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U3A

Discussion in 'Retirement' started by stopwatch, Apr 6, 2018.

  1. stopwatch

    stopwatch Established commenter

    Hello Fellow Retirees (or those planning for retirement), I have 12 weeks to go until I finish here in Saudi and return to UK for good, and retirement.
    As usual, I am trying to plan ahead and look at possibilities for keeping myself occupied and busy, one of which is the University of the 3rd age. I have looked around their website and discovered that there are a number of branches near where I will live (South Birmingham).
    I am assuming that there are some here who have experience of this and wondered if they could give some feedback as follows:
    • Is it possible to join more than one branch? Each one seems to have different things which I would like to try.
    • How much does membership cost?
    • How welcoming are people of new members?
    • Would you recommend it? if not, why not?
    Thanks for any feedback :)
     
    frangipani123 likes this.
  2. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Why not just relax for a while?
     
    Lara mfl 05 and stopwatch like this.
  3. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    I think membership of your "main" branch is £15 and any others you want to join are £12. I'm in a good book club, I go to the monthly general talks - some of which have been very good, and I'm learning Italian in a slightly chaotic group but we haven't been at it long. I have found it friendly and our branch really works at welcoming new members. I have an issue with the focus being on the oldest members at my branch and there are plenty of things I wouldn't touch with a barge pole but the branch is as lively as the people in it. Retired people en masse can be quite difficult I think and I am in danger of becoming one of the grumpy ones!
     
    emerald52, Lara mfl 05 and stopwatch like this.
  4. stopwatch

    stopwatch Established commenter

    I certainly do intend to relax for a while - I won't put anything into action until at least October, but will take things as they come to get a real feel for what I want to do and the kind of balance I want between active pursuits and less active pursuits.

    However, I have always been one to start 'researching' options well ahead of time. I actually enjoy the process. In fact, one thing I am aware of, is the risk of spending too much time doing nothing and being caught out 6 months down the line.

    I also intend getting a cat, Catmother, to help me relax. I used to have them before I moved overseas in 2001.
     
    Lara mfl 05 and eljefeb90 like this.
  5. stopwatch

    stopwatch Established commenter

    Thanks Lindenlea - very helpful. I have looked at my local branches and see ping-pong, conversational French and also walking as 3 things I would consider. I also see a guided trip to the WW1 battlefields, which I may well go on as this is on my bucketlist.
    Grumpy? I can do grumpy - Baaaahhhh Humbug!!! Victor Meldrew is my hero (said tongue in cheek of course);)
     
    emerald52, Lara mfl 05 and eljefeb90 like this.
  6. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    My U3A costs £12 per year. I only attend one ‘club’ as most of the other things offered don’t appeal to me. As you have discovered they can vary hugely in activities offered, style and tone and especially members. At £12 ish per annum I can’t see you can go wrong with joining several (though some activities will have a cost attached to them ) my language class, for example) would cost hundreds of pounds a year if it were run by local adult ed. providers.

    Best wishes for your retirement.
    Remember to keep posting here because we are nosey like to know how others are getting on :D;)
     
  7. eljefeb90

    eljefeb90 Senior commenter

    My U3A is only 2 years old and is still expanding. I go to several clubs (walking, book club, 'cake and culture' ) and run a language class. Annual fee is dearer than some of the others, £22:50. It's on your doorstep.@stopwatch...Olton. I want to start a real ale group and a quiz group is starting soon.
     
    emerald52 and lindenlea like this.
  8. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    I've just had a look to see what's in my area and I can't say that doing "stuff" with what I imagine are going to be teachers type people really appeals to me.
     
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  9. stopwatch

    stopwatch Established commenter

    Now, you had to go and mention the 'Q' word didn't you!? Quizzes.... if it happens, I would be interested - but only if beer is available, otherwise it isn't a proper quiz :);)
     
    eljefeb90 likes this.
  10. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Had a quick look at my local U3A and it costs £20 and there's not exactly a huge array of activities and nothing which particularly appeals.:(
     
    catmother likes this.
  11. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Book club, languages...... How boring and I bet it's full of teachers! I bet they love their meetings and committees too and are all self important. Not for me, I have had enough of that type of people.
     
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  12. eljefeb90

    eljefeb90 Senior commenter

    Chacun à son goût.
     
    emerald52 likes this.
  13. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Indeed.
     
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  14. May2

    May2 Established commenter

    Our local one is only 10 pounds to join and has about 1200 members. It seems to have all the same kind of things as others mention. I looked to see if they had a beginners Italian group but they only had intermediate. My husband has recently decided to join and filled in a joining form stating his interests. He immediately got asked to join the committee and do computer staff for them, sorting out all the new data regulation stuff and setting up a Facebook page the group. He has yet to attend any of their monthly meetings or join any groups. However I suppose it has had the desired effect of filling some of his free time.
    I personally still have the feeling of not really wanting to be part of a group of oldies! They do coach trips and even holidays, but when I'm away I hate getting caught up by a coach party of old people.

    I am sure they can be a good way of getting to know people if you are on your own or new to an area but ours seems to be mainly people in their seventies+ .
     
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  15. stopwatch

    stopwatch Established commenter

    I do have mixed feelings about attending something which is intended for more senior citizens (of which I will be one!). I'm not sure it is healthy to mix with solely one age group.

    I had an elderly Uncle, who was in his late 80's. He has since died. I used to go up to see him in the North East as he lived in a care home there. He was usually a very jolly and humorous fellow, but had only recently been put into the home. He said he hated it there. When I asked him why, he said 'Because it is full of old people!!'

    Says it all really.
     
    emerald52, lindenlea and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  16. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    What type of people?
    Why do you think it will be full of teachers? Other occupations mature too:D:D
    I’m the only ex teacher in my language group. There are more ex businessmen / administrators than teachers.
    My u3a group seems to have a number of different levels of walking groups and a number of science groups - not a book club in sight:)
    The range varies according to volunteers.

    It’s ok. They don’t ban you from joining other organisations as well ;)
     
  17. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    My book group is very varied - an ex physio, a magistrate, various ex admin people, a couple of housewives and yes a couple ore teachers. But our working lives don't define us and very rarely enter into conversation. Once we've discussed the book we're far more likely to talk about holidays, gardening, local events or the theatre.
    I do agree about the age group though. Our Italian group includes an old buffer who drives me mad. There is a big difference between the folk in their 60s and those in their 80s - it's a whole different generation and feels like it, on the whole.
     
    emerald52, Lara mfl 05 and lizziescat like this.

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