Close up of stack of Japanese newspapers

Embracing lifelong learning with a Diploma of Language Studies

21 February 2024
Retiree returns to campus to explore Japanese language passion
With a head and heart for lifelong education, Michael Wright has entered retirement embarking on further studies to pursue his passion for language acquisition.

From doctoral research and undergraduate/postgraduate studies in industrial relations to studying a new language, Michael Wright has always embraced the impact of education.

After decades of working as part of the Australian union movement, Michael has returned to campus for the fourth time to pursue his passion for languages.

Drawn back to Sydney by the excitement of a new academic adventure and desire to immerse himself further into the vibrant world of Japanese culture, Michael enrolled in a Diploma of Language Studies

Michael Wright in Japan

Embracing language learning in retirement

With the newfound freedom of retirement, Michael embraced his opportunity to dive deep into the realm of language acquisition. 

When looking at study options, the Diploma of Language Studies was the perfect conduit to pursue his passions. 

The program’s flexibility and delivery met Michael’s needs, allowing him to study with ease and enjoyment. 

“The course was perfect for me in that I could concentrate on Japanese and do it part-time at a more leisurely pace,” he said. “The fact that the delivery was face to face was a big factor in enrolling.”

Enrich your life through language

Michael’s journey back to Sydney wasn’t just about learning new skills, his decision to pursue the Diploma of Language Studies was to deepen his cultural experience when travelling in Japan. 

My ultimate aim is to read Japanese newspapers and archival material easily, which at this stage feels ambitious.
Michael Wright, Diploma of Language Studies

Amidst learning the intricacies of Japanese text, Michael appreciates the simpler pleasures of language acquisition – forging genuine connections with fellow patrons at a traditional Japanese pub, an izakaya. 

“I will be very content with learning enough Japanese to have a free-flowing chat with people in an izakaya that goes beyond the transactional,” he said.

Rediscovering campus 

Returning to campus has offered Michael a sense of both familiarity and change. As he navigates the evolved landscape, he is comforted by what has remained consistent – the commitment of our professional and teaching staff. 

“Things change, but what hasn’t is the high-quality academic and general staff that the University employs,” he said.

Michael embraces the opportunity to rediscover campus life and continue his journey of lifelong learning.

Michael Wright back on campus

Rethinking retirement norms

Michael’s decision to return to campus after retirement is an inspiration to pursue further studies at any age. 

The Diploma of Language Studies offers individuals a unique opportunity to enrich their life experience through language and culture. 

Beyond the acquisition of linguistic skills, studying a language offers a gateway to a deeper understanding of the world and the diversity of human experience. 

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