This page is maintained by Tom Holloway
Greetings from Thomas Kuan of U3A SINGAPORE which was formed by the core group who organised the successful 2nd U3A International Conference, 2011 in Singapore.
Members: It has a small group of 20 members but growing fast, with main objectives to share the model of U3A's community learning among senior citizens in Singapore, and to reach out to regional U3As in South East Asian Nations. We welcome friends from U3As worldwide to visit us and to share learning of their U3A activities.
U3A-Singapore is a
member of the U3A Asia Pacific Alliance.
Graham Collett of U3A York, UK, sent us the following: The York Group of U3A has over 1200 members and offers a wide range of activities. In 2011-12 there are more than 90 courses and groups covering subjects like:-
Art & Art History - Cultures, Religion and Philosophy - Contemporary Studies - History - Languages - Literature - Science and Technology - Games of Skill - Music - Hobbies - Outdoor Pursuits - Dancing and Swimming
We also have monthly lectures on a Saturday morning and an active Travel Committee which arranges day trips and holidays to venues both in the UK and Abroad. Details of all our events appear in the York U3A Newsletter which is produced every two months. For more information please see our website at http://www.yorku3a.org.uk
Roger Knight, former chairman of U3A Swansea,, which is on the Gower Peninsula
Meetings and Speakers: Unusually among UK U3As, we hold weekly lectures during University terms and have 150 - 250 members attending. Our arrangement with the University is that they provide a large lecture room with appropriate facilities without charge. The lectures are organised by U3A members and attempt to provide a consistently high standard to stretch the minds of those attending. The Vice Chancellor encourages his staff to offer lectures and personally gives a lecture once a year. Other speakers are drawn from a wide range of sources, including members from our own and other nearby U3As.
Range of Activities: Our groups range from Armchair Travel to Welsh Conversation as well as conversation groups for French, Italian and German and the prospect of Spanish starting soon. The Astronomy group works in conjunction with the local Astronomical Society and has access to big telescopes via the internet from time to time. Our original discussion group voluntarily avoids political and religious matters as a matter of course but a number of members missed the opportunity for political debate and started another group devoted to Politics and Citizenship where lively debate takes place without undue acrimony. One of our crowning achievements was the creation of a Research Group, with strong encouragement from the late Professor Maurice Broady. The Group trawled through local archives to produce a History of Swansea Markets. Just prior to the 1995 Annual Conference, Swansea joined with nearby U3As to provide choral entertainment at the event and went on to create our Singing for Pleasure group. We also have Gardening, Walking, Tai Chi and several reading groups.
What I like best: No longer as physically active as I was, I enjoy [almost all of] our weekly lectures and the opportunity this gives for social interaction with members. Whilst Chairman for two years, I attended all funerals of current and former members and was struck by the small number of these events for the size of our U3A. Thus I am convinced of the truth behind the first part of an old motto "U3A adds years to your life and life to your years"
name is Jo Lord, a committee member of U3A Port Hills
Name & Location: U3A Port Hills, Christchurch, New Zealand.
History: Formed in 2006 to serve South-West Christchurch and surrounding rural areas with new housing developments, especially housing for over-60s. In Christchurch there are 3 suburban U3A groups all with monthly meetings and many Interest groups.
Membership: 150 members with around 85 attending monthly meetings. The annual sub is NZ$25, with a few Interest groups having a small fee towards U3A On-line study courses.
Monthly Meetings & Speakers: We are fortunate in being able to rent a church well equipped with data projector, microphone, loudspeakers and even a technician. Speakers are usually invited from the University, Polytechnic, businesses and the wider community. Monthly meetings start with 20 minutes of socialising over tea/coffee and an opportunity to read notices, investigate the sales table of surplus garden produce, reject paperbacks, etc. A consistently high attendance at monthly meetings regardless of the speaker and the chatter during the socialising is a great indication of the value that members place on this U3A.
