Tips for back-to-school success

Returning to school as an adult learner can be life-changing. But it can also be stressful if you’re balancing school with work or family obligations.

Accreditation and Licensing,Career Success and Planning,Education and Training,Settlement and Life in Canada

June 21, 2022

For adult learners, the thought of going back to school can be daunting ― especially if they’re balancing school with full-time work or family obligations. Rest assured, the rules of learning still apply: do your best and you’ll do just fine. To help you develop your professional skills and achieve your career advancement goals, we’ve put together some tips to succeed at school for adult learners.

4 ways for adult learners to find success at school

1. Choose the right program

In Canada, there are plenty of ways to continue your education. Some post-secondary programs or professional development courses are intense and industry-specific, like bootcamps, and others require a significant investment of time, like university degrees, diplomas or certificates. To find your fit, consider the type of industry you want to work in, and the certifications, training or professional development courses that are required. It’s helpful to look at job descriptions to decide what level of education you need. Getting recommendations from friends, career coaches or colleagues is also a great way to find out if a program is right for you.

2. Put learning first

Balancing life with learning can be difficult for many newcomer professionals. Putting your education at the top of your priority list is often easier said than done. By reviewing the course syllabus ahead of time, you can schedule your days or weeks to allow for quizzes, coursework and assignments. It helps to carve out time in your day to complete small tasks, like checking your email. You might also consider setting up a quiet space to study at home where friends and family know to leave you alone.

See related: IT Bootcamps: Expedite your Career in Canada

3. Be technology ready

Gone are the days when students carried notebooks to class. Now, nearly everyone has a laptop or tablet. This technology is often required for collaborative group projects or assignments. Unfortunately for adult learners, going to the campus library isn’t always feasible. So, make sure you’re set up with the tools and software you need ahead of time. You should know how to login to your school’s network and access library resources from home.

The Skilled Immigrant Career Success Guide: Learn about the licensing process in Canada, how to build a budget and ways to success in your next interview with this free resource. Learn more.

4. Get help when you need it

Interacting with your instructors and classmates can make your learning experience great. They can genuinely care about your success and support you in your career development. So, ask for help if and when you need it. Getting together with classmates to discuss lessons, study or share notes is an excellent way to prepare for quizzes and assignments.

Remember, education, training or professional development can feel overwhelming for everyone, regardless of their age or experience. Keep in mind why you signed up for your program in the first place and be gracious to yourself. You can do this! 

Finance your future in Canada 

Going back to school as an adult learner can be stressful. Between work, life, studying and your financial wellness, there are lots of things to consider. Windmill Microlending can take the weight of financial worries off your shoulders. As a charitable organization exclusively for skilled immigrants and refugees, our affordable loans cover the costs of tuition, program fees, textbooks and study materials, living allowance, relocation and other expenses such as child care, while you study.

Learn more about career development loans from Windmill Microlending.

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