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Getting ahead with online courses

University Extension lets students earn college credit from anywhere in the world. In this video, Peace Corps member Adam Fivenson describes how.

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Adam Fivenson joined the Peace Corps “for the experience of getting to be a part of a foreign culture, learn a language and really help people to improve their lives.”

To fulfill his Peace Corps assignment, Fivenson lives and works in a poor district of Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. He works with a local computer school, teaching kids professional computer skills, developing new educational programs and improving administrative practices. His work requires him to travel to some remote corners of the country, where electricity is seldom available and Internet access unpredictable. Despite these electronic difficulties, Adam was able to complete two self-paced online courses from University Extension (UEX).

Fivenson took Introduction to Microeconomics and Introduction to Macroeconomics through UEX to deepen his understanding of the economic challenges faced by the residents of Santo Domingo and to help him prepare for graduate school.

The flexibility of a UEX self-paced online course was a convenient option for Fivenson. He was able to do his reading and assignments offline and then submit them when he had electricity and Internet access.

Fivenson says, “I worked on my class on top of a mountain, hiking through a valley, packed in between five people on a bus, while doing medical translation on the Haitian border and even laid out on remote tropical beaches.”

When Fivenson finishes his two-year service commitment, he is interested in pursuing a master’s in international affairs or public policy. The specific programs that he is considering recommend taking economics courses before applying. In addition, Fivenson has always had an interest in economic news. After taking microeconomics, he has a greater understanding of the information presented in economic reports. He explains, “Now when I read such news, I can develop an opinion of my own.”

Fivenson, who earned his undergraduate degree in communications at the University of Michigan, is making the most of his time in the Peace Corps by preparing for graduate school while living and working abroad.

Fivenson’s experience is preparing him for a future career in diplomacy. He says, “The Peace Corps is the best internship out there for careers in international affairs.”