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HELyes
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Adult Student Anyone?

Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:43 am

Hi,

any experiences studying as an adult?

I just went back to school after 20 years, I was fed up with my old job (social services) and needed to update my education to find something new. So now I'm back in college studying full time till May 2014, the course is tailored for adult students. I still have my old job, will go back there during the summer break.

After a couple of weeks I'm happily surprised how different everything feels now than 20 years ago, much better. Our small class is very motivated and everything is well organized. And studying methods are so different, 20 years ago I used computers only in the college library occasionally.

Luckily Finland invests strongly in education, so my studies are free (even a free lunch included) and I get a student allowance from the state, based on my former incomes, it's kind of tax refund. It's not a huge money, but now I can concentrate on studies and don't necessarily have to work, at least not yet.

So everything looks good now, hopefully that lasts. I'm curious to hear experiences from other adult students, any setbacks. motivation problems?

[Edited 2012-09-16 05:07:23]
 
EY460
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RE: Adult Student Anyone?

Sun Sep 16, 2012 1:21 pm

Hi, I am an adult student too. I attended the faculty of Modern Languages in Italy and I was working at the same time. My job was a contract job with 4 months abroad and two months at home, so I was studying while travelling and sitting the exams during my holiday period. The course was 3 years long but it took me three years. I was able to get my Bachelolr's Degree with full marks. About 4 years after completing my Bachelor's Degree I decided to get a Master's Degree too. This time I decided to stop working and do it full time. So I went to Australia for a Master of Transport Management and complete it. I really enjoyed both courses but unfortunately they didn't help me to find the job I was looking for (so far). I am doing an on-line University Certificate in Terrorism Studies (focusing on transportation, as this is my working field). I really enjoy studying and these course are almost an hobby for me. And unlikely Finland, I had to pay all the tuition fees and all my living expenses.
 
planeguy727
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RE: Adult Student Anyone?

Sun Sep 16, 2012 1:30 pm

I did my doctorate as a working adult. Took me 6 years, but I completed with perfect grades. Your observation of motivated students is what I also experienced.

In addition to my full time position I now also teach college classes. One of the schools for which I teach I have all working adults/returning adult students and I find them to be very engaged and motivated.

Congrats to you and I wish you continued success in your studies.
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sbworcs
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RE: Adult Student Anyone?

Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:00 pm

I am a home student via the Open University. Part way through a degree in Maths & Statistics. Find it hard sometimes to motiviate myself as also work full time. Luckily for now due to my income level I have not had to pay for any of the modules done but will do so from next year.

Think I have about another 2 - 2 1/2 years of studying left before I graduate!!
The best way forwards is upwards!
 
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HELyes
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RE: Adult Student Anyone?

Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:23 pm

Thank you for the replies!

I forgot to ask how is the general attitude towards adult studies in your countries?

I remember the time when adult studies were rather unusual in Finland, something for the school drop outs... Times have truly changed. Big traditional employers like Nokia are cutting jobs and at the same time the ageing population is becoming a problem, sooner than in many other countries in Europe. Now we are encouraged to improve our education and I believe the state uses money wisely investing in the adult education also.
 
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HELyes
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RE: Adult Student Anyone?

Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:33 pm

Quoting EY460 (Reply 1):
I am doing an on-line University Certificate in Terrorism Studies (focusing on transportation, as this is my working field).

That sounds interesting, what would be your dream work after you graduate?
 
fr8mech
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RE: Adult Student Anyone?

Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:03 pm

I went back to school when I was 26 or so and completed my bachelor's degree. I did this through a traditional school going nights, going during my off time (when I worked nights) and during my days off (when I worked weekends). "Went" to an online school to get my master' degree several years later and completed that when I was 40.

