You might be surprised at how easy it is to take courses on just about anything that inspires you—whether you want to brush up on your sketchy Italian or learn something new entirely. Continuing to learn and explore in retirement is fun and fulfilling, and doctors have long touted the benefits of intellectual stimulation to mental health as one ages.


The Bernard Osher Foundation offers Lifelong Learning Institutes on 119 college and university campuses across the country. The courses—provided to people aged 50 and older—are non-credit and designed to appeal to an audience that is attending for the “joy of learning”. Most of these continuing education programs also include opportunities for volunteer leadership. Find an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute near you. Also, learn more about other MyRetirement members’ experiences with these programs: Community life-long learning programs and Learning while retired.


If these campuses are not convenient to you, don’t worry. Online courses provide another opportunity for you to exercise your mind. In partnership with universities and organizations around the world, Coursera offers free online adult education courses in a variety of subjects, and even in different languages. Click here for a list of Coursera courses and make sure you take a look at this discussion thread on the community: Other learning opportunities.


If you’re looking for a fun and educational program that combines travel and learning, Road Scholar provides learning-based travel opportunities for people aged 55 and older. They provide travel programs in the U.S. (such as hiking in Death Valley, food and wine tours in New England and photography in Colorado) and in 150 countries (natural history in the Galapagos Islands, a study cruise in Cambodia and Vietnam or snorkeling in Fiji) for bargain prices. Check out this discussion thread about the program: Trips by "Road Scholar".


Considering furthering your education in retirement? Tell us all about it!