The beauty of studying online is that you are free to study whenever, and wherever, you like! Without the constraints of on-campus study you are able to achieve your study goals without putting your life on hold.
Here at Swinburne Online we have many students who take advantage of this flexibility, using it as an opportunity to travel or live abroad. And while technically all you need is a Wi-Fi connection and a laptop, there are some things that can help you keep on top of your study load while you enjoy the sights and sounds of a different location.
Create a schedule
You know you need to spend a few hours every week on study, but even the best intentions can go awry when you don’t have a solid plan in place. And, if online students know one thing for sure it’s that planning for study is the key to success!
At the beginning of the teaching period take some time to mark your calendar with any important university dates and assessment deadlines. Then, week to week, set a plan for what you need to achieve and block out key times for when you will study.
If possible, try to schedule an hour or two each week around the Australian time-zone, when you know your fellow students and teachers will be online. It can be a great sense of comfort and motivation to have a real-time chat in the discussion boards or over email – particularly in the lead up to assessment due dates when the online community is buzzing with helpful conversations.
Expand your network
If you’re travelling by yourself or have moved to a new country you may not have the same support network that you’re used to having in Australia. And although you always have your fellow Swinburne Online community at your fingertips you may benefit from making some new, in-person connections.
Fortunately, there are myriad of platforms across the globe which help people arrange meet-ups based around personal and academic interests. Websites like Meetup are a great way to find like-minded individuals and expand your network – you may even find local study groups that are open to new members!
Put yourself out there and you may be surprised how quickly new connections form.
Make use of some of the world’s great libraries
Not only are libraries some of the most beautiful buildings in the world; they are also a handy provider of free WiFi and quiet spaces where you can concentrate and set yourself to work. Having a dedicated work space with good study conditions is invaluable for an online student and will make you more likely to put in the study hours, helping you keep on top of your workload.
As an added bonus, when you visit a library in a new city, you immerse yourself into your new community, experience its history, mix with locals and may even meet other students!
Get out and explore
University study is about much more than readings and assignments – it’s about opening your mind, challenging the status quo and expanding your world view. And nothing does that better than travelling to new places and learning about different cultures.
Living abroad gives you a unique opportunity to complement your online study with real life learning on a global scale! It will make you more creative and leave you feeling energised and motivated and ready to hit the books when the time comes!