I was born in Lithuania. At the moment I’m located in the Netherlands, I moved here around a year and a half ago. I started my studies in the Netherlands first, as a civil engineer, but then I switched to studying at IU International University of Applied Sciences, and now I’m studying for a distance learning degree in Business and IT.
Flexibility is key
The main difference between online and offline universities is that you only have to be present at [an offline] university. You can’t choose your own study environment, and you basically have to follow the pace that the university sets for you. You can’t choose how you want to learn or what you want to learn at any given moment – you basically follow a set of rules. For me, I like planning my time a bit differently. So for me, [studying online] is a really good approach, because I can study during any time of the day, I can choose what content I want to study and I can choose how I want to study and how I want to prepare for exams. It allows me to be flexible.
If I find a really nice topic that I want to deep-dive into, I can just do that, and take other classes at a later time. So, flexibility is one of the main benefits you get from studying online, and I think it’s really amazing.
Balance work and studies by being consistent
I work full-time, so I have 5 working days and 2 free days each week. Those 2 days are always dedicated to studying and doing some research. I also try to wake up early every morning and be consistent with my studies; I try to study at least 3 or 4 hours every day. That gives me a nice balance, because I have a goal – to be consistent in what I’m trying to do. So, if I’ve set myself the goal of studying for 3 or 4 hours every day, I try to find the ways to make that happen.
Study whenever, wherever – with the IU Learn app
I did try it – I think it’s the main tool I study with. I always study with my iPad, so I have my app wherever I go. What’s great about it is that all of the material is available in one app, as opposed to studying at a traditional university, where you have to get different books for each topic. Here everything is available as a PDF in the app, which is really convenient – you can carry it with everywhere. I use it every day and I’m really happy with it.