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Online Learning’s Multicultural Reach and Learning Benefits


Universities offer rich opportunities to learn about new cultures. Traditionally, that has meant international students studying in the U.S., or American’s studying abroad.

Today’s online universities offer a new multicultural advantage — international students studying from their home base, sharing their daily lives and unique insights with U.S.-based students.

American Public University (APU) has adult learners that are from more than 20 countries. Though studying independently, APU students connect through discussion boards, student and alumni groups, and even at the online student union.

Think of the benefits of this multicultural classroom of adult learners:

  1. Fresh perspectives 
    Suppose you are seeking a degree in international relations, transportation and logistics management or homeland security. Even a simple discussion post that begins with “What would be your approach to…?” could provide a multitude of new ideas for you to consider.
  2. New problem-solving techniques
    Different life paths mean different life experiences. You can learn how adult learners of different cultures face similar challenges, such as career choice, work-life balance, even stress and time management.
  3. Global awareness
    Your international classmates can help you build the expertise — and cultural savvy — needed to succeed in today’s global economy. You can gain first-hand knowledge about consumer preferences, politics, infrastructure, economic growth potential and more. 
  4. Networking possibilities
    You can build on your connection to international classmates after graduation. They may be able to offer insights on job opportunities with multinational corporations. They can also continue to be good sounding boards for challenges you’ll face on the job. 
  5. Personal growth
    Perhaps the most important benefit from a multicultural classroom is personal growth. Interacting with different cultures can help you become more open, respectful, sophisticated — and caring. These are all traits that can help you succeed in your career and life.

International student story
Olga Mokrova recently came from the United States from Russia. She serves as a United Nations Security Coordination Officer and is pursuing her security management degree at APU’s sister university, American Military University. Read more about Olga’s story >

– By Online Learning Tips Staff