Very long distance learning;Further education

24th December 1999 at 00:00
HIGHFLYING student Heather Longman is taking distance learning to new lengths- by commuting 500 miles to college.

The primary teacher takes the trip from her home near Zurich in Switzerland to West Herts College in Watford once a fortnight to study for her RSA certificate in teaching children with special needs.

Heather began studying at the college two years ago. But then her husband's job took them abroad and she was unhappy at the idea of giving up her course.

"I contacted my former tutors to see if there was any way I could carry on. They said 'Go for it!' I have and it's going well. The tutors and all my family are very supportive," says Heather.

The school where she now works part-time are paying for her course but she is footing the pound;100 airfare herself and uses her travelling time - up to six hours each way - to catch up on coursework.

Her tutors describe her as an "extremely dedicated student" but Heather confesses: "Sometimes I think I must be mad."

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