Online learners at Georgia Southern University can earn their degree anywhere in the world, and the middle of the ocean is no exception. Amy Levesque, who graduated this May with a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages with a concentration in French, completed most of her degree while at sea working on a cruise ship.

“I would not say that it was the easiest thing I have ever done, which I think makes the accomplishment all the more meaningful,” Levesque said. “I was onboard roughly two to three weeks a month and worked an average of 65 to 70 hours per week while onboard. At that time I was also registered for five full-credit classes at Georgia Southern.”

Levesque decided to pursue a degree in French after putting aside her goal of attending college years ago to raise her children. As an adult learner with a full-time job on a cruise ship, her classes would have to be all online, and she said Georgia Southern offered the most comprehensive online French program she could find.

“The program was not just a study of the language but also of the history, uniqueness and culture of France,” she said. “It is as close to immersion as you can have without living in France. It takes self-discipline, dedication, organization and communication to do any online degree successfully and if it means a lot to you to achieve it, you make the necessary sacrifices to do it.”

Levesque chose French because she enjoyed learning it in high school. She also will be able to use her new skills in her current job in sales in the hospitality and cruise industry where she often services French-speaking guests. However, her new degree has provided her with more career options, and Levesque said she may decide to become a teacher.

While she has never stepped foot on any of Georgia Southern’s three campuses, Levesque said she will remember Georgia Southern for the passion and commitment of her professors.

“I could not be happier with the education I have received here,” she said. “The professors are engaging and passionate about their profession and truly want students to succeed. They always made sure that if I needed anything they were there.”

If Levesque could offer advice to nontraditional students thinking about returning to college to get the degree they’ve always wanted, it would be to let go of any doubts and do it.

“If I can obtain my degree while working on a cruise ship roughly 26 weeks of the year and more than 50 hours a week, in time zones all over the world and often with spotty internet, you can too,” Levesque said. “Do not let your obstacles be your excuses. If it’s important to you, find a way.”