A New Life Chapter, Discovered in an Online Shakespeare Class

Jana, a former lawyer from Switzerland, turned to online learning to discover new interests—including a newfound enthusiasm for Shakespeare after enrolling in HarvardX’s Shakespeare’s Life and Work. Read on to find out how her learning experience inspired a new chapter in her life as a Shakespearean writer and educator.

What edX course or program did you take and what were your goals in taking it?

The first course I took was the HarvardX course Shakespeare's Life and Work. Living in Switzerland, in a non-English speaking country, it was my first real encounter with the Bard. As I thoroughly enjoyed the course, I then decided to enroll in the Harvard Shakespeare’s Outsiders XSeries Program in which we studied three plays, including Hamlet, the Merchant of Venice, and Othello. My primary goal was to get an insight of some of Shakespeare's works, mainly for my own personal interest.

How was your experience learning online?

Online learning has proved to be an awesome experience. A lawyer by education, I have stopped working more than 10 years ago to raise my children and as they are getting older, I have more time to plan for a new professional experience. Online learning provides all the flexibility I look for as well as an access to subjects which would be otherwise difficult to study in the city I live. The courses were extremely well designed and easily understandable. Their various formats were both instructive and entertaining.

How has your learning impacted your career, life, or community?

My learning experience has had a major impact on my life insofar as it has triggered my retraining and helped me find a starting point to do it. I already look forward to enrolling in any additional edX courses in relation with Shakespeare.

How do you plan to use your learning in the future? What’s next for you?

The course and program I took have given me the incentive to continue my journey in the study of Shakespeare, in deepening my knowledge of his work as well as of the historical and political backgrounds which prevailed in the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras. My ultimate goal is to teach or write articles about specific aspects of Shakespeare's work.

What advice would you give new edX students?

The advice I would give is to allocate enough time in order to get the most of the courses. Further personal searches in connection with the content of the courses nicely enrich the subjects studied.

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