Getting an online degree through distance learning is an option that has become possible because of the increased availability of the Internet throughout the world. However, what are the actual benefits and disadvantages of distance education or online school?
Potential Benefits: The most compelling reasons for trying to get an online degree are time and money. With an online course, you can enroll in a class, do assignments on the Internet, and even communicate with classmates in chatrooms or on bulletin boards. Technology has even reached the point where students can interact with other students and the teacher through high-quality webconferencing. All of these activities can be done from the comfort of your home or laptop: any time, any place.
Second, getting such a degree can, in some cases, be cheaper because you don't have to pay associated costs related to an overseas adventure: airfare, housing, local transportation, etc.
Potential Disadvantages: For all these benefits, there are a number of obstacles to this kind of learning. Above all else, you have to consider how a degree from an online school will be received by future employers. In some countries, companies might feel that the academic standards of such an online institution are not as challenging or rigorous as a regular residency program.
Second, you probably won't have face-to-face contact with other students since everything is online. Such contact is very important in learning how to deal with many aspects of non-verbal communication that aren't obvious in an online chatroom.
Talk with family, friends, and classmates who have had experience with both options, but be careful: their comments might be somewhat biased by good and bad experiences.
One final note: There are many online educational opportunities. For example, if you are looking at occupational therapy schools in San Diego or MBA degrees in New York, chances are that you will be able to start training in that profession online even if you are living in Europe. Talk about getting the education you want and deserve!