Range of Activities: Interest groups have between 4 and 20 members. Many meet in a committee room at the local City Council Library, some in members homes. The groups are Books, Travel, MahJong, Current Affairs, Philosophy Introduction to World Religions, Philosophy Myths & Legends, History China from Mao to Now, Café Club, Home Crafts, Geology/Botany, Classical Music, Films. There is an annual bus trip, also it is now traditional to have a Soup & Rolls lunch in June after the monthly meeting, and a Christmas finger food potluck lunch in December after the final meeting before the holiday break.
What I like best: I am fortunate in being the founding President of U3A Port Hills, as this has given me a special opportunity to know and be known by many members. The work in setting up a new U3A is not something I chose, however the end result gives all of us on the Committee a huge sense of achievement. For myself, I get much stimulation from the U3A On-line study group "China from Mao to Now", also the Current Affairs and Geology/Botany Groups. I just hope that I can remain physically active enough for Geology/Botany as there is so much to explore and learn around Canterbury; maybe I will have to start going to the gymn again! A final personal bonus - the confidence I have gained in speaking in public, something I used to shy away from! WEBSITE www.u3aporthills.org.nz
Barbara Foley from Brisbane U3A, Australia
1. Brisbane is located on the east coast of Australia, the capital city of the state of Queensland. The third largest city in Australia with a population of 1.6 million. For more information of our beautiful city with sub-tropical climate visit www.ourbrisbane.com
2. Brisbane U3A was established in 1986 and has grown to over 2100 members.
3. Close to 200 classes are held in our central city rooms and throughout Brisbane suburbs - including anthropology, art, bridge, computer, discussion groups, history, languages, mahjong, philosophy, scrabble etc. for a full list visit our website on http://www.uq.net.au/u3abrisbane/index.htm
4. The opportunity of like minded retirees to learn and share experiences
Inter-Ages de Creteil et du Val-de-Marne, in France
Location: We are situated near Paris, about 25 minutes by Metro ;
Number of members: We now have about 1,300 members
Range of Activites: Our activities consist of some 10 to 25 conferences per month, some 20 or more guided visites of museums in Paris or at locations near Paris and a few guided sight seeing tours in or around Paris. Our main activities however consist of Painting and Drawing courses, six language courses, some 33 Humanities courses including History, Literature, Egyptology, Musicology, Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology, only to mention a few. We, of course, have computer courses ranging from Beginners to Intermediate and Advanced courses, including Word, Excel, digital photography, video editing, photoshop, and not but not least we have a few Science courses in Botonic Garderning, Stars-Space and Man, and a short course of Man and Nature.
What I like best about my U3A: My friends and I had a talk about this and they tell me (and I agree) what they like most about UIA of Creteil is the wide range of courses, the fair prices and above all the competence of the Professors who are for the most part are paid Professors, except for a small number of volunteers teachers in specialised areas such as Computer Courses and some Language Teachers,
My Personal message: I am not a member of the Board nor active in much of anything but I know people who work many hours at their homes so our UIA ,and maybe yours too, keeps running. I hope that the members of UIAs or U3As around the World appreciate all the work that volunteer and unknown and usually unrewarded people do so that UIAs or U3As are working.Jean Pierre
My name is Cath Lockett and I am Secretary of East Berwickshire U3A, Scotland.
Current membership 249
of activities: We
offer a varied programme of 35 groups covering Art & Culture, Books
& Literature, Languages, Music and Dance and Sports & Leisure.
Our members attending our Monthly Open Meetings enjoy a varied entertaining
and informative programme of speakers.
My personal message: Where would we be without the U3A? Further information is available by emailing info@eastberwickshireU3A.org.uk
Name of U3A: New Forest/Waterside, on edge of New Forest at Hythe, on Southampton Water, England.
Membership: Around 200
Range of Activities: French, Gardening, Choral Singing, History, Literature & Theatre, Scrabble, Walking, "Out and About" etc. Some subjects ' come and go' according to the availability of Members to run the Courses, and the numbers interested, but some have been running for many years. Fortnightly meetings, with a visiting Speaker.
