Here at Edumadic we think that the way that students are combining their education with travel is totally outdated. Earning college credits online while traveling the world as an Edumad is the future of studying abroad.
By our estimations being an Edumad can easily save you $8,500 vs. a traditional study abroad semester. Crazy right?
A traditional study abroad semester costs on average $17,000. For that money you get 4 months of living abroad, and (hopefully) 15 credits towards your degree. When we break down these two aspects of a study abroad semester, we can repackage them much cheaper.
You can live pretty much anywhere in the world for less than $1,500 per month if you know what you’re doing. And there are many alternative college course providers that offer highly transferable classes for around $500 per three credit class.
A little bit of math will lead you to the realization that you can live abroad for a whole semester (4 months) and earn 15 credits for $8,500. 50% less than what you pay through the traditional route.
Normally when studying abroad you’re faced with a massive headache to make sure that all the classes you take while abroad are going to transfer back into your degree at home.
As an Edumad, you can guarantee that the classes you take while abroad will be accepted. If your university offers online classes, simply sign up for a semester of online classes and your professors will be none the wiser that you’re sipping coconuts from a beach in Costa Rica while studying.
If your university doesn’t have that option there are many universities and other providers of college classes that will allow you to enroll in their online classes à la carte. Defer your attendance at university for a semester, enroll in classes at another institution, and transfer those classes back in when you return to campus. Ask your academic advisor for pre-approval for those classes before you defer and they’ll be guaranteed to be accepted!
With a normal study abroad semester, and particularly if you want the classes you take to transfer, you’re limited to going to universities that your current university has partnerships with. Depending on the size of its study abroad office, that could be many options, or a few.
Also, there are only a limited amount of spaces available at each partner university in each semester, so even if there is a location that you’re interested in studying abroad in, you’re not guaranteed to get a place there.
As an Edumad, since all your classes are entirely online, you can study abroad wherever in the world your heart desires. The only limit is your appetite for adventure!
The amount of time you spend abroad with the traditional route is dictated by the length of the program you enroll on. For a semester program, that means 4 months, one location.
As an Edumad, you can go for however long your budget allows. Want to only spend a month studying from the hippie hangout of Tulum? You can do that. Want to spend 3 months bouncing from country to country in South East Asia? You can do that too. Want to spend the first 2 years of your degree earning all of your general education requirements online while living in every region of the world? You get the idea ;).
Traditional study abroad programs are usually reserved for Sophomores and Juniors. Not so for Edumads! Because you don't need to apply and be approved for a university study abroad program, nobody can tell you when during your education you're allowed to go and live abroad. As long as you can take online classes during that stage in your education, you can study abroad the Edumadic way.
You can even be an Edumad when you're not enrolled anywhere! If you're in a gap year after high school or you dropped out of college but plan to return, time as an Edumad is the perfect way to edge closer to earning a degree while also seeing the world.
We suggest our Edumads take asynchronous, self-paced online courses if they plan to combine their online classes with world travel. This means that they don’t have to worry about awkward time zones (Bali is 15 hours ahead of California!), and can progress through their studies at a speed and intensity that suits their life abroad.
If the swell is pumping and you want to surf all day every day for a week, the classes we suggest will allow you to do that. You can always double down on your studies when the waves are gone. If you’d rather study hard at weekends and see the sights during the week when there are fewer tourists then that’s an option too. You can’t do either of these if you have a regimented class schedule at the university you’re studying abroad at.
As an Edumad you’re able to study abroad from more far-flung locations than you’re able to through the traditional route. As long as there is internet, you can study online there. This means you’ll be able to live in parts of the developing world that will open your eyes to your privileges as a citizen of the first world in a way that studying abroad at a university in Italy or Australia cannot.
Spending a month living in rural India, the bustling cities of Vietnam, or the small fishing villages of Bali as our Edumads have is an eye-opening experience. There’s no avoiding the realization that to be born in North America or Europe you won the lottery. You’ll think twice about complaining that you don’t have the latest smartphone when the family of six living down the road from you share one bed between them and have no hot water.
If you choose to travel the world while studying online as a solo Edumad, you’ll have a lot that you need to figure out on your own. From researching where you’re going to live, to navigating a part of the world that is totally alien to you when you first arrive. Traveling and living abroad outside of the safety and comfort of an organized program well breed self-reliance that will serve you for the rest of your life.
“When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it… Once you learn that, you'll never be the same again.” - Steve Jobs
We’re told that studying abroad should look a certain way. That it’s impossibly expensive, and only students of a certain age with a certain GPA studying a certain thing can go and you have to go to these places and not those ones and maybe the classes you take don’t even count towards your degree?!
It doesn’t have to look like that.
And there are many things in life that don’t have to be the way we’re told they should be. Maybe being an Edumad is the first time you go against the status quo, against the rules that society laid out for you.
It’ll be awesome. And the next time you’re faced with the choice between following the path that society laid out for you, and taking an alternative route. Maybe your experience as an Edumad will have taught you to take that extra moment to question which path is truly best for you.