Many students across the globe dream to study in the U.S. However, not everyone can afford to move there. Thankfully, through online colleges, international students can now enjoy the benefits of earning their degree from their chosen school in the country. According to experts, though, this can also have some drawbacks.

Time zones

Online degree’s international acceptance


There are two kinds of learning in online programs – asynchronous and synchronous. In the former, students are free to access their learning materials on their own time, while in the latter, they need to log in and participate in class at a specific time. For international students, synchronous programs can be frustrating, especially if they have to attend live lectures during the wee hours. Even if the classes are asynchronous, learners need to do group works, which can sometimes happen late at night because of the differing time zones.

Online degree’s international acceptance

According to EdVantage CEO Judith Murray, these days, people in the U.S. are already more accepting of online education as a form of study. However, this may not be the case in other countries. For instance, the Chinese government only recognizes degrees from select U.S. institutions. If students can’t provide a passport or visa documentation, proving that they studied in the U.S., the government will not recognize the diploma or credential that the students received.

Studying In A U.S. Online College

Suzan Brinker from Pennsylvania State University-World Campus suggests for students to check first if their government considers the U.S. online program that they want as valid. In a worst-case scenario, the government might terminate the students’ access to the platform after they have enrolled in the program.

Cultural barriers

International students can find understanding American culture references a bit challenging. However, this can be even more difficult for online learners who do not have the benefit of staying in the country while studying. Brinker recommends for students to immerse themselves in the U.S. culture in every way they can. She said that watching U.S. news or television shows can be very helpful.


  • William C Miles

    I earned my MA in US History from the University of California, Santa Barbara. I also hold a BA in East Asian Studies. My educational journey equipped me with deep knowledge in diverse cultural and historical contexts, particularly those shaping higher education trends. Presently, I work as a freelance writer and consultant specializing in online colleges across the USA. Over the past eight years, I have collaborated with various educational platforms and e-learning organizations. This role involves creating insightful content that helps potential students make informed decisions about their education paths. Throughout my career, I've had the privilege to contribute articles to notable educational websites and online journals. My work is frequently cited for its clarity and helpfulness, aiding students and educators alike. I've taken part in over 50 webinars as a speaker, sharing my expertise on online education dynamics in the United States. My passion goes beyond writing; it's about making a tangible impact through my words and advice. With over 1,000 articles published under my name related to online education, my aim is clear: to provide readers with reliable information that supports their educational pursuits and career objectives. You can find more details about my professional background and contact me on LinkedIn or through my personal website.

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