30 good reasons to study after 30

Learn languages September 1, 2015

When the Beatles broke up in 1970, none of the band had yet turned 30. If you haven’t recorded a series of classic albums and permanently changed world music, but have successfully navigated three decades, perhaps you are looking for something more in your life. Studying can help you in many ways.

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Naturally, our focus is on studying a language abroad after 30, but most of these benefits are applicable for anything you want to study as an adult.

1. Be who you want to be

Studying is a way to “rebrand” into a new area of interest. If you don’t have professional experience in a particular area, studying abroad will help you by improving your CV and giving you insights into other ways of life. Experience plus education is much more employable than experience or education.

2. Or work out who you want to be

When you are set in a routine, it can be hard to find the time to reflect on what exactly you want from life. Taking a break to study can give you time to reflect.

3. Boost your income

People with foreign language skills earn more, on average, than people without foreign language skills. This obviously depends from industry to industry, job to job (and language to language) but the evidence is real.

4. Boost your job satisfaction

If you are a bit, how to say this, bored with your work, taking some time out to study can make a big difference. You will come back to work with more skills and more experience which you can apply to your job.

5. Build your network

Most of your closest friends are the people you meet before your mid-twenties. After that point, it’s all about contacts, and there are few better ways to network than through studying. What’s more, improving your language skills means you can create a much more international network.

6. Feel energised

Especially if you study abroad, you will come back with renewed energy and a better focus on your goals. A healthy mind is important for a healthy body.

7. Enjoy your holidays more

Speaking a foreign language is extremely rewarding, especially when you get to use it in context, in a country where it is spoken. By learning in cultural immersion, you will understand the culture better too.

8. Multilingualism is good for your brain

A couple of studies have shown that, among sufferers of Alzheimer’s, people who use two languages on a regular basis typically develop symptoms four years later than monolinguals.

9. You will be more focused than when you were younger

Without your hormones making the decisions for you, studying as an adult is a different experience to studying as a child or teenager. Note passing, timewasting and furtive glances across the classroom now take second place to the actual study.

10. It’s not like school

Because everyone actively wants to be there, the atmosphere when you study as an adult is very different to an atmosphere where half of the learners would rather be doing something else.

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11. It’s not like a holiday (it’s even better)

Studying a language in immersion abroad combines study with a stay in a tempting destination. How you spend your free time is up to you, but schools offer activity programmes including a huge range of sporting and cultural options.

12. You are not afraid of making mistakes

Confidence comes with maturity, and hopefully your fear of making mistakes should be much less of an issue now than when you were younger.

13. You can apply real-world experience to your studies

In theory, school is preparation for adult life. But don’t you find that some things which seemed boring or irrelevant when you were younger are now much more interesting? You know more about how you can motivate yourself, which techniques work for you and which don’t.

14. It’s a great way to take time out from your career

Saying to your boss “I want to take an extended break and sit on the beach” is a very different proposition to saying “I want to study”. Pick the right destination and you can sit on the beach too! Find out how to pitch a course to your boss.

15. Break your routine

Changing your routine – even if only for a while – is a powerful way to focus on what is important to you.

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16. Meet people from different generations

Studying is a great way to meet people of all ages. We work with some schools where you are guaranteed a mix of generations.

17. Or meet people from your own generation

If studying with people of all ages sounds like a nightmare, we also have a range of programmes designed especially for learners aged 30 and over.

18. Gain a qualification

Whether you want an official certificate to confirm your language skills or even to train as a language teacher, we have something for you.

19. Develop invaluable soft skills

As well as gaining language skills, you will take much more home with you. Read all about the soft skills that come with studying abroad here.

20. There is no perfect time

If there is a nagging voice in your head saying “now is not a good time”, do you think there ever will be a perfect time? Once you have studied, the benefits stay with you for life, so sooner is better.

21. Fulfil a burning ambition

What is it that you really want to do? What’s stopping you? If you can make it happen through study, there is no time like right now.

If you are focused on a hobby, you can enjoy it while studying a language that is directly relevant.

If your ambition is professional, check out our business language training programmes, which include industry-specific electives.

22. Multilingualism is sexy

Isn’t it? You know it is!

23. The next language will be easier

When you learn a second language, you start to think of language as a system. Once you understand that, adding a further language becomes much easier.

24. Education has changed

Teaching is becoming much more student-focused than it used to be. If you had a bad experience at school when you were younger, perhaps the new methods would be better for you.

25. Really explore a new culture

Going on holiday is nice, but it gives you a very touristic view of the place you are visiting. Living immersed in the culture, learning the local language, is the next level and a much more rewarding experience.

26. Become a more global person

When you study a language abroad, not only do you get a direct insight into the local culture where you are studying, you will meet people from all over the world, who are also there to study. By using the language that you are learning to communicate with each other, you will have a truly global experience.

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27. Use your time wisely

Don’t fritter and waste your hours in an offhand way. If you invest your free time into something worthwhile like learning a language, you will benefit for the rest of your life.

28. Talk with more confidence

Learn another language and you will use your first with more confidence. Once you have had a conversation in a foreign language, you will become more confident in any language.

29. Become a better listener

One of the most important life skills, and one of the most undervalued, is the ability to listen. When you learn a foreign language, you have to slow down, to think about what people are saying to you. This inevitably improves your listening skills, both in the language you are learning and your first language.

30. Or study just for the pleasure

Learning feels great! Travelling is fun! Study a language abroad and enjoy learning and travelling at once. YOLO, carpe diem… however you want to put it, it’s time to seize the day.

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By Alex Hammond

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