I recently read a story about a Baby Boomer who went back to college to get his Ph.D. and he will graduate at the age of 68. Most people would read that story and simply say ‘good for him’. I read it and wondered if he will be signing up for any study abroad courses while a student.
Study Abroad is a great way to learn more about a country and its culture and since you will have a student ID you will pay less to enter museums and other attractions. A study abroad curriculum is geared towards the country being traveled too. Be it art history classes offered for a trip to Florence, Italy, or culinary arts courses offered while living in Paris, France or even a poetry course offered for a stay in Oxford, England, the courses offered are as varied as the countries visited. Yes, you might be the oldest student in the room and while many might think this could be a problem I found it to be otherwise; that the students seemed to like having someone older in their midst who they could go to with questions or problems that they didn’t want the instructors to know about.
Be prepared to do all the homework as assigned to you because even though you have paid all your fees, the instructor, or program leader does have the right to remove you from the course during the time out of the country and to send you home again if they deem your behavior to be inappropriate or a detriment to the other students.
I worked at a rather large community college in California for many years and the Study Abroad department was located in my office so not only did I learn about the inner workings of the program but I learned about some of the great countries our students were exposed too. I’m a huge advocate of this type of travel and I encourage every retiree to sign up for college classes and to participate in a study abroad program.
I was lucky enough, while working at the college to be able to sign up for a semester abroad. There I was, older than most of the instructors, attending courses, doing my homework and living, learning and exploring Greece for 30 glorious days. It is still an experience I talk about.
There are lots of ways to travel for extended periods of time to other countries. Study Abroad programs offer you an opportunity to live in countries from 30 days to 3 months; countries as diverse as Italy, Bali, Greece, Australia, Thailand, India, and more.
Retirement should be viewed as a time to do those things you want to do but just didn’t have the time to do before. For me that means going back to school and getting my degree. If it also means I’m qualified for Study Abroad courses and I can live in a foreign country for a semester all the better.