Due to my work schedule, I spent a bit of time in both traditional (with 18-22 year olds) classes and adult classes. The biggest difference I saw is that the professors/instructors/teachers in the traditional classes didn't teach, what I would consider, in a real world style and taught more from theory. These very same professors taught a more real world curricula when teaching adult students. They used many more real world references and experiences.
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seb146
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RE: Adult Student Anyone?

Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:13 pm

I am back in school after 20 years and it is very different. The United States does not waste money on education. Especially here in California. We have four day school weeks and have to rush through courses. We can't get any assistance from instructors because they have other jobs to support their home life. I went to a for-profit school at one point and that was worse.
Patriotic and Proud Liberal
 
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Aesma
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RE: Adult Student Anyone?

Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:36 pm

I just got a two years technical diploma (I think like the community college type diploma in the US) at a small school for adults in central Paris. I'm now a Superior Computer and Networks Maintenance Technician, pompous isn't it ?

I always had trouble motivating myself at school, usually because it was too easy, sometimes because it needed too much work (when I was in "classe prépa", an elite system where you're supposed to work day and night), so I never got anything other than a high school diploma, and felt like a failure.

So when I discovered I could get that two years diploma in 6 months, I jumped on the occasion. It was a very practical course, intense but manageable since admission was linked to tests, so we all had a good basis to work on. I aced it, and time didn't feel so long, since after a few months, only a few other months remained. A professor even offered me a teaching job at the end !

Now I'm looking for a job, or rather I'm trying to decide between all the offers I'm getting !

If I find a nice job I'd like to further my education with night classes and online courses. My brother is doing this already, he's getting a master in finance while working at a bank selling obligations to wealthy clients. My goal is to get an engineering degree eventually.

Adults studying is quite rare here, but fortunately there is less need for an active policy since studying is free for all. If you've got a job and take night courses, your company foots the bill. Still, a lots need to be done, especially for the jobless and people in manufacturing jobs that have a bleak future.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
sccutler
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RE: Adult Student Anyone?

Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:57 am

I left traditional university before graduating, then returned to college at night, in a non-traditional university; that was at age 27-28.

Subsequently, attended law school starting the week of my thirtieth birthday. Other than enduring the remarkably ill-informed ideas of people who had never earned an honest living or paid a lick of tax, it was good fun, and those of us who had returned to school ("Students Older Than Average," they called us) felt that we had a modest advantage in added turity, offset in large measure by the reality that us oldsters generally had to hold down grown-up jobs to feed real families.

If you are motivated to do something new and have the opportunity, surely you should do it! With blessings, you'll be five years older in five years; what you do with those years, is up to you.
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corocks
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RE: Adult Student Anyone?

Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:29 pm

I left my IT career and went to culinary school at age 39. My two big takeaways are:

1) Young people can be pretty stupid
2) You take school much more serious when you are paying for it yourself vs. when your parents did or you had a scholarship.
 
RussianJet
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RE: Adult Student Anyone?

Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:33 pm

I wish I could afford to study further. I could do Open University courses, but I study much better with a good proportion of properly-supervised tuition. Maybe if I live long enough to retire I'll go back to study at that point!
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Type-Rated
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RE: Adult Student Anyone?

Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:40 pm

I had an aunt that went back to school full time and received an IT degree when she was 78! She then opened an Internet Development company and recently sold it after running it for 10 years with 25 employees. So it can be done.
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HELyes
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RE: Adult Student Anyone?

Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:16 am

Quoting corocks (Reply 10):
1) Young people can be pretty stupid
2) You take school much more serious when you are paying for it yourself vs. when your parents did or you had a scholarship.

I agree, I know that personally. It was hard to get in to the university but I left after one year because I thought the city I moved in was boring... Finnish universities don't have intuiton fees so it was easy to leave.

Now I'm grateful I'm able to study and getting generous support as an student, I will complain my taxes never again.
 
EY460
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RE: Adult Student Anyone?

Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:27 pm

Quoting HELyes (Reply 5):

Let's say I'm just doing that as a hobby. Too late to change career now.

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