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The best free online classes to take based on your interests

If you’ve already binge-watched Tiger King, taken part in every social media hashtag challenge out there, and are sick of virtual happy hours, you could use your newfound free time to pick up that hobby or skill you have always wanted to learn. 

We’ve compiled some of the best free online courses you can take right now, depending on your interests, so you can come out of quarantine having learned something new.

Oz Seyrek/Unsplash

Learn the guitar

If that guitar you received for your birthday years ago is gathering dust in your closet, Fender Guitars is offering a free three-month trial for guitar, bass, and ukulele lessons. The offer goes to the first 1 million who sign up, so act quickly. 

Sharpen your skills and creativity 

Skillshare’s lineup of thousands of classes can be accessed for free during a two-month trial. You’ll find courses covering a wide variety of interests including creative writing, photo editing, digital illustration, graphic design, web development, blogging, knitting, and more.

Perfect your photography

If you’ve always had an eye for photography, you can sharpen your skills with Nikon’s online courses. Nikon is offering free access to all of its courses for the entire month of April. Offerings include photographing pets, how to use a DSLR camera, landscape photography, and more. 

Get cooking 

Now is a better time than any to learn how to cook. Chef Christopher Kimball from America’s Test Kitchen has opened up his Milk Street Cooking School online classes for free through the rest of April. You can learn life skills, sweets baking, making the most of your instant pot, and how to master cooking without using a recipe as a crutch.

Plant a garden

If a green thumb is what you’re after, Oregon State University is offering its Vegetable Gardening and Master Gardener courses for free this month. You’ll learn things like how to prepare soil, crop rotation, fertilization, and more so you can sculpt and maintain your garden. 

Learn how to be happy

The most popular class to ever be taught at Yale University is “The Science of Well-Being,” and it’s free to take online. The course helps you build more productive habits and engages students in challenges to help increase their overall happiness, since right now, especially, we could all use more happiness in our lives. 

Take Harvard-approved courses 

If you’re not entirely sure what you’re looking for, Harvard has hundreds of free online classes to choose from. You can learn more about Shakespeare, technology entrepreneurship, the science of weather, poetry of America, and even 18th-century opera through the self-paced courses. 


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