The Women's Journal

“Back to school” After Age 50

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UD’s lifelong learning programs enrich adults’ lives.

For kids, fall means “back to school.”  For many people of retirement age in Delaware and the region, the season still brings the same anticipation of the start of the school year.

Students at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Delaware don’t have to fret about exams and grades, though. They are learning for the fun of it.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is a membership organization for adults 50 and over to take classes, teach, exchange ideas, and enjoy time together. Instructors teach subjects they love to students who are there for the love of learning.

The program is an academic cooperative, centered on classes developed and led by members. The lifelong learning program uses the knowledge, talents and experience of its members to provide a wide range of courses
and other activities.

Osher Lifelong Learning programs are located at Arsht Hall on the UD Wilmington Campus at 2700 Pennsylvania Avenue; at the Modern Maturity Center, 1121 Forrest Avenue in Dover; at the Lewes School, 820 Savannah Road in Lewes; and beginning in fall, in Bethany Beach.

An amazing variety of courses are offered through Osher Lifelong Learning at UD.  The list varies with each location.  Students take courses in art, history, literature, health, computers, yoga, philosophy, memoir writing, music, languages, genealogy, and much more.

Taking lifelong learning classes is more than a way to pass the time for Osher members. Research shows that as we age, mental stimulation and creative outlets can provide the opportunity to lead better quality lives filled with more knowledge and wisdom — and an increased capacity to contribute to society. In one study, participants in creative programs like poetry writing, painting, or choral singing classes reported better physical health than those in the control group, and reported learning “new skills and new ways of looking at and expressing things.” Or, as a lifelong learning member puts it, “There is magic here! Our lives are transformed.”

Nor are the benefits restricted to the classroom. It is now common knowledge that robust social relationships are one of the keys to staying healthy as we age, and members often mention how highly they value the friendships they develop through the program. One student commented, “There is a youthfulness of spirit
here that is palpable — a joie de vivre that you cannot believe.”

Classes start in September.
For further information, please visit or call toll-free 1-866-820-0238.

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