With certain restrictions in place across Australia, education providers have moved to online learning to keep students safe and healthy. For a number of international students, the increased time at home made for the perfect opportunity to upskill through the range of online courses available.
A lifelong student
Anahy, a former international student from Brazil, now lives and works in Brisbane as a Doctor in Sports Medicine. She is also a self-confessed ‘lifelong learner’.
Besides medicine, I also have a variety of interests that I have explored in my leisure time through non-formal learning, and online platforms have offered me a means to satisfy my intellectual curiosity,” she shares. “So, I have used FutureLearn particularly to explore some side interests and to keep current on relevant information.
The nature of online study means that Anahy was able to ‘attend’ courses at several top Australian universities and take on a number of unique subjects.
In the past, I have undertaken several courses from Australian universities, in topics such as mindfulness (Monash), entrepreneurship (QUT), IELTS, environmental justice, social psychology, religion and peacebuilding, and climate-smart agriculture. More recently, I have undertaken marketing for social change (Griffith), global biosecurity for one health (Murdoch), and future-proofing the health workforce (Griffith).
The benefits of online learning
The transition to studying online may have been difficult for some, but there are benefits that come from in-home learning. Anahy breaks down the advantages across four areas: accessibility, teaching independence, increasing engagement, and environmental friendliness.
According to Anahy, online learning:
- Enables worldwide outreach, encompassing remote and isolated locations, which allows the education of some cohorts of people that might not access education otherwise.
- Offers you the convenience to tailor your educational journey according to your learning goals and time availability. Flexible course timeframes allow you to take the course at your own pace, which enables you to handle different commitments and encourages adult learning.
- Might be a more entertaining and relaxed experience than traditional teaching methods because it can be delivered in your setting of choice.
- Harnesses the potential of information technologies to reduce the negative impact that we have on our planet.
Why should I upskill?
Aside from developing your knowledge, taking the initiative to upskill through online courses can boost your employability through a demonstrated eagerness to learn.
Online courses have satisfied my thirst for knowledge and have enabled me to explore a
multitude of topics that suit my eclectic mindset. I have used online courses mostly to hone
my transferable and soft skills and to keep on top of in-demand skills.
It can also help you prepare for future careers, or even a change in career paths, such as what Anahy experienced.
“Some online courses have given me a glimpse of new career fields and … have helped me to make informed decisions on my career change, which is the case with ‘Future-proofing the health workforce’,” says Anahy. “[This course has] has maximised my understanding of Health Services Management and has contributed to my decision to pursue a career in this field.”