Mandy Moodley, living in Senegal, tells us about her experiences of studying online, whilst fitting in family life and her job
By Richard Orr in Online Students / Mon April 12, 2010
“I work, study, manage three kids, do sport and enjoy my weekends to the fullest. I even travel loads and can still study.”
UBIS (Switzerland) student, Mandy Moodley, living in Senegal, tells us about her experiences of studying online, whilst fitting in family life and her job.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am South African born, expatriated and living in Senegal. I am 36 years old, married with two children aged 6 and 4. I am a licensed trainer for Stonebow in London and conduct trainings for them in West and Central Africa. The training is for leadership, customer services, coaching, etc.
What do you hope to achieve from studying this?
Expat life is boring, and my job keeps me occupied for limited periods of time, so I decided to study and hope to get a job in the UN some time in the future.
How are you enjoying the course?
I love it. I find it way better than sitting in university lectures, on campus.
Describe what it is like to study online?
To study online, you really have to be disciplined and know how to manage your time. In the beginning it was challenging but you eventually get the hang of things after a week or so. The most vital tools for studying online is a good high speed computer and internet accessibility. I even go on work travel and am still able to follow through because of internet accessibility in hotels and now all airports. I keep in touch with other students through email as well as the chat box. Its fun and we do not have to get too personal if we prefer not to.
The weeks study schedule is fairly balanced providing that you plan accordingly. I normally study 3 hours every morning at the office. I hand in weekly discussion questions by Wednesday and try to do my weekly test immediately after that while everything is still fresh in my head. I complete my assignment by Friday so that I can have the weekends off for my kids. I work, study, manage three kids (the third is my husband), do sport and enjoy my weekends to the fullest. I even travel loads and can still study.
How easy is online learning easy to fit into your home/work life?
It is really easy. I have the perfect balance between home and work life. It is so convenient as I study at my own time and prioritise accordingly.
What would you say the main benefits of online learning are?
You manage your own study time. It also encourages discipline and independence. Not the same pressures as going to campus.
What attributes should you have to be a successful online student?
Discipline and good time management.
What advice would you give to potential online students?
Go for it. It’s fun and even better than attending campus everyday. You stay focused. You can also do other things at the same time. I wish that online learning existed 20 years ago. I prefer online studying to campus life.
Would you recommend online learning as a study mode?
Would you recommend studying a BA in Internation Relations?
Yes, absolutely. It unfolds your creativity. You have to figure things out on your own by conducting extensive research but at the same time being guided by your tutor. It teaches you to think for yourself unlike campus when one gets side tracked easily and the lecturer spells out everything for you.