Study Studios: Education Abroad Across the Pond

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 ty-cobb Blog submitted by - Ty Cobb

The rapid evolution of technology is causing a paradigm shift in education.  The convergence of near universal access to high speed internet with online universities provides potential for a much more dynamic education experience.  If you were contemplating college two decades ago, you would have had a lot of choices about academic pursuits and which college to attend, but you would have been tied down to a specific geographic location. The ability to take classes online allows you to craft your own uniquely tailored study abroad program to fit your interests. 

Imagine the fulfillment of reading Charles Dickens’ Bleak House in the city where he wrote and lived. You would see London as more than a lovely city and examine how it functions as a character in Dickens’ novels.

The rapid evolution of technology is causing a paradigm shift in education.  The convergence of near universal access to high
speed internet with online universities provides potential for a much more dynamic education experience.  If you were contemplating college two
decades ago, you would have had a lot of choices about academic pursuits and which college to attend, but you would have been tied down to a specific geographic location.  The ability to take classes online allows you to craft your own uniquely tailored study abroad program to fit your
interests.  Imagine the fulfillment of reading Charles Dickens’ Bleak House in the city where he wrote and lived. You would see London as more
than a lovely city and examine how it functions as a character in Dickens’ novels.

Living and studying in London is only one example of the flexibility the new educational paradigm provides.  Just like previous education allowed little geographic choice, it also didn’t offer much flexibility in terms of class scheduling.  Of course your academic major dictated that you take a set amount of mandatory classes, and as long as you were fulfilling those requirements you were always free to take other classes that interested you outside of your major discipline.  But conflicts between class schedules frequently prevented this, so taking the classes you
wanted, when you wanted, seldom happened.  And changing one class could cause the whole jigsaw puzzle to come apart.  The flexibility of online classes means that you can take all the required classes in your online mba program and still pursue classes that interest you in other
subject areas.  You could specialize heavily in your academic discipline while also making yourself well-rounded and gaining knowledge in
wide-ranging and diverse fields.

Learning shouldn’t only be academic.  Experiential learning combined with academic study can be a symbiotic relationship. The same way reading Bleak House in London adds a completely new layer of complexity to the experience, living in London can be a catalyst for gaining fresh insights and experiencing knowledge in a new way.  Reading poetry, for example, is enjoying.  But reading the poems of Byron and Burns as you sit in Westminster Abbey right where their bodies lie entombed brings with it a completely different experience.  It moves poetry from the realm of academia into a visceral experience that won’t happen if you’re sitting in your living room in Leeds.  This kind of experiential learning moves you toward active participation in your education instead of just remaining a passive recipient.  It also complements the classes you may be taking outside of your core curriculum.  If you are, for example, studying for an MBA but have a huge interest in history, living in London is like living in a history-rich treasure trove.  Combining experience with academic knowledge and choosing the classes that interest you most while living where you want are only some of the benefits of the paradigm shift in education.

Ty Cobb is an avid blogger and traveller. He loves music, art, people and how the three intermingle. He can be found on [email protected]bloggingcobb

Something about the author, Ty Cobb:
I've been guest blogging for a little over two years now. No smoking, no
pets, occasional beer. Cheers!

Website - www.cooksandtravelbooks.com

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