One of the challenges associated with living off grid is that it usually means being located in a rural area where the nearest university or town is miles away. This makes it impractical for many wilderness loving off-gridders to pursue their education without spending a significant amount of time and money commuting to and from the university. Fortunately, it’s possible to use distance learning options like correspondence studies to earn a degree online from anywhere you can bring your laptop. If you decide to take this route, here are a few things to keep in mind along the way:
You’ll Need a Solar Panel Setup and a Mobile Hotspot
Chances are if you’re living totally off grid you already have at least a modest solar panel setup that is capable of charging your device and a few other basic appliances. If not, this will be mandatory if you want to be able to get a decent amount of studying and work done off grid independently, rather than relying on public libraries and Wi-Fi hotspots. It would also be worthwhile to make sure there’s a mobile network in the area that provides a decent mobile data connection. Luckily, even some of the most remote places in the country are now within the ever expanding range of mobile networks. I even met someone who took correspondence courses from the University of South Dakota while living totally off grid.
You’ll Have a Flexible Schedule
Another aspect of distance learning that makes it perfect for the nature enthusiast is that you can work on your studies at any time of the day or night. This is important in off grid situations because there are always chores and duties to be taken care of throughout the day. For example, if you only have a few hours left to collect firewood before the sun goes down, it helps to be able to prioritize such tasks without missing out on any classes in the process.
Part Time Education Lets You Put Other Things First
A major reason why many people living off grid never even consider pursing their education is because they feel that they won’t have the time to commit to it being that they live in such rural areas and rarely make enough trips to town to attend a university everyday. However, part time education in the form of a correspondence study provides an option that allows the student to put everything else first and only work on the courses in their spare time.
No Attendance Requirements and Diverse Study Options
Finally, another reason to consider distance learning as an option when living off grid is that many universities don’t even require you to attend a campus at all. Furthermore, people who engage in distance learning programs typically focus on a wider variety of subjects than students who choose to obtain residency at the university, partly because it easier to juggle different areas of study online than it is to keep up with and attend multiple classes on campus.