With Harvard, MIT, MassArt and myriad other colleges in the Boston area, it’s no joke that we’re often called the “Athens of America.”
Here, in this intellectual hub, learning doesn’t have to stop after you cross the stage in your cap and gown. In fact, Boston is rife with educational opportunities, and, often, they don’t cost a cent. We’ve rounded up a few spots where you can get smarter for free.
5 Free Places to Keep Learning
Science in the News Seminars: During the fall and spring semesters, Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences sponsors Science in the News, free science seminars that are open to the public.
Lectures occur weekly and are taught by Harvard graduate or medical students. After a presentation about a current science topic, the class opens up to discussion. Previous series have included topics like how light can improve meditation and the impact of climate change on Earth’s frozen regions.
No registration is required.
The Lowell Institute Programs: The Lowell Institute was founded in 1836 specifically to bring free education to the Boston public, and it has been doing so, since.
Thanks to the Institute, you can spend a day at the Peabody Essex Museum deep diving into an art exhibition with a curator or panel of experts. You can attend an artist demonstration and talk at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, on a free open house day. You can even spend an educational overnight at the Museum of Science.
Check the Institute’s events calendar to plan your next advanced degree.
Civic Series: Experts break down current events in non-confrontational settings as part of the free Civic Series. Hot issues like Brexit, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, U.S.-Cuba relations, climate change and digital currencies are explained and then discussed in a safe space with credible, often local, experts.
Events run about once a month, at locations all over the city, each time covering a different topic. So, when you don’t have time to read the paper every day (and we know you don’t), this is a great way to stay informed.
Free Dance Studio Classes: Typically run on Thursdays and Saturdays, the Free Dance Studio project works on a pop-up model utilizing donated dance venues and teachers. In this way, it doesn’t have to charge students for classes.
Classes can range from old-school dance moves like the Charleston and the Lindy Hop (also a great starting point for beginners), to more advanced line-dancing and salsa.
As long as you don’t mind traveling to a new venue every time, all you have to do to reserve your spot is send a quick e-mail.
Community Centers and Libraries: Some of the best learning opportunities come from public resources like your local community center or Boston Public Library branch.
At the Central BPL location, you can take free classes that instruct you in TinkerCAD 3D printing software, Adobe software like Photoshop and Lightroom, and InnoLAB space booking software for businesses.
At the Fenway Community Center, you can take a finance workshop with a neighborhood professional. This is also a great way to meet people in your neighborhood with similar interests. Check out your local community centers and public spaces, you may be surprised!