Why Study Abroad When You Can Get a Degree Online?

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Studying abroad has its benefits, especially if it’s in tuition-free universities, but so do online learning. So how do you choose what’s best for you?


Talk to students or future students, and you’ll see that many of them would love the opportunity to study abroad. But there are many things to take into account when considering this option. To make it easier on you, we’re covering the top reasons to study abroad vs the alternative option of studying online.


Why Do People Want to Study Abroad?

Reason 1: Study at Top Universities


Why Study Abroad:

Many people who study abroad do so because they want to learn from the best teachers at the best universities in the world, and know that it will give them a competitive advantage in the workplace after their degrees. Since not everyone is lucky enough to live close to these universities, the way they achieve it is by moving abroad.


Why Study Online: Study at Top Universities Without Paying Top University Prices

On the other hand, today there are high-quality online university options to choose from. And some online universities partner with leading universities to bring worldwide professors. University of the People, for example, has academic partnerships with NYU and UC Berkeley. The advantage in online learning is that you can get to study from those same leading professors, from top universities, without leaving your home.


Reason 2: Get to Know a New Culture


Why Study Abroad:

Studying abroad lets you combine your academic life with a travel life, and experience a new culture from the inside. How fun would it be to live in Rome or Berlin? You can get the full experience, like a local.


Why Study Online: Get to Know Many New Cultures

With students hailing from all points of the globe, from different countries, cultures, and nationalities—online universities students are introduced to peers they otherwise may not have met, creating an international community adding creativity, awareness, as well as individual growth


Reason 3: Improve your Communication Skills


Why Study Abroad:

When you’re out there in the world, in a place with a foreign language and a foreign culture, you have to be creative, to get people to understand you. Plus, if your home culture is very different, you might learn new ways to communicate, like voicing your opinion or listening better.


Why Study Online:

 When you share a virtual classroom with students from almost every country in the world, you learn to be extra good at communicating what you have to say. You also learn great communication skills from many other cultures. If that’s not enough, online universities give you the opportunity to learn how to communicate in multiple virtual ways – from online forums to video chats.


Reason 4: Make Friends in Another Country


Why Study Abroad:

Making friends in another country will enrich your world, remind you of how small our global village is, and give you a reason to come back and visit this country after you return home.


Why Study Online:

It’s not just about career opportunities. You can develop friendships from across the world too, thus get a deeper understanding of many cultures over time. Plus, while we can’t promise this, it’s possible you’ll have a place to sleep – or at least a familiar face – wherever you travel in the world.


Reason 5: Career Opportunities in an Additional Country


Why Study Abroad

Interacting with students, professors and businesses in a new country could lead to networking opportunities and job opportunities you might not have access to if you stay home.


Why Study Online:

Since online universities have students from around the world, you’re basically networking with future colleagues from all over the world. Besides improving your communication skills and preparing you to work in a global environment, you never know who and what might lead to the next career or business opportunity down the line.


Reason 6: Develop Independence


Why Study Abroad:

Leaving everything and everyone you know, and needing to take care of yourself so far away from home, in a brand new country, develops character. It requires you to take care of yourself, and come through for yourself in ways your family and friends would have taken care of you back home.


Why Study Online:

True, when you study online, you often stay at home and don’t need to navigate through new-to-you streets, but you will learn to develop independent study skills such as managing your time on your own, creating your own deadlines, monitoring your progress and utilizing online discussions.


Reason 7: Save on Tuition


Why Study Abroad

Another reason to study abroad is escaping the high tuition universities rates, this is especially true for US students, and why many of today’s degree-seekers are turning to free universities in Europe.


Why Study Online: Get a Tuition-Free Degree, and Save on a Bunch of Other Expenses, Too

University of the People is a tuition-free university as well. But still, it will probably cost you less to choose this option rather than go abroad, because while studying abroad the education may be free, but that doesn’t mean the entire experience will be. There are the costs of living and travel to be weighed, and these can be steep considering that Americans in Europe on student visas will not legally be allowed to work in Europe. When studying online you can save on those expenses and also work at the same time.


Study Abroad or Study Online, Just Don’t Give Up On Your Dream

Both studying abroad and online are great options for higher education when trying to decide which option is better for you should also take into consideration other life circumstances: age, work, family, flexibility to travel etc. But whatever you choose, make sure to follow your dreams and inner voice. Oh, and don’t forget to have fun!