How Online Classes Changed My Life

As a kid that grew up on American TV shows and movies, I dreamed of going to college overseas.

You see, I’m from the Czech Republic and I was born around the time of the Velvet Divorce, therefore unlike my parents and grandparents, I’ve been blessed with more opportunities and one of them is travel.

At school I became obsessed with languages, English in particular, and during my English classes I learned about the opportunities for studying abroad. And then I discovered how much it costs and the dream disappeared into thin air just like that.

My family just couldn’t afford that. Even tough I had the opportunity, it still wasn’t accessible for me.

Partially I got to fulfill it thanks to the au-pair program and I got to study Theater Arts at a community college for one semester. I was grateful for even that one class, as it’s an experience I’ll never forget.

And then in 2012 I discovered Coursera and my life changed.

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Suddenly I could take any class I wanted and learn from great professors from some of the best universities in the world. And so I did…

I learned to Think Critically about Global Challenges in a so called class which is an invaluable skill in this time. Social Psychology was one of the most fascinating classes I ever took and that gave me a lot. I learned about communication in the Intro to Communication Science and about the Internet in a fascinating class about its History, Technology and Security. I got to geek out learning about Sci-fi and Fantasy Literature and The Language of Hollywood film class, which were two of the most fun classes. And the list goes on…

Currently I’m taking Graphic Design and just signed up for a 6-course specialization focused on Social Media.

Coursera, however, isn’t the only source of online classes, new portals are popping up like mushrooms after rain and the trend arrived to the Czech Republic as well and I can’t wait to see where we take it. I’m just starting to discover what we have here and I’m excited about it.

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Back to the English-language portals, though. Recently I discovered SkillShare and I’m particularly excited about this portal, because of their vast selection of artistically oriented classes. Just what I was looking for! I got the premium membership and I can’t wait to start my studies. My list of saved classes is looong.

Maybe I didn’t get to go to a college overseas, but getting this chance to study is a life changer. Dreams do come true after all.

My greatest thanks to all the great thinkers behind all the portals for giving access to education to those who couldn’t otherwise afford it.

Logo credits coursera.org and skillshare.com.

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