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"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young." - Henry Ford


Retiring in Asheville presents many wonderful opportunities to explore new interests, hobbies, and studies. Learning a new skill, whether it's an activity or hobby can offer benefits that go beyond keeping you busy and have a direct impact on your overall mental health, physical health, and lifespan.

Benefits of Lifelong Learning 

  • Learning something new promotes overall brain health, including brain efficiency and boosting your memory. 
  • Daily reading can lower stress which can boost the immune system, lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health.
  • Being in a learning atmosphere offers the opportunity to meet other like-minded people who can help support a positive social life.
  • Studies show the more educated you are, the lower your risks are for anxiety, depression, and other common chronic illnesses. Thus, lengthening your life span.
  • You can learn anything you want to learn, on your timeline, adding to your skill sets and inspiring new passions and studies

Lifelong Learning Programs Asheville
Intermediate Hiking Class from Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNCA


Lifelong Learning Programs in and Around Asheville

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of North Carolina in Asheville
Founded in 1988, OLLI is a nationally acclaimed learning community for older adults, offering programs for intellectual and cultural pursuits, as well as social, physical, and practical life courses such as life transition and retirement relocation planning. OLLI’s College for Seniors offers more than 350 courses in four terms every year. Go to their website.

Blue Ridge Center for Lifelong Learning (BRCLL) 
Located on Blue Ridge Community College’s Flat Rock campus, BRCLL offers a full slate of enrichment and educational programming. Courses cover a wide variety of topics, including U.S., international, and Appalachian history, current affairs, technology, literature, and more. The “For Your Health” brown bag lunch series brings in medical professionals to discuss topics related to healthy aging. Go to their website.

Life @ WesternCarolina 
A program of Western Carolina University (WCU), Life@ offers noncredit classes for adults 50 years old and older. Courses range in topics from history and culture to health and science to geopolitical and legal issues. Current and retired WCU faculty, as well as other experts in their fields, teach classes. Go to their website for more.

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