Education and learning doesn’t need to stop when retirement starts. One of the many bonuses of retirement is the extra time to try out new activities, and learning is a great way to keep the mind active and to socialise.
Making the Most of Retirement Learning Opportunities
Retirement is the perfect time to consider educational pursuits whether it is learning purely for pleasure or with an intended qualification in mind. With the amount of free classes being promoted through colleges, universities, and local councils it will not be too hard to find something of interest. There are classes designed specifically with the over 50s and retired people in mind. Those who are in later life and unemployed should also be able to find a range of classes that will not cost a penny.
Updating Computer Skills during Retirement
Computer skills are one of the most popular classes for retired people and in most cases learning these skills will be completely free. Local libraries do have set times throughout the week for retired people to either learn computing skills or update the skills they already have. Library staff will teach retired people on a one to one basis, and this service is completely free of charge. The plus point of learning skills such as the internet is that it can lead on to other free learning applications. There is a huge range of free learning resources available on the internet if you know where to look.
Taking the Online Approach to Learning
Finding free educational courses online is not difficult. In fact online learning is now one of the most popular ways to learn for retired people. Educational websites such as The Third Age have a diverse list of courses available including creative writing, Italian art, and digital imaging. These online courses are specifically designed for those in later life who are unemployed and are looking to learn some new skills.
Studying for Free With the Open University
The Open University is one of the most popular online educational resources. For those aged 50 and over there are a huge number of courses that are entirely free. There are literally hundreds of different courses available including language courses, IT and computing skills, and science and nature.
Many of these skills can be put to good use for those considering working part-time during retirement. Using tools such as video conferencing means that online study groups with class mates can be part of the learning experience.
Starting From Scratch with Access Courses
Retired people who want to be part of a real class room setting but would like a taster first can enrol for access courses. Access courses are available through colleges and universities, usually last for a year, and in most cases are free for retired people. These courses are designed to give the basic skills and education qualifications that can be used to then pursue courses at universities. Access courses are a great starting point as a pathway into higher education, and in only a few years time could lead to degree qualification.
Help with Educational Funding For the Retired
Not all educational courses are free and this fact can deter a lot of people from taking the opportunity to learn. However, there are a number of different funding options available for those over 50. Adult financial learning awards, bursaries, and grants may be available to help with fees and course materials depending on the course and learning institute. Those who have never taken any form of educational course through a university or college may also be able to obtain a great deal of financial assistance.
Where to Find Help With Educational Courses and Funding
Retired people and those over 50 have a number of different resources when it comes to finding information on education and funding. Agencies such as SAGA, Help the Aged, and Age Concern will all supply information on free and subsidised educational courses. Local libraries are one of the best places to obtain information on educational matters. Library staff are trained in providing advice and support when it comes to educational classes in the local area. A quick phone call to a local college or university to arrange an appointment with an advisor will also be the quickest way to that first step on the learning path.
The great thing about learning is there is no knowing where it will take you. Learning new skills will always be beneficial and can lead on to exciting new opportunities. Many retired people have gone on to obtain degree qualifications and have actually found new careers in later life. Retirement can open up a whole new world when it comes to learning and professional development.