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Online Degree Programmes for International Students

Students who choose to study online might also choose to study abroad without ever leaving the comfort of their home. International online degrees are offered by a wide variety of colleges in several countries. These online degrees have the advantage of bringing a quality education to those who might not be able to travel across the world in order to attend the college of their choice.

Online international degree programs

Studying abroad has long been considered an expensive proposition; however, those who choose to study online can eliminate the cost of traveling to another country, including the cost of residency. With online learning, those who have dreamed of studying abroad can now do so, while taking advantage of the flexibility of distance learning to juggle education along with their work and family obligations. For those who reside in countries where the higher education system is not the best, attending a college abroad through online learning may open their horizons and provide a degree program that challenges, educates and results in a hard-earned degree.

International degree programs

For many years, U.S. colleges and universities have offered Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS) to students who live anywhere in the world. Starting in 2013, twelve notable universities in the United Kingdom will begin offering courses through Futurelearn, a program launched by Open University. Though most of these courses will not offer college credit, the distance learning initiative could pave the way for international online degrees in the future.

Some world-renowned institutions, such as the University of Cambridge or the University of Oxford, already offer online courses for students; these courses can be taken as stand-alone education, continuing education or as a way to earn credits toward a hybrid degree of online and on-campus courses. Other colleges are beginning to offer full degrees, such as the University of Derby, which offers graduate degrees in accounting, management, psychology and more.

Students who live outside the U.S. and want to earn a degree can do so through several colleges. Institutions like the University of Southern California or Colorado Technical University offer degrees that can be earned entirely online, while places like Harvard University allow international students to earn some college credits through online learning before coming to the U.S. to enroll in on-campus programs.

Admissions and fees for international students

Admission to an international online degree program begins with the application for admission. In some cases, this must be accompanied by a small, non-refundable fee. Those who do not claim English as their first language will need to demonstrate English proficiency, which can usually be accomplished with the TOEFL test or some other method deemed appropriate by the university.

Documentation of educational history is also required, such as a high school diploma or the equivalent, transcripts from any colleges attended and test scores. Some colleges require a telephone interview with the applicant to make certain they understand the program and answer any questions they might have.

The costs of international online degrees vary widely from one institution to another. In some cases, the cost for international students is the same as costs for in-state students. In other cases, international students can expect to pay a slightly higher tuition. Scholarships, grants and other financial aid might apply to online degrees; check with an admissions counselor to find out more.

Sources and further reading:

Online Courses •

Andrew Marszal "UK universities to launch free degree-style online courses" Dec 14, 2012 •

International Students •

International Admissions •

USC Online Degree Programs for International Students •

Katy Hopkins • 4 Online Education Program Considerations for International Students • Jan 16, 2013 •

Online Courses at Cambridge •

Your Introduction to Distance Learning •

These U.S.-based schools also accept students from the U.K.

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