5 Reasons People Over 50 Should Study Abroad

by Tyson on Monday, August 12, 2019

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 to have an eye-opening travel experience and learn something new. In fact, people over 50 often find they’re at an ideal age to take the cultural plunge, which is why several of our schools in Spain and Latin America offer specialized Spanish courses designed for folks over 50. If that sounds right up your alley, here are 5 reasons to get in on the study abroad action today. Click here to keep on reading in Spanish!

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 family responsibilities. Others, who’ve 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.

However, people over 50 are more likely to have stable careers that may allow for extended periods of time off and older children that may have even moved out of the house. Adults currently enjoying retirement have even fewer excuses not to choose a travel destination that inspires them and embark on a fantastic international adventure.  

 2. Build your ability to adapt, stay younger longer

The ability to adapt seems to be one of the personality traits most shared by seniors who stay healthy and function mentally and physically at levels normally seen in people decades younger. Adapting to your host country while making new friends and discovering new passions is an invigorating challenge that can help boost your cognitive flexibility.

Numerous studies also confirm that learning a language exercises the brain in ways that keep it strong, elastic, and healthy. 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 between Spanish classes in Costa Rica or hit the tapas bars with classmates in Spain? There’s no law, written or unwritten, that says you can’t step away from your routine and take a week or semester abroad at any age. Mature students are generally more used to being independent, have clearer goals, and show a stronger ability to focus on studies than their younger counterparts. Gaining intimate insight into the rich cultural heritage of a foreign country is always a valuable experience.

4. An important time for personal reflection

Taking a break from your everyday environment can allow you to observe your life from a different perspective. 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. Spanish courses for seniors and students over 50

The idea of learning and practicing Spanish with classmates in their age group appeals to many older students. At don Quijote, our Spanish for 50+ program includes interactive Spanish classes plus cultural activities outside the classroom to help you explore your destination more while enjoying the company of your peers.

On the other hand, some of our older students prefer to join a community of students of all ages in one of our Intensive Spanish courses, while yet others choose to learn at their own pace with private Spanish lessons. No matter what your interests are, there’s a Spanish course out there for you. Take a look, choose a destination, and prepare yourself for an incredible journey. 


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