Doing a Master's While Travelling
Having a Master's degree is a valuable way to advance your career and gain more knowledge in your chosen field. Unlike an undergraduate degree program, you may not have to go to school full time to achieve this step in your education. However, it does require some time and effort, which means you'll need to figure out how to fit it in with your lifestyle. If that lifestyle includes travel as a priority, you may wonder how you can complete your Master's without giving up your travel schedule. The good news is that you can do both. It won't be the conventional way to graduation that most post-grad students follow, but it can be done and you'll enjoy the freedom to travel while also completing your degree. Here's what you should know.
Set up a Virtual Private Network
A virtual private network, or VPN, is a service that makes it safe and secure to use the Internet anywhere you happen to be. It does this by sending your connection through a server that hides what you're doing online. VPNs can be used wherever your travels take you and any data you use or create will be encrypted. That way no one can identify your computer, access your school data or steal your personal information. Make sure you're familiar with how VPNs are used in the countries you travel and be prepared for any technological or legal limitations in those places.
Find an online study program
Clearly a traditional program won't allow you to skip class and travel as the whim takes you. For that reason, you'll need to find an accredited and reputable online Master's degree program that you can access anywhere. There are many programs of this sort based out of many colleges and universities across the globe so do your research and find the one that best fits your area of study and your needs as you travel.
Combine your itinerary with course requirements
Whether you're traveling for work, pleasure or as a member of the military, look through the course requirements as you plan your trip itinerary. You will want to create an easy week if you have exams or a paper to write; don't pack your travel with sightseeing or constant meetings during these times! When you have an intense of week of study ahead of you, try to schedule more downtime or stops in relaxed locations where you'll have the time to get down to business when it's important.
Pack the right materials
You don't want to find yourself hundreds or thousands of miles from home without the materials you need to do your coursework. Make sure you have packed all relevant books, papers, and software you'll need to keep track of and complete your studies when you're away from home. In addition to that, you'll also want to make sure you have your laptop, smartphone, pencils, pens, notebooks, and any other supplies to help you study. You may want to subscribe to an online library so you can do research even if you can't get to a brick and mortar library.
Enjoy the benefits
The biggest perk to traveling while you do your Master's degree is the freedom to see the world and complete your bucket list without having to give up your ambitions when it comes to your education. While you travel, you will also be gaining worldly experience that will supplement your field of study and give you valuable skills and experiences you can include on your resume when you're ready to find a job using your Master's degree. Online classes are generally small, giving you a closer relationship with your instructor and peers so you can get the most out of your studies even if you're busy traveling.
Understand the drawbacks
As with anything, there are some cons to consider when you travel and complete your Master's degree at the same time. While they probably aren't serious enough to deter, it makes sense to understand the possible drawbacks so you can put a plan into place to deal with them. When you're travelling, you might find it hard to find the motivation to take the time to study and do your coursework. You will need to create a doable schedule that includes time for school so that you don't feel that you're missing out when you travel, but so you also don't get behind. Another possible drawback is that it could be hard to find an appropriate place to study when you aren't familiar with your location. Research each destination on your itinerary so you can find coffee shops, hostels geared for students, or libraries where you can settle in and get work done.
Pay attention to time zones
This is important as your work will have deadlines and you'll need to make sure you know what time it is where the assignment is due so that you get it turned in on time, regardless of where you happen to be at the time. Don't miss any deadlines because you thought you were five hours behind, but you were actually five hours ahead!
Studying online is a prime way to have the freedom to travel and gain world experiences as you earn your Master's degree. Being prepared for everything you'll encounter means a smooth ride and enjoyable and productive travels. Bon voyage!
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