Students Over 30: 4 Things to Consider

Being a student over the age of 30 is an exciting challenge.

There’s a lot to take into account when starting a new course – no matter what age you are. Yet, when you are over a certain age, it undoubtedly comes with both its pros and cons. 

For example: while you are probably well-motivated, highly skilled and used to organising yourself – you may also have a couple of daunting questions, such as: “will I be able to fit studying around my other commitments?”, or “how can I get the confidence to socialise with my peers?”

In truth, a lot of it has to do with how supportive your chosen institution is. As such, let’s take a closer look at a few things students over 30 should consider when selecting a school.

Top 4 Things Students Over 30s Should Consider

As a more mature student, you are probably used to being independent – in both your personal and professional lives. However, when you start studying, it should be expected that you may have to make several schedule changes – but not to the point where it has to disrupt your entire life. 

Many institutions understand this, and are willing to adjust their courses or create specific classes for students who are over a certain age. In order to maximise your potential without having to rejig your routine, here are some factors to think about…

Image credit: Times Higher Education

Flexible Classes

While it may seem hard at first, it is perfectly achievable to strike the perfect balance between your work, home and academic life. 

Whether you have existing career or family-related commitments – the best way to succeed is by having the flexibility to choose how you want your studies to fit around your life. 

At LSI / IH Portsmouth, we understand this common issue that mature students face. That’s why with our English courses, we offer start dates on any Monday (except public holidays). 

When you enrol, all of our 30+ students undertake the Core morning programme. This consists of a three hour morning class. However, you also have the option to join a variety of additional afternoon programmes.

Our morning Core programme works as follows:

  • 15 hours per week
  • Focus is on all four skills: speaking, writing, listening, reading
  • Plenty of opportunities to practice in-person communication and pronunciation
  • Dynamic and interactive classroom environment
  • Diverse and authentic materials included in fees including newspapers, videos and audio recordings
  • Constant correction and feedback from teachers

All in all, finding a flexible course is the first step in feeling confident and comfortable so you can perform your best.

Accessible Accommodation

If you wish to stay close to your institution during your time of study, you must ensure the accommodation you’re choosing is available, affordable and accessible. 

This isn’t always the easiest combination to find, and it can be time consuming to organise. However, schools like LSI / IH Portsmouth can offer a range of short-term and long-term solutions such as:

  • Local homestay families (with an Executive option where hosts are either current or retired professionals, academics or senior business managers)
  • Self-catering residences 
  • Hotels and B&Bs

Whichever you choose, we will do everything we can to support you with your living arrangements and give you the best option to suit your needs.

Image credit: Newcastle Unviersity Student Union

Social Programmes

Socialising as a mature student can be daunting – but it doesn’t need to be! Meeting people is a natural part of life, and it can make your experience so much more enjoyable and productive.

Academic institutions usually always offer social clubs for students to join. You can choose which one you want to sign up for depending on how it aligns with your interests and experience. By doing this, you’ll be spending time with like-minded people that you can develop new friendships with.

While it’s important to do some research beforehand, make sure you don’t reject clubs because you think you won’t be good enough, or because you don’t know anyone. The pros definitely outweigh the cons in this scenario – you can learn new skills, gain experience, and maybe even discover a new passion! 

If you’re studying English, socialising is one of the best ways to practice and enhance your skills. At LSI / IH Portsmouth, we offer ‘Welcome Drinks’ every Monday, which is a brilliant opportunity to exercise your English speaking skills and meet new people on your first day. On Mondays, there is also the chance to join the teachers and other students for a game of football in the evening.

There’s also our ‘Conversation Club’ where one of our teachers will take students on a tour of Old Portsmouth. Here, you can learn interesting facts about the city, its history, and even partake in salsa lessons at a local Irish club! 

As well as weekday activities, our social programme offers Saturday excursions to other cities such as London, Brighton, Arundel, Bath, Oxford, Winchester and many more. All trips include excellent cultural experiences, the freedom you need to explore the city at your own pace, all while improving your English speaking skills! 

For more information on things to do in Portsmouth, check out our exclusive guide.

Varied Course Intensity

No students are the same, as everyone has different learning styles and abilities. That’s why it is important to check that your school offers a course that will meet your intellectual needs, so you can be sure your academic venture is worthwhile.

At LSI / International House Portsmouth, while all 30+ students will attend the Core morning programme, we also offer four different afternoon options to suit your needs – all varying in specialisms and intensities. 

Intensive English Study: afternoon classes of 10 hours per week, acting as an extension of the morning classes with extra opportunities to practice and progress

Business Communication: for those who want to improve communicative performance in a wide range of professional, business and commercial contexts.

Individual Lessons: you can add 1:1 English lessons to your course with a choice of either an extra 10 or 5 hours.

Business Culture Trips: an opportunity where students can enjoy the city of Portsmouth’s heritage while using and improving English skills.

English Courses for Students Over 30 in Portsmouth

Whether you’re under 20 or over 30 – we all go to school to learn and enjoy the experience. For those who want to maximise the use of their time whilst studying, you want to ensure you are challenged, accepted and comfortable. These are all achievable when you choose LSI / IH Portsmouth to learn English.

For more information, contact us today.