Distance Education at LU

7 Mar

Off-campus, offshore!

Dynamo Volunteer Tessa Sambat is not your regular international student in Lund. In fact, she’s not in Lund at all! She is studying at LU from her home in the Philippines. Read about her experience here below!

Wait a minute, this isn't Sölvegatan?!

Keeping My Life While Distance-Learning

by Tessa Sambat

Educating oneself is an integral part of life. You have to be educated to improve your knowledge, talents, and skills. Different educational programs aim to facilitate the process of learning in several educational institutions.  There is also the option of learning from some of these institutions from the comfort of home.

Why choose distance education instead of the traditional classroom setup?

Several reasons can be listed why students are into distance learning. Students who have health problems, for example those with physical disabilities, could prefer to enroll themselves in distance education. Some students could want to have foreign diplomas even without residing in their chosen countries to study.

Not to mention the expensiveness of the tuition fee in studying abroad, I did choose to find an institution that would offer a distance education program through a scholarship grant. It’s the best way to study abroad inexpensively and balance my work with my studies reasonably, since I want to keep working from here.

How to choose distance education programs?

You should look for a distance education program that offers the degrees that you want. Considering your learning style in choosing a program that fits you is also a must. It’s better to choose a school that allows you to submit your work online rather than submitting your work by mail. Some schools do have this practice and it’s very costly on your part. Look for schools that offer greater support from teachers. Some schools offer little support or no support at all to their students. Distance learning schools should provide tools for interaction between students and professors. This is usually done through email, phone patch, podcast, webcast, chat, forum, and the like.

Since studying requires effort and time, look for a distance learning school that fits your schedule. Some schools allow their students to finish their work at their own pace, while others don’t. They want their students to finish their work at a set study tempo. School accreditation is also a vital consideration in choosing your distance education program. And lastly, consider the financial costs of your program. Some schools offer cheap tuition fees, while others have brain-draining tuition fees that would really give you migraines! However, there are schools that offer financing or even full-tuition scholarships. And I think I have chosen the right distance learning school that fits my needs.

How does it feel studying online?

Since distance learning is a contemporary process of education, it includes numerous obstacles that could really change students’ plans . And I think I did.

Changes, however, are inevitable. You don’t really know what lies ahead. I was thinking beforehand that studying Geographical Information Systems (GIS) online could be well balanced with my work since I’ll be studying at my own pace. However, I was wrong! When I was admitted to the program and did some advanced readings on the course, I decided to quit from my job to concentrate more on my studies, since it will require a lot of time and effort.

It took me a few months to realize that distance learning isn’t just a few clicks on my mouse. I also spend much time studying – reading the lectures and other literature, watching the videos and slide presentations, doing assignments, and answering practical exercises. Frankly speaking, GIS is a bit of a tough course. Aside from requiring a solid background in information technology, specifically the technical skills, GIS requires you to have a strong knowledge base in geography. I am really thankful for the help and advice from my professor, Mr. Martin Sjöström, and other experts in the field of geography, like Ms. Roda Tejuco (textbook editor and former Social Studies educator from the University of the Philippines Integrated School).

What I like about studying online is that I can live and study anywhere. It doesn’t require commuting, which saves me time and money. I can schedule learning around other facets of my personal and professional life. I can still keep my life going while enhancing my learning from a distance!

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