Traveling while Earning Your High School Diploma

Posted on November 04 2012

Are you or your family always on the road? Are your bags perennially packed and ready to go? There may be a number of reasons why you need to study on the go. You may be an athlete who regularly participates in local, city, state and national competitions. Or, you may be an aspiring ballerina or actor who needs to go to various auditions. Your family may need to go abroad because of your parents’ job.

Travel, whether to different countries and cultures, or to local destinations, is a great learning opportunity. As Henry Miller said, “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” However, if you are learning and trying to earn your high school diploma online, shuttling from one place to another can cause interruptions and distractions to your studies.

The good news is that with an online high school program, you can continue with your learning even as you are on the go. Because you have a more flexible schedule, you need to make sure that you fit in your studies with your travel itinerary. What is important is that you have a strategy on how to maintain your studies without breaking your stride.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Invest in a good laptop. This is your primary tool for your online high school education. Preferably, choose a sturdy and light laptop that you can easily carry. This laptop should be Wi-Fi ready so that you can easily get connected to the web (and to the website of The American Academy). In addition, it should have a long battery life so that even if you don’t have access to power you can still work on your lessons (i.e. while waiting for the plane to arrive, or while waiting for your competition to start). Of course, it will also help to have a universal adaptor for the different electric sockets you might find in other countries.
  • Be gadget-wise. Laptops are not the only avenue by which you can have access to your lessons. With the advent of tablets and Smartphones, you can actually not just access the website but also download available materials as e-books or podcasts which you can read virtually anywhere (unless you’re going snorkeling).
  • Stay connected. The word “online” in online high school emphasizes your need for an internet connection wherever you go. If you are choosing hotels, a reliable Wi-Fi connection is one of the first things you should check. When you arrive at your destination, look for alternative points of internet access. Staying connected also means maintaining regular communications with your teachers and online classmates.
  • Use cloud storage or other alternative storage for your electronic files. Your laptop may be lost, stolen or damaged during your travels. It is a good idea to have a place where you can store your course work. You can utilize cloud storage for this purpose. You can also get account for an online storage box for these important files. That way, even if your laptop has died on you during your travels, you can still complete assignments.
  • Stay committed. It is easy to be distracted by all the travel activities, especially if you are in a new place. With so many things to do, so many things to see, it is tempting to put your online learning in the backburner. Stay committed to your studies by ensuring that you spend at least the minimum number of hours or pages in a day. If you have more time in a day, try to maximize free time so that you are able to do as much as you can. This is to make way for unexpected happenings that may thwart your travel plans and schedule. This will also prevent you from needing to do things at the last minute (and thus cut your travel enjoyment short).
  • Take note of deadlines and schedules. Make sure that you keep up to date with your deadlines. With a mobile device, you can keep these important dates in one easy to access location. You can even set an alarm to give you reminders of these deadlines way ahead of time.
  • Incorporate milestones or “mini-goals” into your calendar. This is an excellent way to keep yourself on track even as you travel. These incremental goals will ensure that you are on track with your coursework.