Living And Learning Overseas
Jan. 20, 2015, Panama City, Panama: Living or retired anywhere in the world, one way to continue your education is through free massive open online courses (MOOCS).
Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,
Henry Ford said that "anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young."
I think moving abroad amounts to one of life's great learning experiences. Live in a different culture for a while, you'll start to think like the locals do, at least a little bit. Before a trip to Turkey years ago, I asked an expert on Turkey how I could prepare. "Take your head off," he said, "and screw it back on the other way around."
Besides learning by moving, we learn on the job, by raising children, by reading and listening to others, and so on. But in recent years we've also been able to take classes online, free, at the world's best universities. I'm talking about MOOCs, or massive open online courses.
If you're interested in learning (and in staying young, according to Henry Ford), I encourage you to look at MOOCs. You can take a free course in just about anything you can think of, from computer programming to cosmology, calculus, or history. If you have Internet, you can take these courses from wherever you happen to be living.
Two online sites provide most of the MOOCS: Coursera and edX. You can get a complete rundown on the MOOCverse here. Coursera, for examples, offers free courses from Stanford, University of Virginia, Yale, University of Tokyo, and many more.
I got started taking courses when a friend recommended one. He wanted me to accompany him in a Robert Shiller course at Yale on markets and money. I knew Shiller and was curious at what he had to say on the subject. I enjoyed the online course along with the email discussions with my friend.
I was hooked.