Conversations on Studying Abroad

8 Tips to Make Your Remote Learning Abroad Experience a Positive One

Mar 30, 2020 9:07:00 AM / by Cara Pizzorusso

Even though our spring 2020 students have all returned home, their global education experience is not over. We've rounded up a list of tips to help students have an engaging global learning experience at home, including ways to travel virtually.

Throughout the CAPA program experience, our goal has always been to make the Global City a classroom. This means providing opportunities for students to experience and learn about a city’s history, culture, immigration, architecture, art, food scene, and more. Our hope is for students to fully immerse themselves in the culture of their Global City, and to truly make a home for themselves there, even if it is only for a few weeks or months.

We realize that by suspending the in-country portion of programs, the experiential part of our Global Cities programs feel like it’s completely over—but it doesn’t have to be. Although the experience is not exactly what we had hoped for you, we want to be sure to provide you with the tools and tips to enable you to have a positive and engaging learning experience at home. 

How can you continue your Global Cities experience at home? Here are a few tips:

1. Connect with other CAPA students 

Keep in contact with your friends from CAPA, whether it’s through texting, by phone, video chat, or social media. Just as you are adjusting to new routines, transitioning back to life in the US, and quickly figuring out remote learning, your CAPA classmates are going through an adjustment period as well, and you can look to each other for support. 

2. Continue to watch your course lectures and keep up with projects and assignments as you were doing in-country 

It may be hard to keep the momentum going, and there may be some more hurdles along the way, but you have a community of peers, professors, and the CAPA team to support you if you have challenges. If you do encounter any difficulties logging into Canvas or if you have any technology challenges, it’s best to reach out to your Program Manager as soon as possible so that you can stay on track with your work.  

3. Reach out to your professors if you have questions 

It’s just as important now to stay in touch with your professors as it was when you were abroad—if not even more important. They miss you! If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your professors via email or on Canvas, or using other channels of communication if they have a different preferred platform. Some professors are also holding virtual office hours each week for drop in chats. This is a great way to stay in touch and to answer any questions you may have!  

Mike Punter TweetA tweet from CAPA London's Director of Theatre Studies and Academic Director, Mike Punter.

4. Participate in any activities that your CAPA Center is hosting virtually.  

For example, CAPA Dublin students can join CAPA for virtual tea sessions on Tuesdays to maintain contact with other students and the Dublin team. See what your center is doing! 

5. Reach out to your Program Manager 

Your Program Manager is interested in your wellbeing and your success and remains an important source of support for you.  

6. Continue to reflect on your experience 

It will take time to process your experiences abroad and to readjust to life back at home. For many of you, this will mean going from living in a shared apartment with other students to living in your old bedroom at your parents’ house. No matter your situation, it will certainly be an adjustment from the previous few months.  

There is a lot to process, and you may find it helpful to use a creative outlet as a means to sort through your experiences and feelings. This may mean writing about your experience, creating compilations of photos and videos from your time abroad, or printing out and framing your photos. Take time to try different creative outlets and see what brings you joy. 

That all said, it’s okay to feel sad. Be kind to yourself. For many the best remedy for that will just be time. 

7. Keep up with your language skills 

If you were studying and immersing yourself in another language when you were abroad, you can continue your language practice at home! Try DuolingoBabbel (now free for US students), or other free language learning apps, watch YouTube videos or movies (with subtitles if you need them)or even try reading a book in your language of study if you’re looking for a challenge. 

IMG_9913-1A few free language learning apps, plus a dictionary app for translations.

8. Explore Global Cities virtually 

If you didn’t get a chance to visit a particular museum or cultural site, you can check it out on Google Arts and CultureYou can explore art collections from over 1,200 museums, including the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the British Museum in London, and the Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art 

British MuseumTour the British Museum on Google Arts and Culture. 

Here are a few more ways you can explore Global Cities from home:

  • Check out cities from a bird’s eye perspective with 360 degree photos and videos from a helicopter here.
  • Use the 360-degree view feature on Google Maps to explore the interior and exterior of London’s Royal Botanic Gardens. 

    Royal Botanic GardensCheck out London's Royal Botanic Gardens on Google Maps.

  • Tour somewhere a bit outside your Global City that you may not have had a chance to visit. For CAPA Florence students, take a virtual trip to Vatican City to tour the Sistine Chapel and other rooms in the Vatican Museums here.  

    Sistine Chapel Virtual TourExplore the Sistine Chapel from home. 

  • Explore the courtyards of the Picasso Museum in Barcelona and check out Salvador Dali’s surrealist art here. 
  • Take an excursion to the Great Wall of China here  
  • Explore the Sydney Opera House from all angles by using the arrows in the video to see different perspectives here and check out the Australian National Maritime Museum’s online exhibits, including the “Waves of Migration” exhibithere. 

    Sydney Opera House 360 ViewCheck out the Sydney Opera House from all angles. 

  • Stream Globe Theater productions from home here and other free London Theater productions here. 
  • Explore British art virtually with the Tate Galleries Virtual Tour here. 


Topics: London, England, Dublin, Ireland, International Education, Sydney, Australia, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Florence, Italy, Barcelona, Spain