Proust. And wouldn't it be nice to just have a tiny look at that TV drama? You are surrounded by temptations, and it is a lot easier to procrastinate. But if you are studying something you really enjoy, that should perhaps not be an issue?

 

 

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About Author

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Anette Lien is a recent journalism graduate and an avid traveller. Hailing from a small town in Norway, she went on to study in India before settling down in London, UK. She has previously worked for a local newspaper, at various music websites and as an Expedia blogger. When she is not travelling, or writing about travelling, she enjoys going to small gigs with quirky, underground bands.