Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Never to Old to Live and Learn

~ Yesterday, I signed up for a ten week Spanish For Fun and Travel course at an Adelaide based institution, the WEA. The Workers' Educational Association was founded in 1913, and is Australia's largest non-government adult community education organisation. It provides learning opportunities for anyone aged 15 years or older in its nearly 1800 short courses – for which the Association receives over 30,000 enrolments annually.

Using a concession card my ten week by two hour course cost me just AUD$112.00. That breaks down to a mere AUD$5.60 per hour! Even at the full price of AUD$124.00 the course is still incredibly cheap. Further down the track I may even sign up for a French or German language course. And why not? At the above prices, learning a language for ‘fun and travel’ is pretty much affordable to everyone.

I’ve decided to tackle Spanish first because next year I want to drive across America. I will probably start on the west coast at Los Angeles and either drive Route 66 to Chicago and New York, or drive across the south towards New Orleans and then up the east coast to New York.

After spending eight weeks in New York City last year, it quickly became apparent that a basic knowledge of Spanish would be very useful – not just in New York but wherever I happened to be in the United States. Of course it will be even more useful if I decide to take a side trip into Mexico during my road trip.

I know there are regional differences between Spanish as it is spoken in Spain as compared to Mexico (and indeed throughout Latin America), but I figure the little I learn during this course will be better than the complete lack of knowledge I now have.

From the USA I will be going to Europe, and since I have never been to Spain, I am considering a trip to that beautiful country too.

Life is for living and learning, folks, and now that I have the time, I plan to live and learn and travel as far and wide as my finances will allow.

By the way, the WEA is not unique to Adelaide. There are similar institutions elsewhere in Australia and overseas, so if you want embark on a journey of life-long learning, check out the sites below, or ask at your local public library for information about similar organisations in your city.

Links to Associated Sites

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