A blog dedicated to promoting the healing power of essential oils and aromatherapy

Discover essential oil profiles, aromatherapy practice, essential oil safety, aromatherapy training,essential oil uses, aromatherapy talk and many more aromatherapy notes - all from a unique UK/USA perspective....

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Distance Learning Aromatherapy Courses

My last two posts were on aromatherapy requirements in the U.K. and how to become a registered aromatherapist in the U.S. - but what do you do if you want to train in aromatherapy and live no where near an aromatherapy course provider?  In the U.S., this is a common problem as distances are great and it is expensive to travel across state (and country) to study, especially if it involves more than one trip.  Even if you live in the U.K., you may have to travel to find a reputable aromatherapy course provider.

The alternative is to study through distance learning.  But how do distance learning aromatherapy courses compare to actual attendance on a course?  And how much of a 'real' qualification is a distance learning course?  Like other aromatherapy courses, the availability of distance learning aromatherapy courses is wide and varied.  Some allow you to find out what aromatherapy is about before taking a more comprehensive course; others actually give you an accredited diploma at the end of it.  However, it is possible to study for a university accredited degree through distance learning today, demonstrating how flexible study can be.

The advantages of studying aromatherapy through distance learning include:

  • study where and when you want
  • no travel expenses
  • study at your own pace
  • e-mail/telephone support depending on the course provider
  • one-on-one tuition in some cases.
However, the disadvantages of studying aromatherapy through distance learning include:

  • no interaction with other students (although some course providers may provide a facility for doing this, for example a forum)
  • practical applications may be more difficult to master
  • communication is less 'personal'
  • you may 'miss' certain information which is naturally brought up in classroom situation
  • you need to be self-disciplined and organized to successfully complete the course.
Some aromatherapy distance learning courses require you to attend a class for a day or two at the end of the course for practical learning.  A lot of aromatherapy distance learning courses are assessed through assignments, rather than exams, which may mean more course work but no exam pressure.

On a personal note, I studied for my aromatherapy diploma with Penny Price academy through distance learning.  For me, at that point in my life, I felt it suited both my needs and my personal situation.  However, I did voluntarily opt to take a couple of 'specialized' day courses at the end of the course, which I found to be of great benefit in clarifying a few issues for me.  In addition, if I had remained in the U.K., I would have opted to do further study to 'upgrade' my aromatherapy distance learning diploma, although I have to stress it is a 'stand alone' qualification too.

Since I completed my aromatherapy course, I have done a lot more personal study and participated in aromatherapy forums and writing, from which I have continued to learn a lot about aromatherapy.  Advanced aromatherapy study is next on my 'wish list' but deciding how to do it is my next problem.  Maybe I'll opt for distance learning again!  After all, it doesn't matter where you are in the world when you choose to study distance learning!

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