Watching the professor’s political lecture in Canada at home? Chatting from the couch with your Australian fellow students about the question of the final homework of the marketing course? Online studies abroad offer all of this.
Differences in online studies abroad
Thanks to the possibilities of online studies abroad, it is no longer absolutely necessary to be present on the university campus while studying. Many universities around the world offer online courses and programs in which teaching takes place almost exclusively on the computer.
Instead of sitting in the lecture hall, the students follow the lectures on the Internet. Seminars or meetings with the professor take place as a live chat. Exercises and the feedback on them are simply sent by email. Even for the exams at the end of the course or studies, the students often do not have to travel to the university location. You can take the test from the comfort of your own home.
Eligibility for online studies abroad
This flexible system offers working people the opportunity to complete a degree without having to give up their job. But even those who are geographically bound for other reasons have more choice when looking for a suitable course of study or further training opportunities thanks to online studies. Because for these students not only universities in the surrounding area come into question.
Study online anywhere in the world
A virtual study abroad at a university in Europe or overseas can be particularly exciting. In contrast to Germany, online studies have a longer tradition in many other countries such as Australia, Great Britain, Canada and the USA.
For several years now, in addition to professional training programs and postgraduate courses, complete bachelor and master courses and even doctoral programs have been offered entirely online.
LLM and MBA programs can also be completed online and thus parallel to the job. Due to the great experience that many foreign universities have with online courses, these are both technically and didactically up-to-date.
Course of studies of an online degree abroad
The course content of the online courses is the same at most universities as in a comparable face-to-face course – only the course of study is different. At the beginning of the semester, students usually receive an overview of each course they have taken. This contains the teaching content and learning objectives as well as information on the timing of the course. As in face-to-face studies, the students often have to obtain the literature themselves.
Many foreign universities give students online access to their library. The students can simply send the required texts via the Internet. Other texts and lectures are made available to students online.
Virtual learning environment
Most online courses also use a virtual learning environment. Students access lectures, hand in homework and hold office hours via this intranet. Feedback on the submitted homework is often provided within this virtual learning environment.
The students have the opportunity to organize most of their study time themselves. An exception are seminars that take place as live chats. Universities that have experience with students from different parts of the world are often flexible and offer several dates at different times.
Exams as part of the online course
Some of the exams at the end of the semester must be taken under supervision. Oral exams can be taken, for example, as part of online video conferences. There are different solutions for written exams.
Instead of exams, many universities work with homework in their online courses, for example. Other universities cooperate with universities in the home countries of the students. In Germany there is such a cooperation with the chambers of industry and commerce. The exams can be written there under supervision.
Switch to presence mode
If it is not a purely online university, the campus can be visited on site for semesters or for shorter attendance phases. At some universities it is also possible to switch from online to face-to-face mode and vice versa during the course of your studies.
Thus, students spend at least part of their studies in the respective study country. In addition to completing your degree, you will expand your knowledge of the country and intercultural skills. Of course, students also acquire this knowledge through group work and discussions as part of a purely online course.
Requirements for studying online abroad
The requirements for distance learning at a foreign university are very different in the individual courses. In principle, they are comparable to the entry requirements for face-to-face studies.
As a rule, the (technical) Abitur is a prerequisite for a bachelor’s degree. In order to start studying in the postgraduate area, however, applicants usually have to present a first degree, such as a bachelor’s, master’s degree or a diploma. Applicants without a university entrance qualification, for example with a secondary school leaving certificate and professional experience, are also admitted to associate courses and some professional development programs.
Good language skills in the respective language of instruction should also be available in any case. Students usually have to prove their English language skills through a standardized test such as the IELTS or TOEFL.
Duration of study
The duration of an online course basically corresponds to a comparable face-to-face course. However, this only applies if it is a full-time course and 40 hours a week are planned for the course. That can hardly be reconciled with a job.
For this reason, many online students choose to study part-time. This extends the duration of the study accordingly. Here, too, many universities are very flexible and offer students the opportunity to freely choose the number of courses taken per semester.
Financing an online degree abroad
Online courses at foreign universities are usually associated with tuition fees, which can vary from country to country. In Europe, tuition fees are typically lower than in North America and overseas.
There are many things to consider with regard to the fees: There are no travel expenses for online courses abroad or they are at least considerably lower than for full face-to-face courses abroad. In addition, students can complete their studies parallel to their work. For this reason, students do not have to plan for any loss of income. Ideally, the degree obtained in the online course will even help you climb the next career level.
State funding for online courses
Funding a distance learning course at a foreign university through state funds is, however, rather difficult in Germany. Whether BAföG can be granted is currently decided individually for each individual case.
A basic requirement is: The distance learning course is carried out full-time and is classified as equivalent to a face-to-face course. A university entrance qualification should also be available. In some cases, students can also deduct the costs of distance learning from tax. Working people may also receive financial support from their employer if the employer supports online studies abroad.