Taking engineering classes online is strange enough, but the thought of having to tackle extensive time differences seemed impossible. Or so I thought before I found myself in Kuwait with the Spring Semester right at the door. While the task ahead of me was daunting, I can give Viterbi an A+ review on how it provided ample resources and flexibility for international students to say synced with their peers and not fall behind despite the challenging environments.
The first thing I did was look at my schedule and assess what classes I could and what I could not take synchronously. I actually ended up being to take two of my four classes this semester synchronously despite the time difference. This did mean I had to wake up at 5:30 AM on Wednesdays for my 6:30 PM Tuesday class, but my previous 8AM fit perfectly into my schedule at a healthy 7PM.
As for my other classes, I emailed my professors and explained my circumstances and they allowed me to attend class asynchronously with no penalty or tedious additional assignments to complete. To establish a cohesive schedule, I watched the recorded lectures at the same time they would have occurred in PST in Arabian Standard Time the next day. So, my weekdays ended up being Tuesday-Saturday instead of Monday-Friday, but I had a consistent and manageable schedule as a result. Additionally, many of my classes offered international friendly office hour times, and almost all of my professors were happy to meet with me at other times.
All in all, the time difference was a lot more manageable than I thought it was going to be. If anything, controlling my own schedule as well as the pace of lectures was a rewarding experience and I did not feel that my comprehension of the course material suffered as a result.