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Getting an Online Graduate Degree While Working Abroad
#1
Hello, all.

I am a United States Citizen currently living and working in China. I have been here for over a year, and I really want to start working on getting my Masters degree and, later, my PhD in English Literature. My understanding is, of course, that I cannot be a student in China and be working in China at the same time, for Visa reasons. Since I really love my job, and I don't want to quit, that means that I will have to work on getting my degrees online through other institutions.

Since my home country is the United States, I was looking at those options first, but it seems like there aren't too many options for online Masters degrees in English Literature that are designed to prepare one for a PhD program, at least not that I could find. Additionally, as many of us probably know, university degrees in the USA are very expensive, especially for out-of-state students - even online.

Long story short, does anyone here have any experience getting an online degree from an institution outside of the country where they currently work and reside? Does anyone know of any resources that I might be able to use? I'm aware that this is a very specific question, and it's likely that I might not be able to find much help on this, but my own exhaustive research on the subject has gotten me next to no answers. Basically any information would be very much appreciated.

Thanks to you all.
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#2
(09-01-2020, 12:39 AM)aroliver1993 Wrote: Hello, all.

I am a United States Citizen currently living and working in China. I have been here for over a year, and I really want to start working on getting my Masters degree and, later, my PhD in English Literature. My understanding is, of course, that I cannot be a student in China and be working in China at the same time, for Visa reasons. Since I really love my job, and I don't want to quit, that means that I will have to work on getting my degrees online through other institutions.

Since my home country is the United States, I was looking at those options first, but it seems like there aren't too many options for online Masters degrees in English Literature that are designed to prepare one for a PhD program, at least not that I could find. Additionally, as many of us probably know, university degrees in the USA are very expensive, especially for out-of-state students - even online.

Long story short, does anyone here have any experience getting an online degree from an institution outside of the country where they currently work and reside? Does anyone know of any resources that I might be able to use? I'm aware that this is a very specific question, and it's likely that I might not be able to find much help on this, but my own exhaustive research on the subject has gotten me next to no answers. Basically any information would be very much appreciated.

Thanks to you all.

Hi, I completed my MS online while working as a counselor here in Beijing. It's very chabuduo, so don't worry; it doesn't really matter for Z-visa purposes.

I'm not familiar with English Lit Ph.D. programs that would be online, if you mean you'd want to do distance-learning at that level. For more "affordable" online English Lit M.A. programs, maybe SNHU, Capella, ASU? Are they outside of your preferences?

Asst. Director of college admissions counseling in Beijing with research interest in higher ed college access. Reverts to PADI Divemaster when near a coast.

BS Anthropology | Tulane '08 (3.90, summa cum laude
MS Early Childhood Studies: Administration, Management, & Leadership | Walden '19 (3.90)
Certificate Teachers College College Advising Program | Columbia '19
Certificate College Access Counseling | Rice '19
Certificate College Admissions Specialist | American School Counselors Association '21
Other Coaching for Admissions Interviews, Application Essays, Independent Research, and TOEFL; National Resume Writers' Association (completed coursework!)
Goals: A) 2nd MS in Higher Ed; B) 51/195 Countries; C) Find 2nd good hamburger in Beijing (accomplished June '19 and...?)

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#3
have you considered getting a PhD from a UK University ?

University of London has 1.

https://www.ies.sas.ac.uk/study-training...e-learning

Also a more affordable option is the University of Leicester, but they don't have English Lit, there's other options.

https://le.ac.uk/study/research-degrees/...hey-are/dl
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#4
(09-01-2020, 01:23 AM)PrettyFlyforaChiGuy Wrote:
(09-01-2020, 12:39 AM)aroliver1993 Wrote: Hello, all.

I am a United States Citizen currently living and working in China. I have been here for over a year, and I really want to start working on getting my Masters degree and, later, my PhD in English Literature. My understanding is, of course, that I cannot be a student in China and be working in China at the same time, for Visa reasons. Since I really love my job, and I don't want to quit, that means that I will have to work on getting my degrees online through other institutions.

Since my home country is the United States, I was looking at those options first, but it seems like there aren't too many options for online Masters degrees in English Literature that are designed to prepare one for a PhD program, at least not that I could find. Additionally, as many of us probably know, university degrees in the USA are very expensive, especially for out-of-state students - even online.

