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4 Ways to make friends whilst studying online

BY: SGI|29 August 2019
BLOG| The digital student life

Congratulations! If you’ve enrolled in one of SGI’s online short courses, you’re one step closer to achieving your certification or supplementing your professional knowledge – and can enjoy all the benefits of online learning. These include a flexible schedule, customised curriculum, a learning coach to help keep you motivated and endless resources. But learning online can be a little lonely. Here’s how to make friends – and keep them long after you graduate.



As you’re based offsite, you won’t see your classmates when attending a lecture or tutorial. Lecturers will encourage students to introduce themselves via an online discussion forum, the comments in a notice board or via video. Additionally, start your own discussion thread, introducing yourself to the other students and asking them to do the same.



At SGI, our learning coaches offer support digitally via email, SMS, instant chat and discussion forums. You can also set up an appointment for real-time interaction via a telephonic or video. Through webinars, your lecturer or learning coach may provide you with an opportunity to interact with other classmates that are facing similar issues with the coursework, helping you to engage fully with the material as well as connect with your peers on a social level.



The key to social interaction and friendship is connection. Even if your classroom is digital, there are still many ways to connect with your classmates. As well as discussion boards and webinars, consider connecting with classmates via social media platforms or Zoom/ Skype sessions. Invite people for ‘virtual coffee’ to really get to know each other.



Although cliché, it’s true that “there is strength in numbers” and “no man is an island”. Once you’ve introduced yourself to your classmates and exchanged contact details, try organising an in-person group study session. From there, you can find common areas of interest and organise activities unrelated to your studies.


Stellenbosch Graduate Institute (SGI) offers online short courses in general management and project management as well as micro-learning online courses (up to seven weeks) in knowledge management, finance, human resources, leadership and operations.


Click here for the full list of courses.


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