Forever young. 5 reasons people over 50 should study abroad

by Tyson on Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Spanish for Seniors

Study Abroad at any age

The excitement of immersing oneself in a new language and culture as a study abroad student isn’t just reserved for the 20 something crowd. It’s never too late; in fact anytime after 50 can be an ideal age to take the cultural plunge. Many programs even offer specialized courses specifically designed for folks over 50. If that’s you, here are 5 reasons you should get in on the study abroad action.   

1. It may be the most practical time in life

Seeing the world and experiencing a different culture through a study abroad course takes the type of free time many younger adults just don’t have. Too often, people feel like they missed their chance to live in the country of their dreams once they assumed career and parenting responsibilities. Others, who’ve always cherished lifelong memories of a study abroad course they took in college, mistakenly believe that these types of experiences belong only to a romantic and carefree time enjoyed earlier in life, a time they’ve passed on like an Olympic torch to new generations of lucky whippersnappers. People over 50 however are more likely to have stable careers that may allow for extended periods off and older children that may have even moved out of the house. Adults over 65 and eligible for retirement have even fewer excuses not to choose their country and embark on a fantastic international adventure.  

 2. Build your ability to adapt, stay young longer

The ability to adapt seems to be one of the personality traits most shared by the super aged, seniors that stay healthy and function mentally and physically at levels characteristic of people decades younger. Adapting to your host country while making new friends and discovering new passions is an invigorating challenge that can help you stay younger, longer. Numerous studies also confirm that learning a language exercises the brain in ways that keep it strong, elastic and healthy and prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s. We’ve all heard the expression “use it or lose it”, and the brain is certainly no exception.

3. A rewarding experience at any age

Who said you have to be a certain age to relax on the beach in Mexico between Spanish classes or hit the tapas bars in Spain with classmates? There’s no law, written or unwritten, that says you can’t break away from the routine and take a semester abroad at any age. Mature students are generally more used to the independence, have clearer goals, and have a stronger ability to focus on studies than their younger counter parts. Gaining intimate insight into the rich cultural heritage of a foreign country is always a valuable experience.

4. An important time for personal reflection

Removing yourself from your familiar environment can allow you to objectionably observe your life. Getting to know classmates from around the globe and sharing your own culture and view of the world can teach you about who you are, an opportunity that may have special meaning for students over 50. If you’ve always considered searching for a new direction in life, or reinventing yourself in some way, taking a study abroad course will give you the chance to make exciting personal discoveries that will help you fulfill those types of goals.   

5. Courses designed for seniors and students over 50

Many study abroad programs offer language courses that are exclusively for students over 50. The idea of studying with classmates who are all a minimum of 50 years of age appeals to many older students. Others however find the possibility of actively joining a community of younger students more appealing. No matter what your interests are, there is something out there for you, you just have to look, and prepare yourself for an incredible journey. 

Keywords: study abroad,forever young,senior programs,people over 50,senior studies,spanish for seniors


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