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Online Courses

kyliebestkyliebest Posts: 12

Hello all!

I was on the phone with a potential volunteer earlier this morning, and she had a question about completing online school while serving long-term. Has anyone continued with their education while serving on ship? What was your experience? Looking to give her useful information quickly.

I appreciate any feedback on this subject.



Kylie Best

General Recruiter


  • purser-afmpurser-afm Posts: 11
    edited April 2019

    Hello Kylie,

    Technology wise, we only have satellite communication when underway/sailing at sea, and it's also very limited when in dry dock during the summer. However, for most of the academic year we would be at a port during field service and have relatively stable internet - with the caveat that it can vary country to country.

    Then there is the consideration of synchronous vs. asynchronous. The former is like being in a classroom, but you meet online at a specific time. This might be challenging due to the time difference, being courteous to your roommates, and also due to the plethora of unexpected things that can interrupt life on board. Also, the bandwidth required for a video classroom would be an issue.

    I actually considered an asynchronous course program for myself, and that seems to be a viable option as lessons can downloaded, and it's possible to work ahead of the schedule a bit as well. In the end I decided to table/postpone the online course idea, in order to take advantage of all the learning opportunities on board and from within the communities we serve.

    Hope that helps!


    Purser, AFM

  • kyliebestkyliebest Posts: 12

    Hi Julianne,

    Hope you're doing great, it seems like forever since OnBoarding! Your answer has been super helpful and will help me answer potential volunteers with this question. I appreciate you taking the time to respond to me. Tell the girls I said hello!


  • purser-afmpurser-afm Posts: 11

    Hi Kylie,

    So true, I think we've both been putting a lot of energy into our new roles since On Boarding! Yes, the gang is doing great - and we even have a short timer on board who was in the FMS class! We've discussed more than once how grateful we are for the On Boarding experience.

    I won't lie - during the application process I didn't see the value of the time and expense for On Boarding. The value was clear after arriving in Texas and then even more so after arriving on the ship. Now I encourage everyone to go and embrace the experience. How's that for a 180 change? LOL

    Hope you're still drawing!

    Warm regards from Guinea,


  • BrendaBraxtonBrendaBraxton Posts: 24

    I was in a Bachelor's program the first time I went to the ship and took an online course with no problem.


  • SarahBurdetteSarahBurdette Posts: 33 ✭✭

    I am in a doctorate program and was there for two weeks in March, and will be returning in December/January. I never had connectivity issues with the WiFi, my most difficult problem was TIME. I had a lot of trouble even over the two weeks finding the time to write papers and study for the exams I had coming up. I would have enjoyed the experience more if I wasn't stressing about my classes the entire time. I wish that I had been on break during that service so I could have been more focused on where I was and the task at hand instead of overwhelmed with long work hours and having to then stay up and complete school work when I finished in surgery. This next time, in Senegal, I will be on Christmas holiday, and planned the service during a time that I will not be actively engaged in classes. All this being said, it can be done. There isn't an issue of internet connectivity or access to locations for use, there is prioritizing tasks and time management and lots of deep breathing exercises involved. :) Working in surgery doesn't provide a very regular schedule, either. Other areas may have the benefit of a more structured environment for planning school activities. I am taking 6-9 credit hours per semester, and my service was 2 weeks last time, and 3 weeks coming up this winter. Short term, it was hard to keep up, but maybe long-term would be easier after settling into a routine.

  • kyliebestkyliebest Posts: 12


    Thank you for this, it's very helpful!

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