Social distancing and self-isolation measures are bringing untold challenges to our communities. But fear not you can come out of this with additional skills using these online courses to do at home.
In this time of difficulty, one way of keeping busy and motivated whilst indoors is to learn a new skill or explore a new interest. I have taken many courses over the years, including in the early days of leaving university to bulk out my CV and learn more.
Whilst we don’t know what’s to come, we can assume that our time at home won’t be over anytime soon so something I would recommend to keep challenging yourself whilst indoors is to develop a new skill or explore a new interest.
Whether you’ve always wanted to learn a new language, you’d like to rekindle your love of an old favourite subject, or you want to take the opportunity to find a new passion, our online courses are free, social and go from beginner to advanced level.
During these unprecedented times, whilst you are working from home, why not take some time for yourself. I have pulled together a list of 15 courses you can do online at home that are free to join and can help you to keep busy in isolation.
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15 courses you can do online at home
Start Writing Fiction – SIGN UP
On this online course, established writers – including Louis de Bernières, Patricia Duncker, Alex Garland, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Tim Pears, Michèle Roberts and Monique Roffey – will talk about how they started writing.
You’ll consider the rituals of writing and keeping a journal; learn how to develop your ideas; reflect on your own writing and editing; hear writers talk about their approach to research; and start turning events into plot.
You’ll also have the opportunity to review the work of fellow writers and receive comments on your own, learning to read as a writer and respond to feedback.
What topics will you cover?
- Creation of characters in fiction
- Different sources for characters in stories
- Ways of presenting characters in stories
- Reading as a writer
- Writing practice, including creativity, research, observation and editing
- Peer reviewing, workshops and the importance of feedback
Introduction to Dutch – SIGN UP
Are you planning to visit, or work or study in the Netherlands soon? This free online course is perfect if you have little or no prior knowledge of Dutch, but would like to master the fundamentals in order to survive life in the Low Countries.
The course will run over three weeks, helping you to:
- introduce yourself and get to know other learners
- talk about your family, friends, work and study
- and experience life in the Netherlands.
Speak, write and understand useful Dutch
During the course, you will learn Dutch phrases, greetings, vocabulary, numbers, spelling and grammar. Being able to understand the language will make everyday activities, such as shopping or going out to a restaurant, much more enjoyable.
By the end of the course, you will be able to recognise familiar words and phrases about yourself and your family. You will be taught to use simple sentences to describe where you live and the people you know.
Finally, you will be able to write short texts such as an email or fill in forms with personal details. The main focus will be on receptive skills such as reading and listening.
Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance – SIGN UP
Stressed by the pace of modern life? Mindfulness might be the answer. Research shows that when you’re not deliberately paying attention to something, your brain goes into default mode causing increased anxiety and poor communication. Mindfulness can help end this unproductive behaviour. In this online course, you’ll learn how to incorporate mindfulness practices into your life, to reduce stress and improve your personal and professional life.
What topics will you cover?
- The problem of unmindfulness
- Research on mindfulness
- Mindful stress reduction and managing emotions
- Improving work and study performance
- Mindfulness in memory and learning
- Cultivating self-compassion and emotional health
- Mindful communication
- Relationships and empathy
- Mindfulness as a way of life
Exploring Copyright: History, Culture, Industry – SIGN UP
Have you ever thought about how a composer or a writer makes a living? This course will explore the history of creators becoming professionals. You’ll learn how copyright law developed from the idea that an artistic work is the property of its creator.
You’ll discover how advances in communication, beginning with the invention of the printing press in the 15th century, have enabled the growth of the creative industries. We’ll also consider why the latest digital technologies present both opportunities and challenges for today’s copyright holders.
What topics will you cover?
- Key events in the development of the concept of authorship and the legal framework for the protection of intellectual work.
- The impact of technology for the economic, political and social aspects of those key events.
- The process of harmonisation of the guiding principles of national legislations for the protection of creators and artistic work.
- The formation of associations through which creators fight for rights and build an operational structure to take care of these rights.
- The internationalisation of the legal framework and the inauguration of the first multilateral agreements for the protection of intellectual work.
- Changes in the international treaties to account for the technological development and its impact on creative activity.
- Challenges for creators and other players in the creative industries, as well as for the legal framework, international and domestic, presented by digital technology and the new market arising from it.
