I understand what you mean by experiencing isolation. I did two online certificate with the Teluq (online university in Quebec) which I took a few course with AU. Indeed, it can be hard at times. But take courage, you will succeed if you persevere.
Online education has its advantages. While I completed my certificate in English, I went to work in Saskatchewan in a primary-secondary school. Then, I left with a working visa to Ireland. Although I did not work, I lived 6 months in Dublin. And during that time, I completed an AU course and had a professor from Dublin to be my invigilator.
After my two certificate, I completed my masters in disability studies at Trinity College Dublin. Now that I am done, I am writing a scientific article of my dissertation hoping to be published in an international journal. All this work seems invisible like yours. All this in the hope of going back to do my PhD in Ireland.
Do not give up, your?re not alone. I met many PhD students while doing my masters. It is a lonely road PhD students go through although they meet other students.
What helps me, my true friend who understands perfectly what I am going through is God. He is my helper in time of need, basically all the time. He helped me to go through those tough times. And I experience tough times often being physically disabled. But this does not stop me from moving forward,
All the best with your studies and feel free to write as I am not on social media networks.
MSc in Disability Studies
Trinity College Dublin
It’s good to know we’re not alone. -Ed.