FAQ

What does the term 'distance learning' mean?

What are the differences between distance learning and regular study programmes?

Is a degree acquired through distance learning as valid as a “normal” degree? Where can I find further information?

Where can I take a distance learning translation course?

What are the costs?

Do I need a computer and internet access?


What does the term ‘distance learning’ mean?

The Microsoft Encarta World English Dictionary defines the term as follows:

"Distance learning is education for students working at home, with little or no face-to-face with teachers and with material provided remotely, e.g. by e-mail, television, or post."

Apart from distance learning courses offered by universities, there are also distance learning courses offered by private institutions­most often for the purpose of widening professional skills­including secondary school qualifications. The distance learning institutions provide students with teaching material. The courses lead to internal final exams or they prepare students for exams under public law.

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What are the differences between distance learning and regular study programmes?

Distance learning is significantly more flexible as far as length and place of studies are concerned. It is more diverse since it has a larger target group (including e.g. people who want to widen their professional skills without giving up their current job for a certain period of time) than a regular study programme. Additionally, students need a substantial degree of personal maturity, the ability to manage the studies on their own as well as the capability to work effectively with the necessary equipment.

See our section on the advantages and disadvantages of distance learning for a more detailed comparison of distance learning and regular study programmes.

See also our links page for further information on distance learning.

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Is a degree acquired through distance learning as valid as a “normal” degree? Where can I find further information?

According to article 22, paragraph 2 of the University Law of Rhineland-Palatinate, a course credit, as provided for in the study and exam regulations, is proved, when a student takes part in an according distance learning unit, provided that the course type of this unit is equivalent to the corresponding course type of a regular study programme. A distance learning unit is equivalent to a regular study programme, when its academic standard and contents are of equal quality and the attainment of the learning objectives is secured. The prerequisites for collecting course credits attained in a distance learning unit are included in the exam regulations.

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Where can I take a distance learning translation course?

The AKAD, a private university, is the only institute of higher education in Germany to offer a distance learning course with a certified degree in translation. The course is available for the language combination English and German and has its main emphasis is on economics. Students receive 8 units of written learning material and language training programmes on tape. This course of studies is designed for 24 months (with daily work of 2 hours). Eleven seminars usually consisting of several sessions prepare students specifically for the final AKAD exam. Students also have the possibility to attend all sessions of certain seminars in one week. Seminars take place in AKAD study centres in Düsseldorf, Stuttgart and Leipzig. The preparatory courses are held in Stuttgart. For further information see the links page.

Outside of Germany, New York University offers distance learning translation courses. For further information click here.

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What are the costs?

The costs of the AKAD programme amount to 5.208 Euros for the regular study period of 2 years, which equals 217 Euros per month. Additionally, the boards of education charge a one-off examination fee of approximately 332 Euros at present depending on the Bundesland. This course of studies can be financially supported by the government if it is considered further education.

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Do I need a computer and Internet access?

The possibility to use a computer and Internet access facilitates studying to a large degree. If you take into account that a professional translator receives his jobs almost exclusively via electronic media, which requires a substantial degree of computer skills, it has to be said that by the end of the studies a computer and Internet access are an absolute necessity to start a successful career. The distance learning course, as such, can actually be completed without these aids. There are courses offered by Linguaphone (www.linguaphone.de) which make only use of books and tapes.

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