“My best days in retirement are when I give back to the community.”
Retirement is a great opportunity to study. A lot of retirees use this to enrol on courses or learn new skills.
Whether you want to go back to school, change careers, or simply learn something you’ve always wanted to, you can make the most of your newfound free time to study.
Not only is studying a great way to meet new people with shared interests, but it’s also a great way to keep your mind sharp.
Superprof is looking at the different types of courses you can take and skills you can learn as a retiree.
Studying a Foreign Language
People of all ages can enrol on courses as mature students. Once you retire, you can go back to university if you wish. You could enrol on a degree course, attend night classes, or take a distance learning course.
Foreign languages are a popular choice for retirees. Whether it’s for travelling, keeping your brain active, or for personal reasons, learning a foreign language is a great idea.
There are plenty of different foreign language courses that seniors can enrol on and despite what many think, you’re never too old to learn a language. Furthermore, learning foreign languages is shown to come with many benefits for your brain.
If you’re also planning on travelling more during your retirement, foreign language skills will help you to get the most out of your trips.
This might be the perfect time to study French or Spanish, for example.
Speaking another language is also a gateway to other cultures and while English is a common second language, you can get more out of your trips if you speak the local language.
You don’t need to learn foreign languages for your career, either; you can just learn them for fun and learn whichever languages you’re interested in.
Have a look for language night classes in your local area as language classes can be far cheaper than a degree.
Arts and Social Sciences
The arts and social sciences are very popular amongst retirees. Whether at university or just through night classes, a lot of seniors choose to flex their creative muscle.
They might just want to learn some new skills or gain a greater appreciation for arts and social sciences. There are a lot of interesting subjects that you could study and there are many courses and groups you could join.
Here are just a few subjects you could study:
- Performing arts
Some courses have prerequisite qualifications whereas others can be joined by anyone and there are also access courses for those who don’t meet the requirements for certain courses.
For many people, retirement is a great opportunity to study subjects they were never able to earlier in life as the focus was on more vocational studies. As a retiree, there’s no limit to what you can study so just look for something you’d be interested in.
You’ll just see how fulfilling it can be and you might just find a new passion.
Retirement is also a time to focus on yourself.
What do you want? What are your goals? Do you feel like you’ve missed a golden opportunity?
Some retirees choose this time to focus on their wellbeing or retraining in something that they always wanted to do.
Whether they need to learn skills to continue working part-time or just fancy something fulfilling to do with your newfound free time, vocational skills or retraining are good options.
You could do something that helps others like counselling, community support, or massage. You could do these as a rewarding professional activity or just for yourself.
The advantages of doing this kind of thing:
- Learning new ways to think about the world.
- Meeting new people.
- Learning new skills.
Keep Up-to-date with IT Skills
It’s never too late to learn more about computers and it’s important to know how to use digital tools and browse the internet, which is why a lot of people choose to catch up with modern technology during their retirement.
Computer classes are a good solution for those looking to become confident and independent computer users and while you don’t need a degree in IT, a computer literacy course could be useful since these are also skills you can regularly use outside of your classes.
The internet can provide you with access to so much information that it can also help you continue learning, but it's also a great tool for keeping in contact with friends and family.
You don’t need any qualifications to learn how to use computers, either.
You can join classes or even just get lessons from a private tutor.
A lot of seniors use their free time to stay active. As well as being good for your health, sports can be a social activity and a lot of fun.
There are plenty of sports and activities like yoga, meditation, and aquagym, for example, that are great for seniors so use your free time to unwind with exercise rather than work!
For those with previous experience in sport, you could even look into coaching or training as there are quite a few ways to get into sport as a senior.
Now you should know a bit more about continued education after retirement. To sum up, here are your main options:
- Arts and social sciences like literature, history, philosophy, etc.
- Cultural activities or arts and crafts like pottery, painting, etc.
- Computer literacy as you’re never too old to learn how to use the latest technology and it’s a great way to stay connected with the world around you.
- Sports or coaching.
As you can see, there are a lot of new paths you can take.
If you're looking to learn a new skill, brush up on old ones, or just try something different, consider getting help from a private tutor on Superprof. There are tutors offering lessons in academic subjects, arts and crafts, foreign languages, sports and coaching, and even guidance and life coaching.
There are three main ways that private tutorials are usually taught: face-to-face, online, or in groups. Each type of tutoring comes with its pros and cons so think carefully about what you want from the tutoring before you decide on the type of tuition to get.
Face-to-face tutorials are excellent for those looking to learn something quickly as every minute of every session is spent focusing on you as you'll be the only student. Similarly, the lessons can be planned with you in mind and tailored to your level, ambition, and experience. These types of tutorials are also good for those with limited mobility as a lot of tutors travel to their students.
If you can't find a tutor for a certain subject in your local area, you can always look to online tutorials. As long as you have a decent internet connection and a webcam (which often comes built into modern laptops, tablets, or smartphones), you can get private tutorials from tutors anywhere in the world. Since they don't have to travel and have fewer outgoings, online tutorials tend to be slightly cheaper than face-to-face tutoring.
Group tutorials are an excellent choice for those on a budget as you get to share the cost of the tutor with the other students in attendance. Similarly, if you're looking to take classes to maintain a social life into retirement, group tutorials are probably your best option. Almost every type of class works well in a group, too.
Before you start contacting private tutors, we recommend making a list of requirements so that you know what you're looking for in a tutor. After all, there are thousands of tutors on the Superprof website and you won't want to waste your time contacting tutors who aren't what you're looking for.
Once you've got a better idea of what you're looking for, start getting in touch with tutors and remember that many of them offer the first lesson for free. You can use these free sessions to try out several different private tutors before deciding upon the one that's right for you, your budget, and what and how you'd like to learn.