Long story short, does anyone here have any experience getting an online degree from an institution outside of the country where they currently work and reside? Does anyone know of any resources that I might be able to use? I'm aware that this is a very specific question, and it's likely that I might not be able to find much help on this, but my own exhaustive research on the subject has gotten me next to no answers. Basically any information would be very much appreciated.

Thanks to you all.

Hi, I completed my MS online while working as a counselor here in Beijing. It's very chabuduo, so don't worry; it doesn't really matter for Z-visa purposes.

I'm not familiar with English Lit Ph.D. programs that would be online, if you mean you'd want to do distance-learning at that level. For more "affordable" online English Lit M.A. programs, maybe SNHU, Capella, ASU? Are they outside of your preferences?

Actually, with the exception of ASU, these schools didn't come up in my research. I'm going to look into them now. Glad to hear someone else specifically from China has had experience with this. I haven't heard much at all about getting PhD's completely online, let alone for English Lit specifically, so I have a feeling it's going to be difficult, but who knows. The lack of information is not comforting, though.

(09-01-2020, 01:31 AM)nyvrem Wrote: have you considered getting a PhD from a UK University ?

University of London has 1.

https://www.ies.sas.ac.uk/study-training...e-learning

Also a more affordable option is the University of Leicester, but they don't have English Lit, there's other options.

https://le.ac.uk/study/research-degrees/...hey-are/dl

I absolutely would be open to getting a degree from a UK university. However, in the case of the London University example you posted above, it seems like going to London at certain points would be a requirement, and that might not be feasible for me. Regardless, I suppose I can always finish my Masters Degree first, then cross the PhD bridge when I get to it. I'm thankful you sent me these links, as I hadn't made much headway on finding good distance learning PhD options before now.
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#5
the 'good?' thing about a UK PhD program is - they accept you direct with a bachelor's degree. so you kinda save cost on the 'masters' portion. also, unlike the US style, a Masters won't give you any credit exemption if u entered a PhD program in the UK. You still start from the same entry point as a bachelor's degree holder. Most UK Uni's offer a PhD by distance. and some let you do ur viva from ur own country iirc, like u prob gotta talk to them and discuss this part.

oh ya, and there's always University of South Africa. they offer PhDs via distance learning too. It's prob the cheapest of them all.

https://w2.unisa.ac.za/www.unisa.ac.za/s...fault.html
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#6
What is your home state?

Asst. Director of college admissions counseling in Beijing with research interest in higher ed college access. Reverts to PADI Divemaster when near a coast.

BS Anthropology | Tulane '08 (3.90, summa cum laude
MS Early Childhood Studies: Administration, Management, & Leadership | Walden '19 (3.90)
Certificate Teachers College College Advising Program | Columbia '19
Certificate College Access Counseling | Rice '19
Certificate College Admissions Specialist | American School Counselors Association '21
Other Coaching for Admissions Interviews, Application Essays, Independent Research, and TOEFL; National Resume Writers' Association (completed coursework!)
Goals: A) 2nd MS in Higher Ed; B) 51/195 Countries; C) Find 2nd good hamburger in Beijing (accomplished June '19 and...?)

Reply
#7
(09-01-2020, 03:36 AM)PrettyFlyforaChiGuy Wrote: What is your home state?

My home state is North Carolina.

(09-01-2020, 02:32 AM)aroliver1993 Wrote:
(09-01-2020, 01:23 AM)PrettyFlyforaChiGuy Wrote:
(09-01-2020, 12:39 AM)aroliver1993 Wrote: Hello, all.

I am a United States Citizen currently living and working in China. I have been here for over a year, and I really want to start working on getting my Masters degree and, later, my PhD in English Literature. My understanding is, of course, that I cannot be a student in China and be working in China at the same time, for Visa reasons. Since I really love my job, and I don't want to quit, that means that I will have to work on getting my degrees online through other institutions.

Since my home country is the United States, I was looking at those options first, but it seems like there aren't too many options for online Masters degrees in English Literature that are designed to prepare one for a PhD program, at least not that I could find. Additionally, as many of us probably know, university degrees in the USA are very expensive, especially for out-of-state students - even online.

Long story short, does anyone here have any experience getting an online degree from an institution outside of the country where they currently work and reside? Does anyone know of any resources that I might be able to use? I'm aware that this is a very specific question, and it's likely that I might not be able to find much help on this, but my own exhaustive research on the subject has gotten me next to no answers. Basically any information would be very much appreciated.

Thanks to you all.

