• Sagi Sagara

How Coursera Has Changed My Life

Updated: Sep 14, 2019


Where do I start?

Hmmm, there are so many things that I wanna write about this topic. Something that I've been thinking a lot for a long time.


I don't endorse Coursera, International Schools, or anything that I mention here. These are purely my thoughts on the subject. I keep it as neutral as possible.

Also, this probably gonna be a long read, so yeah, get something to nibble on.

I guess everyone knows these days to get a good quality education you have to pay big money. Some even say it only belongs to rich people. It's a privilege for the few.

Well...what do you think?

Below is the list of 5 Indonesian celebrities who studied at International schools in Jakarta:

1. Maudy Faza Ayunda, attended British School Jakarta

International Baccalaureate (IB) IDR387,430,000 per annum

2. Cinta Laura Kiehl, attended Jakarta Intercultural School

Go inquire the school for tuition fees.

3. Aluna Sagita Gutawa, attended BINUS International School Simprung

Go inquire the school for tuition fees.

4. Niki Zefanya, attended Sekolah Pelita Harapan

Go inquire the school for tuition fees.

5. Stephanie Poetri, attended Global Jaya School

Go inquire the school for tuition fees.

What do you think?

I'm just blown away by all the facilities, not to mention the tuition fees.

Just a simple math. If high school is 3 years, then 3 x IDR300,000,000 = IDR 900,000,000 or USD64,273.


So, you can imagine now how expensive it is to get high quality education. I'm not saying that the national schools or local schools are not good. What I'm saying is that to get the taste of International standards is very expensive.

And this exactly leads to our topic today.

C O U R S E R A.

So Coursera provides universal access to the worlds's best education, partnering with top universities and organisations to offer courses online.

These online courses are called MOOC which stands for Massive Open Online Course.

So the classes are conducted online. No more brick and mortar boundaries. No more distance boundaries. No more time constraints. No more fixed schedules. It's all done over the Internet.

You have stable Internet connection. You've got some basic English. You can join.

It must be expensive? No! They provide Financial Aid program for those of you who can't afford to pay the tuition.

Next question, so what Coursera has to offer?

All the information needed is available on their website, but I'll summarise it for you:

1. Course

Take courses from the world's best instructors and universities. Courses include recorded auto-graded and peer-reviewed assignments, video lectures, and community discussion forums. When you complete a course, you’ll be eligible to receive a shareable electronic Course Certificate for a small fee. (I took this).

2. Specialization

Enroll in a Specialization to master a specific career skill. You’ll complete a series of rigorous courses, tackle hands-on projects, and earn a Specialization Certificate to share with your professional network and potential employers. (I took this).

3. Professional Certificate

Professional Certificates are training programs from top universities and companies that help you be job-ready. Some Professional Certificate programs prepare you to pass an industry certification exam, while others help you get the experience needed to launch a career in a specific field such as IT support. (Never take this).

4. Mastertract Certificate

With MasterTrack™ Certificates, we’ve split Master’s programs into online modules so you can earn a career credential for a breakthrough price. Benefit from real-world projects and live expert instruction. If you are accepted to the full Master's program, your MasterTrack™ Certificate counts towards your degree. (Never take this).

5. Degree

Transform your resume with a degree from a top university for a breakthrough price. Our modular degree learning experience gives you the ability to study online anytime and earn credit as you complete your course assignments. You'll receive the same credential as students who attend class on campus. Coursera degrees cost much less than comparable on-campus programs. (Never take this).

Are you familiar with the following?

Me too, I'm not familiar with all these big names. Hmmm, a couple that I'm familiar already are PwC, Arizona, Duke, Yale, Stanford, Michigan, Illinois, Sydney, Google, Nanyang, New York, Columbia, Berklee, and Georgia Tech.

My point is...even if you don't have the privilege to attend an International school, you still can get high quality education so long as you study hard and use all the opportunity that the Internet has to offer.

Actually, there are still many online learning platforms out there, such as Udemy, Lynda, edX to name a few.

So how exactly does Coursera change my life?

Hmmm, it changes my life in so many ways.

So many that I can't write all of them here.

It taught me English.

Taught me Mandarin.

Taught me psychology.

Taught me linguistics.

Taught me Excel.

Taught me career objectives.

Taught me public speaking.

But most importantly, how to be an independent thinker who always exercises critical thinking into what I study.

Not just merely memorizing stuff and be done with it. You learn why things are the way things are.

As someone who studied at local schools, (I don't know now) but back in my days, I think Indonesia's education system mostly focuses on memorization. For example when I studied physics, I was just asked to memorize what the formulas for certain types of questions and drilled to more questions and must not answer any other ways. It killed critical thinking in my opinion.

The irony is most if not all materials that have been memorized at school will eventually be forgotten as soon as the exams are over.

So you studied only for exams. Not linking it with real life application.

So Coursera has changed my life thru critical thinking and be very purpose driven in learning. To learn things with meaning. To think what are my objectives in learning what I learn. To question. To explore. To be creative with my answers.

So it changes me from having this mentality from studying for exams to studying for myself. Because I need the knowledge not the mere grades or certificates.

So that's the answer to how Coursera changed my life.


Out of 20 courses that I took, ePortfolio is the one that I still maintain on a regular basis, that gives me this sense of direction, gives me this platform where I can document all of the things that I do digitally. So I don't have to worry about flood. Fire. And other natural disaster cause I know it's all stored in the cloud.

That is also the beginning - the inception of this website as it is today...

Had I not taken the course, I wouldn't have created this website.

So to sum up...I just wanna say that everyone deserves to get a good quality education, regardless of where you're from, your skin color, beliefs, gender, and socio-economic status.

Education is definitely for everyone.


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