If you have decide to be a distant learner, choosing the right program for you is as important a decision in distance learning as it is in traditional education. Be prepared to choose from numerous options. This article offers some tips to guide you.
First, let us see what the market supplies. Actually, distance-learning programs vary as greatly as do conventional ones. They cover virtually all the subjects and areas from professional certification to university degrees (up to and including PhD). Along with academic programs, there are distance-learning programs for professional training for specialists willing to improve their resumes and opportunities for advancement.
All these programs accept students based on competition, they may require educational and professional experience; transcripts or standardized test scores (and even written recommendations) may well be required for application, and transfer credits may be offered.
Now imagine you have weighed all the pros and cons and chose distance learning rather than actually going abroad. It is time then to begin looking for the program. It is best to start inquiring about the distance-learning program you need in the same place as where you would search for conventional international education programs, namely, universities web sites and gateway web sites that offer unbiased information about hundreds of different programs in different subjects and areas all over the world. Now your choice is not limited as with traditional study-abroad programs because you will not need to travel!
It is also important to select a legitimate program. It is good to keep in mind that no respectable institution will give certification without you learning properly. In order to inquire about the program of interest you may contact to the Department of Education in the country where the educational institution is located. It is also important to check the program's accreditation by respectable accrediting agencies.
Just as with any conventional international education program, if you need transfers credits remember to make sure that there be agreement between your home and host universities on your credit transfer. It is safest to have a written document.
Another thing that you may give some consideration is the fee. Fees vary as much as do the programs themselves. So, it is good to comparison shop. In some cases, it is reasonable to look for financial aid. You can check with the government of the country (at their web sites) if they offer grants to international students, or the institution itself may have some financial aid programs; it is best to start with contacting these. There are also special organizations and agencies that may help with funding distance learning; they may be found in the Internet. Finally, check if your own company can offer assistance based on qualification improvement programs for its own employees it may support.
Remember that making the right choice depends on many factors. That is why do not hesitate to inquire and try to consider as many options as you can. The distance-learning course you are taking may be a new step in your career.