Hi, I completed my MS online while working as a counselor here in Beijing. It's very chabuduo, so don't worry; it doesn't really matter for Z-visa purposes.

I'm not familiar with English Lit Ph.D. programs that would be online, if you mean you'd want to do distance-learning at that level. For more "affordable" online English Lit M.A. programs, maybe SNHU, Capella, ASU? Are they outside of your preferences?

Actually, with the exception of ASU, these schools didn't come up in my research. I'm going to look into them now. Glad to hear someone else specifically from China has had experience with this. I haven't heard much at all about getting PhD's completely online, let alone for English Lit specifically, so I have a feeling it's going to be difficult, but who knows. The lack of information is not comforting, though.

(09-01-2020, 01:31 AM)nyvrem Wrote: have you considered getting a PhD from a UK University ?

University of London has 1.

https://www.ies.sas.ac.uk/study-training...e-learning

Also a more affordable option is the University of Leicester, but they don't have English Lit, there's other options.

https://le.ac.uk/study/research-degrees/...hey-are/dl

I absolutely would be open to getting a degree from a UK university. However, in the case of the London University example you posted above, it seems like going to London at certain points would be a requirement, and that might not be feasible for me. Regardless, I suppose I can always finish my Masters Degree first, then cross the PhD bridge when I get to it. I'm thankful you sent me these links, as I hadn't made much headway on finding good distance learning PhD options before now.

You're really making the UK PhD option sound very attractive here. I'll look into the South Africa link you posted as well. Getting to my PhD a little bit faster certainly doesn't sound like a bad thing. I wonder if there's any kind of drawback. For instance, since I want to go on to work in academia as a professor of English Literature myself here in China, I wonder if academic institutions might look at my lack of a masters degree and find it a bit odd? I'm sure this question has just betrayed how very little I know about this whole thing, which is why I really appreciate the feedback and advice here lol.
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#8
I'm not sure if Chinese people will like a degree earned online. Try to learn about social acceptance level of online degrees in China.
In some cultures, online degree is stigmatized.
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#9
(09-01-2020, 07:23 AM)nomaduser Wrote: I'm not sure if Chinese people will like a degree earned online. Try to learn about social acceptance level of online degrees in China.
In some cultures, online degree is stigmatized.

You definitely are right to consider this, but I can point to a few counterexamples from my own experience living here. Anecdotally, my Chinese friend's ex-husband (an American) completed his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins entirely online while also working in China; he's currently the director of education at a institution in the south. Her other friend (an American) also completed an online degree here, and she's now a director of learning in Beijing.

My own MS is from an online-only program, and it hasn't prevented Chinese clients from trusting my experience as a counselor, despite their children targeting the hyper-competitive top unis like Oxbridge and the Ivies. It's really our shared dreams and successful results every admissions season that matter above anything else.

For teaching in a uni here, even a MA can be fine; another friend was the leader of the English program at a Beijing uni with "just" a MA in TESOL, but he's since moved on to lecture at a Chinese uni partnered with Duke. It can all be OK and work out, as long as the OP takes a look at the landscape and finds some opportunities they might want to aim for.

Asst. Director of college admissions counseling in Beijing with research interest in higher ed college access. Reverts to PADI Divemaster when near a coast.

BS Anthropology | Tulane '08 (3.90, summa cum laude
MS Early Childhood Studies: Administration, Management, & Leadership | Walden '19 (3.90)
Certificate Teachers College College Advising Program | Columbia '19
Certificate College Access Counseling | Rice '19
Certificate College Admissions Specialist | American School Counselors Association '21
Other Coaching for Admissions Interviews, Application Essays, Independent Research, and TOEFL; National Resume Writers' Association (completed coursework!)
Goals: A) 2nd MS in Higher Ed; B) 51/195 Countries; C) Find 2nd good hamburger in Beijing (accomplished June '19 and...?)

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#10
I'm not sure whether they have a Master's degree, but Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia offers a PhD in English through distance learning:

https://online.odu.edu/programs/english-phd

They do require two Summer intensives on campus, though, which might be inconvenient from half an orbit away. Still, thought I'd mention it just in case. If nothing else it's right next to North Carolina, so you could visit, or something. :-)
BS, Info Sys concentration, Charter Oak State College
MA in Ed Tech Leadership, George Washington University
PhD in Leadership, U. of the Cumberlands (in progress)
More at https://stevefoerster.com
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