Students find traveling to be easier with online learning


Leer en español: El aprendizaje en línea facilita viajes para estudiantes

BYU student Justin Lapicola does schoolwork while on vacation in Florida. Many classes can be taken remotely and online because of the pandemic. (Harley Larson)

Students are finding travel to be much easier while taking remote, online classes and are going on small vacations throughout the semester with friends and family.

BYU junior Dathyl Larsen and UVU junior Breanna Benjamin are roommates who have taken a handful of trips together during the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 semesters.

Larsen and Benjamin combined have traveled to California, Arizona, Florida, Boston, Lake Powell, Colorado, Moab and St. George since the pandemic started, they said.

Benjamin’s class load is completely online and she appreciates the versatility of virtual learning. “I have so much flexibility with my schedule and can get all my work done before our trips; I can take all of my responsibilities with me,” she said.

One of the greatest benefits of online schooling is strengthening relationships with family and friends, Benjamin said.

“I think the best parts of these trips are the new friends we’ve made and the friendships that we’ve strengthened,” Larsen agreed. “I’ve been able to spend time with family out of state and I don’t think I would’ve spent so much time with them if I wasn’t doing school online.”

BYU neuroscience junior Stephen Sheffield said he enjoys seeing new places, while still accomplishing valuable, scholastic goals.

A key part of traveling during a school semester is the preparation before leaving, Sheffield said. It’s a little more difficult to get schoolwork done during a trip, but not impossible.

“I put in a concentrated effort into getting homework done the week before my trips. That’d be my advice to anyone trying to travel while enrolled in online school,” he said.

There are times when friends would have live remote delivery classes and the group would do other activities and hang out until those friends were ready, Larsen said. “I tried to be ready beforehand so I wouldn’t have to find Wi-Fi wherever we were.”

Benjamin encouraged other students to use the freedom online schooling gives to go anywhere with their loved ones.

Online school is a unique chance students have to experience new places and cultures while still getting further ahead in their education, Sheffield said. They won’t ever regret the special time spent with family and friends, he added.

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