What I Like ...... Meeting interesting people, getting new ideas, information and interests from some of the Speakers at our fortnightly meetings - and, after over 20 years of wasting my time trying to teach History in schools, being able to run proper History Courses with enthusiastic, interested 'clients' !
Personal Message: Go along to ALL the speakers your U3A engages, NOT just the ones dealing with your existing interests - you can't know whether a subject will interest you until you've found out something about it. And DON'T be 'put off' from joining a Course on a subject you may have once disliked at school - the U3A is QUITE different !
Hi Jean - I'm Richard Aime of the Lifetime Learners Institute, located in Norwalk, Connecticut, USA.
2. We have 750 members.
3. We mainly give courses at the local community college where we are based. About 40 courses in both the Fall and Spring terms. Our members act as "Facilitators" and volunteer to lead the courses on their favorite subjects. We cover history, literature, religion, arts, sciences and many other fields. We also sponsor trips to interesting places not too far from home base, including New York City.
4. I like mostly the courses. They are not expensive and usually last up to eight weeks. It costs $25 to become a member and we charge $15 per course taken. As many as you like. I haven't been on one of the trips yet.
Aldskogius, rector emerita, Ph.D. UPPSALA, Sweden
2. How many members? 1700. Annual fee ca 20 Euro, which includes two lectures in various topics each month September - May.
3. Range of activities: There are three different kinds of activities:
series, at least five each semester (cost: ca 30 Euro/semester = 60
circles, over 50 each semester (cost ca 30 - 60 Euro/semester = 60
- 120 /year, depending on the length of the series)
visits and tours, at least 10 per semester (varied costs)
I like best about my U3A
Ron Topp, President, Pakenham and District U.3.A.
Annual Fee $30. Totally Volunteer.
160 Members and rising rapidly
23 Subjects as follows:-
*Kings and Queens of England
We put on many extra courses during the year and those to be presented this year are :- Digital Story Telling, How to make a Clock on a C.D., Convert your L.P,s and Tapes to C.D in MP3
What I like best. The fellowship the lack of grumbles and mature age people not talking about their medication, and the amazing life stories of the members.
My Personal message. Keep Learning, widen your horizons, don't resist change, do embrace younger people if they wish to join, redefine the U.3.A. boundaries to be as inclusive of all things where ever you can Carry your age with dignity and pride, be an example rather than a grumpy old fool.
We have a
GREAT U.3.A. and the learning aspects together with the ability to relieve
social isolation in this rural area is wonderful and we daily see examples
of mature age people doing great stuff. We have an old house(grandly called
U3A. House) we call home and enjoy very much.
1). My name is Betty Clethero and I am a member of the Tauranga U3A, a city of 100,000 in the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand.
2). We have approximately 500 members and this year, 2005, marks our 10th anniversary.
3). We offer 38 courses, ranging from A2Z, Ancients, Antiques, Art Practical, Buildings & Cities, Computer (2 groups), Creative Writing, Current Events (4 groups), Drama, Languages, Sequence Dancing, Technology to Yoga. Once a month a general meeting is arranged: if there is plenty of time we have a mini speaker before morning tea, and then the main speaker.
Geology, Building & Cities and Travel groups periodically have outings and these are generally well attended. One such group last year visited the bird sanctuary at Tiritiri Maitangi Island, to sight the penguins, kiwis and other N.Z. native birds.
4). What I like best about the U3A is the intellectual stimulation and the socializing; It is a great way to spend one's retirement!
5. My personal message is that once you are a member, your life will be far busier than when you were working! Picture Copyright Simon Fordham
Helen Borg Bonnici of U3E Malta
1. Name and location of my U3A We call ourselves U3E Malta ( A = Age ; E = Eta in Maltese or Italian). Our U3E is housed at the Old University building in Valletta.
There is also a branch in the sister Island of Gozo.