Digital Wellbeing – SIGN UP
What is the impact of digital technology on our health, relationships and society? How do we ensure our own digital wellbeing? Explore the answers to these questions and more with this course.
You will investigate new and established technologies and their impact on society, looking at the positives and negatives of engaging with technology.
You will also learn how to ensure your own digital wellbeing, exploring: how to balance online and offline activities, how to stay safe physically and virtually, strategies for dealing with information overload and creating a positive digital identity.
What topics will you cover?
- Introduction to the digital society and wellbeing, considering new and established digital technologies, modern culture and trends
- Exploration of digital identity, and the balance of online and offline activities
- Consideration of negative behaviours online, and strategies and approaches for managing them
- Positive uses of technology for our health, society and education.
An Introduction to Screenwriting – SIGN UP
Screenplays form the starting point for most dramatic films, the essential work from which all other filmmaking flows. All of the tender romance, terrifying action and memorable lines begin at the screenwriter’s desk. This free online course will introduce you to the basic elements and key concepts behind a professional screenplay.
The University of East Anglia’s School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing have built this course with instructors and recent alumni from their famed course in Creative Writing.
The course is a must for anyone new to scriptwriting and for more experienced writers who wish to raise their scriptwriting to a professional level. It will establish a common vocabulary for approaching the screenplay and form the basis for upcoming courses in dramatic adaptation, the crime screenplay, and other genres and skills.
Causes of Climate Change – SIGN UP
Uncover the past, present, and future of the causes of climate change
This free online course provides the basis for understanding the underlying physical processes governing climate variations in the past, present and future.
On this course, you’ll explore the main external forcing mechanisms such as the sun, volcanoes, and changes in greenhouse gasses and aerosols, which can contribute to changing the global energy budget and initiate climate variations.
You’ll also consider the role of internal feedback mechanisms and the energy transport in the atmosphere and ocean, in order to understand regional variations in climate.
You’ll gain an in-depth understanding of the complexities of the climate system, and be able to put the recently observed, man-made changes in climate in the context of past natural changes.
To uncover the true causes of climate change, you’ll learn with experts from The University of Bergen. They host the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, the largest centre for natural science-based climate research in Scandinavia.
Culture and Tourism – SIGN UP
Explore the impact of tourism on the conservation of our world heritage sites.
On this course, you’ll discover the legal frameworks, processes, and practices used to identify and manage world heritage sites.
You’ll build interdisciplinary knowledge on concepts that affect cultural heritage and tourism such as power, globalisation, authenticity, commodification, and representation.
As you work through case studies from Asia and around the world, you’ll critically examine contemporary issues in cultural and heritage site tourism management.
You’ll also be introduced to current debates within heritage and tourism studies that explore how and why tourists engage with heritage.
Essential Skills for your Career Development – SIGN UP
On this course, you’ll get the tools to take your career to the next level. Using planning tools, you’ll establish goals for your career and how to achieve them.
You’ll learn how to navigate the process of applying for jobs and interviews, and consider the importance of transferable skills and creating the right professional networks.
You’ll also hear from like-minded individuals who propelled their careers forward using similar career development plans.
What topics will you cover?
- Careers in the modern professional landscape
- How to use vision boards to identify your own career roadmap
- Exploring goal setting and understanding value propositions
- Goal setting
- Building a professional network
- Building relationships
- Dealing with change and always being ready to learn
My Travel Tips and Recommendations
To book flights, I always use flight search engine, Skyscanner, I regularly use the Everywhere tool to find the cheapest places to travel. It’s how I get to travel so much all around the world. I find it the easiest way to compare flight prices across airlines and get the best deals.
For accommodation, I usually book most of my hotels or hostels through Booking.com. I love using this platform as it provides me with some amazing deals for accommodation all around the world. Or if you prefer, I also recommend using Airbnb. If you haven’t signed up with Airbnb already, you can use this link to get £25 off your first visit!
Photography and Technology
Here is a list of the technology I always travel with:
Picking travel insurance that covers you in all eventualities is an essential part of planning a trip for every single person. If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. You never know what’s around the corner. World Nomads is an affordable option that I personally recommend. BOOK HERE
Other posts that may help you:
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Thank you for reading and as always happy adventuring! If you have any questions about the destination please leave these in the comments below.
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