Education is one of the most important pillars in life these days. Every high paying job requires a degree or some kind of post-secondary education. But what about all of us who didn’t get a post-secondary education right after high school? Or what about those of us wanting to go back to school for a career change? Here’s the problem: you’ve finally found your perfect arrangement with someone you really care about. Maybe you work or maybe you don’t, but you are traveling frequently to amazing destinations. And not just weekend trips, but also week-long (or more!) vacations halfway across the globe. Travel has always been your dream and now it’s a reality! So how are you supposed to attend classes on a regular, semester schedule to earn a degree? You can’t, it’s not possible. You would have to give up travel while you pursue your education. Surely there must be a solution in this day and age? Good news sugar babies – there is. You can now obtain a wide variety of certificates, diplomas, and degrees entirely online at completely accredited institutions.
STEP 1: EVALUATE YOUR PERSONAL MOTIVATION LEVEL
I will be honest – this method is not for the faint of heart. You need to be highly self-motivated and able to teach the material to yourself by reading the textbook, googling concepts you may not fully understand, and participating in online discussions and cafes with your fellow classmates. Some institutions offer paced online courses, just like a regular term schedule with strict due dates, but you don’t have to physically attend class or be online at a certain time. Other courses are self-paced, meaning some courses will allow up to 30 weeks to complete the material all at your own pace. 30 weeks is 7.5 months – time can get away from you pretty quickly if you procrastinate. Believe me, I’ve been there! If you don’t feel you could succeed in learning in this way, then this method is not for you. If you’re on the fence, try taking a few online classes to try it out.
STEP 2: CHOOSE YOUR INSTITUTION WISELY
Not all institutions and universities offering online programs carry the same accreditation. Take your time doing your research before you choose a program. Email admissions programs to ask questions or set up meetings with an advisor if necessary. After I finally realized that a traditional brick-and-mortar university wasn’t going to work for me, I spent a few months researching programs I was interested in from different intuitions. I investigated universities across the county and even a few international ones. I can’t stress enough not to rush this step.
STEP 3: PRIORITIZE YOUR SCHEDULE
Since you will not be going to class every week, you need to come up with your own study schedule. The best part about online courses is that you can study whenever you like – at 3 am, at lunchtime, in your luxury hotel lounge, by the pool while you sip margaritas, you get the idea. My strategy is to fit in some studying or reading every chance I get, even if I only have 20 minutes. This can really add up to helping complete courses quickly. My favorite place to study is on the plane while others watch movies. You have nothing else to do during this time anyway (unless you are sleeping to synchronize your sleep schedule with your destination), so why not make productive use of this time? Be prepared to experience periods where you will feel completely unmotivated, so you need to come up with a strategy for how you will deal with those times. Some exams may need to be taken in person at the exam center nearest you, and usually, need to be scheduled a month in advance. This is great because you can schedule your final exams around your travel and not the other way around!
You can do anything if you set your mind to it. Don’t forget to reward yourself when you achieve a milestone. You will have totally earned that spa day!