No one should have to choose between seeing the world and getting an education and with the advent of distance learning, no one has to. Many universities now offer such a huge range of year abroad programmes for their students it can be difficult to know which one is best. Here, we look at the benefits of spending a year working, studying or volunteering abroad as part of your degree.

Why take a year abroad?

There are many personal and professional reasons to spend a year abroad including everything from building up professional experience for your CV, to learning about new cultures, to making new friends. Whatever your motivation, one of the best aspects of distance learning is its flexibility. If you want to strike healthy balance between travel experiences and education, you have the freedom to do so, opting only to study for a semester at a time.

What sort of programmes are on offer?

Generally speaking, students are widely encouraged to study at partner universities abroad but always speak directly to your department about other opportunities available. If you want to study in Europe try the Erasmus scheme; for work experience in countries as far as China try Generation UK; you can always contact the European Voluntary Service for opportunities to travel whilst doing something meaningful.

Tell me about the technology behind distance learning

If you don't want to visit a university every day to continue your studies, long distance learning is a great alternative. Once you have made the arrangements with your university you will be able to follow the syllabus at a pace that makes room for all your adventures abroad. Distance learning involves logging in and visiting the latest technology virtual classrooms where you will be able to access high quality academic content whenever it best suits you.

You will log in to a centralised virtual classroom where you can collect your assignments, interact with tutors and peers and so much more. Although these classrooms are carefully designed to ensure that support is available to help you complete coursework and assignments, if you need more practical assistance, companies like Ivory Research can also be very useful.

Strike a good balance

Remember, whichever programme you choose, travelling and studying requires a lot of commitment and there is no shame in getting some help along the way. Take a look at these Dissertation examples by Ivory Research and consider whether writing resources might be useful for you whilst you're on the road.