As an online student at Drexel University, Kevin Hannon knew traveling abroad was expensive and didn’t consider the option a realistic goal.
“I didn’t think it would be possible,” says Hannon, who graduated with a bachelor’s of nursing degree from the school in 2013. “I was always jealous of students who got to do it.”
Then Hannon received an email from the university asking if he was interested in taking a community health course that culminated in an 11-day trip to Paraguay. During the trip, Hannon had a chance to teach illness prevention in schools and visit local health care facilities while traveling more than 1,000 miles on a bus that eventually got stuck in the mud and had to be pulled out by a tractor.
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“It gave me a completely broader perspective on how health care delivery works outside the U.S.,” says Hannon, a nursing supervisor at the Brattleboro Retreat, a mental health and addiction treatment center in Vermont. “It was an amazing experience.”
Studying abroad may seem like an elusive goal to online students, many of whom are already balancing work, school and family commitments. But it doesn’t have to be an impossibility. Many universities, like the University of Illinois and Arizona State University, are seeing a rise in online students who are studying or traveling abroad.
Jonathan GoldbergBelle, senior director for international programs and internships at the University of Illinois, has been advising students how to study abroad for the past 30 years. He says in the past six or seven years, he’s seen a definite increase in online students wanting to study abroad before they start a career. . . . .