Distance Learning Abroad: Up and away – life around the globe

Olga is what you might call a “serial emigrant”. As a child she moved with her family from Kazakhstan to Germany, and today she lives with her husband in Italy – and is already planning another move abroad. That’s why it was so important to her to get an internationally recognised qualification.


ItalyMy name is Olga, I’m 28 years old, and I live in Riccione. Riccione is a small city with 35,500 inhabitants, and it’s located in the province of Rimini. I moved abroad for love: after having a long-distance relationship for five years, my now-husband (who is originally from Rome) and I decided to get married, and I moved to Italy to be with him.

Studying for a new life

When I was six, I moved with my family from Kazakhstan to Germany. There, once I’d finished secondary school, I trained to become a pharmaceutical sales assistant. But working at the pharmacy didn’t fulfil me, and I was always on the look-out for other educational opportunities, without really knowing what path I wanted to go down. After changing jobs in April 2015, I started studying at the IUBH in October of the same year: the courses, content and conditions of the distance learning programme really appealed to me. I was already planning to move abroad by then, and I knew I’d need an internationally recognised qualification for my new life in Italy. I chose to study human resources management – the subject matter is interesting, and the career prospects are good.

ItalyCured of procrastination

The flexibility of distance learning has its pros and cons. One big advantage, of course, is the freedom to manage your time however you want to: I was able to work full-time, plan my move and wedding abroad, and learn a new language – all at the same time as studying for my course. And a correspondence course is also easy to fit in around learning Italian, working and doing a bit of housework. The disadvantage is that you have to keep yourself motivated to acquire new knowledge every day, and that calls for a lot of self-discipline. But for people like me – chronic procrastinators – this disadvantage can also be an advantage: my motivation and my work ethic have been completely transformed. I’m ‘cured’, in that sense! And now, as well as English, Russian and German, I speak almost perfect Italian. Now I can really hit the ground running with my studies!

Italy – la dolce vita?

I didn’t really experience culture shock. The mentality in central and northern Italy is very similar to that in Germany – except that the traffic laws are seen more as guidelines! 😉 After a year and a half I can say that I genuinely love my new home country, even if I am finding it difficult to put down roots here. That’s why the one thing I miss about Germany is my family and friends. But Italy isn’t the final destination for me and my husband: once I’ve finished my course we’re going to try to move to Canada.


Olga is 28 years old and is studying for a correspondence course in Human Resources Management at the IUBH. In her free time she enjoys ballet dancing, playing tennis and reading.

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