Should you consider summer study?

Jack Moran makes the case for study over the break and explores some of the options on offer at UON and beyond.

With the semester almost over and exams upon us, you’re probably planning how you’re going to spend your well-earned break. Maybe you’ll travel, maybe you’ll work or maybe you’ll spend the entire time on the couch watching Netflix. All admirable options. One alternative you might not have considered though is studying over the summer break.

The University of Newcastle offers a Summer School program that lets students complete a course over the holidays. This can be extremely useful if you need to retake a course you failed or want to lighten your study load next year by getting some units out of the way. Courses on offer come from a wide range of subject areas with science, law and humanities all being represented.

Study can be done over the whole Summer Term or can be compacted in the Summer Compressed and Late Summer terms. Enrolment for all three are already open and to do so you’ll need to email enrollment@newcastle.edu.au from your student email with your student number, the course code for the course you’re applying for and the term you want to study in. More detailed information on this process can be found at UON’s Summer School page.

Of course, education isn’t always about job-readiness or earning a qualification. It can be about learning a new skill or following a passion that you might not have time for during the semester. If none of the courses offered by Summer School interest you, there are other options for study over the break.

There are plenty of classes running in Newcastle for every interest. With art classes, cooking classes and drama classes just to list a few, there’s bound to be a class you can take up that suits your passions or could help you find a new one. Some are free, some are pay-by-lesson and some require you to pay for a terms weeks’ worth of lessons up front but all could be a great way to get out of the house and spend your summer break doing something you love. If you’re looking for something a bit more formal, Hunter TAFE has a range of short courses as well as quite a few fee-free courses that you can sign up for.

If you’re willing to venture out of Newcastle, Sydney also has more options for classes you could take up. The National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) offers short courses for adults in acting, presenting, directing and writing that are available over the summer break and Sydney TAFE has more courses in even more subject areas.

If you’re looking for something that won’t require you to leave the house, there are also plenty of online short courses out there as well. Open Universities Australia, for example, has a whole host of free online courses you can enrol in. They might not give you a qualification but they could nurture an interest or just help you understand something better.

If you’re looking for even more options, websites like Coursera or edX offer access to short online courses from around the world. Coursera offers free access but may require you to pay fees if you want a certificate or more interactive and in-depth assessments. Some courses offered by edX require fees to access while others are free but there are fees attached to certificates. UON even has a course on edX.

With so many options, why not study something over the break? It could help with your degree, make you more employable and qualified, or it could just be a whole lot of fun.

Feature Image: Aaron Burden, Unsplash.

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