4 Reasons Why International Students Should Consider Online College

Though online higher education is a fairly recent phenomenon, choosing to complete a degree may become one of the best decisions you make, especially if you are an international student. Online college provides the affordability, flexibility, and accommodations that international students need. Here is a quick overview of some of the top reasons to consider enrolling in an online degree program.

Students Can Choose Where They Want to Live During College

As an international student, it may be hard to define where home exactly is. Inevitably, when you are faced with the decision of what college to attend, which “home” country do you decide upon? How about you skip that question all together. Choose an online college. That way, you can continue your life of travel and adventure, while your “college” can fit neatly in your laptop bag.

The days are long past when you could only find a handful of online college options. These days you can find accredited universities and colleges for virtually any degree program, including plenty from prestigious institutions. You can even complete a sports degree online! As online education expands, students can start their path to their professional career without having to leave the comfort of home.

Online Colleges Can Save International Students Lots of Money

There are countless online colleges that offer international students an affordable option to complete their post-secondary education. For example, Norwich University offers an online master in diplomacy and international relations that is inexpensive, while still maintaining rigor and quality. And Norwich University is not alone. According to an article published by The Atlantic, “Online courses cost a fraction of a brick-and-mortar education.” Not only are tuition rates often lower, but online colleges provide international students with more flexibility to work while they are completing their degree.

Colleges Provide Educational Support for a Diverse Student Body


Source: nj.it

English oftentimes is the second language for many international students. Many online colleges are designed to accommodate to the learning needs of a diverse student body. They provide tutoring, writing support, and other instructional supports to help students from a wide range of backgrounds and linguistic proficiency.

Make sure to check whether or not your prospective online schools offer sufficient support for international students, especially ESL students. See whether or not the schools you are looking at have an international student office, and bring any specific questions you have to their attention. Also make sure that you are getting the proper visa for your particular circumstances. If you get an F1 or J1 visa (student category), you will be ineligible to pursue a degree completely online. However, if you are enrolled full time (12 credit hours), you can take up to three credit hours online.

The best visa if you are looking to complete your entire degree online is called a J1 visa. Even with this option, though, be sure to check with your school to make sure you are following all legal guidelines.

Online Colleges Give International Students Networking Opportunities

Lastly, online colleges provide a unique opportunity for a group of students to network with each other from across the world. It is typical for online class discussions to involve students and professors from all over the world. The connections made within these online classes could possibly lead to your first job offer or a valuable letter of recommendation.

As you can see, international students should seriously consider online college. Although it may seem like the less conventional option, the higher education pendulum seems to be swinging quickly in the direction of online college. Be someone who understands the benefits of online college before it becomes the norm.


Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.