2. How many members? In Malta 650 members and in Gozo 40 this year.
3. Range of Activities We have a full programme of lectures in various subjects. Each subject- unit is made up of 8 consecutive weekly lectures.There are morning lectures in Valletta from Monday to Friday from 9.00a.m. to 11.a.m. and there are evening lectures in Sliema twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday from 5.00p.m. to 7.00p.m.We are free to attend any study-units we like.
I like best about my U3A I believe in life-long learning and U3A is
a splendid way of satisfying my desire for learning. In addition, I have
made so many friends. We have set up a U3A Choir . It is 60 Members strong.
The number of ladies approx is four times greater than that of males!
I am a Choir member.
June Lynn, Past President of Sydney U3A Inc. We are in New South Wales, Australia and we cover the whole of the Sydney basin. We are a self-help organization, as are all Australian U3As. Each is autonomous and democratic.
2. How Many Members: We have approximately 5000 members over 7 regions - Upper North, Harbourside North, East, Manly and Peninsular, Endeavour, Inner West and Greater Western. Our U3A was started in 1988.
3. Range of Activities: We present between 250 and 300 classes in each 5 monthly semester. Each region finds class leaders and venues for the classes run in their region. Venues may be in Community Centres, Scout halls, Church halls, RSL clubs, Senior's clubs, private homes etc. Our main criterions for a venue is it be suitable for the class, close to public transport and at a reasonable cost (preferably at no cost!).Venues and insurance are our greatest expense.
We cover classes in Aboriginal studies, anthropology, architecture, art, calligraphy, computing, dance, discussion groups, economics, environment, films, gardens, genealogy, geography, health, history (ancient, medieval, modern, Australian, European, Asian, Aviation etc), languages, linguistics, literature, music, mythology, philosophy, psychology, comparative religions, science and technology, sociology, Tai Chi, theatre, travel, walking and writing. Some regions have social events like lunches, trips and even holidays. Class leaders come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some may be retired teachers or academics, some have life experiences to draw on.
4. What do I like best about U3A: I was widowed in 1993 and was lucky enough to hear about U3A from an aquaintance. Joining this organization gave me friends, social contacts and interests to keep my brain active - I lead both a creative writing and an introductory computer class and attend an Australian history class. I have been much involved in the management of the organisation, firstly as regional secretary, then as regional president and now as President of Sydney U3A.
Panijan, Coordinator of UTD Belgrade in Serbia
2. Membership: We now have around 400 members participating in different activities.
Languages available are English, German, Spanish, French, Italian
and Greek, with English having more students than all others together.
Art - drawing, painting and sculpture.
4. As an English teacher these are my motives for joining the U3A. First of all, I believe that practicing our memory skills is essential in life. Research confirms that learning a language later in life helps to stave off certain illnesses associated with old age, eg. Alzheimer's. I also believe in lifelong learning. Seeing people with such strong motivation as some of my students have, I feel so much better about life in general.
Raj Lohani is Coordinator of Council of U3As in Nepal
2. Membership: So far we have only 120 members in our groups but we are growing fast and trying to bring all of the many other existing groups under the umbrella of the Council of U3As.
3. Activities: Health and fitness events, informal programmes for schools such as poetry, English language, sports events, etc. Current affairs, religious programmes, tours of famous places, visits and help for Old Age Homes.
4. My personal comment is that U3As can contribute in various ways to reducing the inter-generation gap and bring the experience of elders to help society.
Kacerova from U3A Zilina, Slovakia
Hazel George is from Oxford U3A, England
We started at least 25 years ago and have nearly 300 members.
We have 24 special interest groups which meet informally once or twice a month in members' homes. These cover a variety of subjects with languages and literature very popular. Being in Oxford we are fortunate to have as members a number of retired academics with connections to the University, and consequently are able to have in our programme talks by eminent speakers.
We have a general
meeting with a talk every Thursday during term time covering a wide range
of subjects. You can see our current programme at http://u3aoxford.org.uk