Worldwide icon-chevron-right Asia icon-chevron-right Hong Kong icon-chevron-right 25 best online classes you can take for free
Online courses you can take at home I Photo by Dan Nelson
Photo by Dan Nelson I Unsplash

25 best online classes you can take for free

Take advantage of your extra time to learn useful skills

By Tatum Ancheta
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Are you just about done watching all the K-dramas on Netflix and ready to do something more productive with your time? Instead of stressing about when you can finally go out to eat and have a drink at your favourite bar, why not divert your energy to something you can actually use in the future. Use the extra time you have now to learn something new, gain a few skills, and take your mind off of all the stressful things happening outside of the house. 

We've rounded up online classes you can take today. Whether you like to learn a foreign language, practice to become the next culinary gem, the next wine connoisseur, master of photography, fashion, and design, or just impress your boss, or simply learn how to manage your stress – we've got it all for you. We also included some learning tool recommendations for moms with kids currently stuck at home. Read on to get you started, most of the classes are free, so you don't have to spend a dollar, but the full courses with certifications allows a 7-10-day free trial enough for you to learn the basics.

RECOMMENDED: Just want to chill while at home? Check out these recommendations.

Learn a foreign language

Japanese flag
Japanese flag

1. Learn to speak Japanese

Hongkongers love anything Japanese, and while we count the days on travelling again to 'The Land of the Rising Sun,' start learning how to speak their local language. So, next time you order in a side-alley tea-house or yakitori, you won't be intimidated by the menu and properly get something you actually like, plus you can go around the areas and get to speak with locals. 

Start learning today via duolingo.com or download the app on Android or IOS. You may also find free lessons via freejapaneselessons.com, edx.org, or YouTube.

Spanish flag
Spanish flag

2. Learn to speak Spanish 

Spoken in 21 countries, it makes Spanish the third most spoken language in the world. While waiting for things to settle globally, learn the language and look forward to your next travel to so many Latin American countries like Peru, Venezuela, Chile, Guatemala, Ecuador, Cuba, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Paraguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, and Spain among others. 

Start learning today via duolingo.com or download the app on Android or IOSYou may also find free lessons via fluentu.com, YouTube, or studyspanish.com.

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French flag
French flag

3. Learn to speak French 

French is the sexiest and most romantic language in the world. French can curse you or get mad at you, and you'd still smile because it sounds very pleasing to the ear. Next time you go on your next date, you can impress your companion when ordering French dishes, or extend your love language than simply saying je t' aime (I love you). 

Start learning today via duolingo.com or download the app on Android or IOS. You can also get free lessons from apprendre.tv5monde.com or edx.org

Korean flag
Korean flag

4. Learn to speak Korean 

No matter how much we love streaming our favourite K-dramas online, it can get tiring following the subtitles on the screen. Learn the language and start watching Koreanovelas with ease or so you can converse with Koreans on your next travel to the beautiful cities of South Korea. 

Start learning today via duolingo.com or download the app on Android or IOSYou may also find free lessons via coursera.org or loecsen.com.

 

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Klingon flag
Klingon flag

5. Learn to speak Klingon (just for fun)

Because you simply don't want to speak earth language right now. Get to meet thousands of Star Trek fans globally who are already speaking Klingon. What's this sorcery? It's the fictional language by extraterrestrial Klingon species in the Star Trek universe created by Marc Okrand. Though you can't really talk Klingon to an ordinary passerby on the street, it's interesting to learn if you just want to pass the time and learn a new skill. 

Start learning today via duolingo.com or download the app on Android or IOSYou may also find free lessons via kli.org or YouTube. 

Become a pro-home chef

Online cooking courses I Photo by Jeff Sheldon
Photo by Jeff Sheldon I Unsplash

1. The science of gastronomy

This is not your regular Youtube cooking class, The Science of Gastronomy, hosted by The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, is a course that introduces basic scientific principles and methodology of cooking and food preparation. You'll learn to appreciate the art of integrating science into cooking and dining. If you're planning to join the F&B industry, this is your starter kit. Or, well, learn to prepare better food and impress every member of your household. 

Classes will start on May 19. You can enrol for the full course for free or pay USD49 to get a certificate. Enrol for the class at coursera.org. 

Wine
Photo by Hermes Rivera I Unsplash

2. World of wine: from grape to glass

So you just finished watching Uncorked on Netflix, and suddenly found yourself searching about what kind of wine is Chablis, then you end up Googling a bit more, and more. This course is for anyone starting on wine, loves wine, and wine tasting. The class will teach you how to describe wine's appearance, aroma, flavour, and taste. The class even offer a feature on virtually making your own wine. Take advantage of this course from University of Adelaide via edX. Audit the course for free and have access to the course materials and discussions forums.  If you'd like to pursue more after a few learnings, you can take the verified track (USD199 USD) to get a certification and access graded assignments. 

Enrol for the class today at edx.org

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Photo by Edgar Castrejon Unsplash
Photo by Edgar Castrej I Unsplash

3. Allrecipes.com

It's not really a class but a treasure trove of How-to Videos that teach any novice home chef from properly preparing eggs, to world cuisines, and cooking styles. The website boasts of over 90 cooking tutorials. They even have a special section on quarantine cooking recipes featuring canned and frozen foods you may have stocked up on your fridge.  

Get cooking at allrecipes.com

Photo by Brooke Lark
Photo by Brooke Lark I Unsplash

4. Chef2chef.net

The website features basic and advanced cooking techniques written by professional chefs. Each lesson features up-to-date culinary tips and recipes that you can apply in your kitchen. The course is a reading module so you can read and learn anytime you want, no fancy videos but it saves you from buying countless cooking books that you probably won't read anyway. Topics include basic cooking techniques, working with meats and seafood, wine and food pairing, pastry making, and a whole lot more. 

Start learning at chef2chef.net 

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Photo by Monika Grabkowska Unsplash
Photo by Monika Grabkowska I Unsplash

5. BBC Food 

If you're more visual and would like to learn through videos, this food learning archive from BBC Food will keep your quarantining days occupied. The site publishes recipes from its food television programmes with celebrity chefs. You can find a lot of cooking techniques from how to chop with 'chiffonade' or shredding technique, how to prepares meat and seafood, to making ice cupcakes! 

Start learning today via bbc.co.uk

Boost your creativity

Photography class I by Brooke Lark
Photo by Brooke Lark I Unsplash

1. Lectures on digital photography

Taught by Marc Levoy, a Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at Stanford, and Principal Engineer at Google. The course is excellent for beginners who are just starting to learn digital photography. It will give students a basic understanding of digital photography and put you far ahead of those 'social media photographers.' The course has been so popular that it has caused some errors on loading videos. If you experience the error, head to his Youtube account to view 18 lectures and then head back to his page to read summaries of some of his projects at Google.  

Photo by Alexandra Gorn
Photo by Alexandra Gorn I Unsplash

2. Fashion as design

Since you have not been dressing up for work as of late, level up your fashion sense and start impressing your coworkers when you get back to working in the office. Learn from the fashion experts of The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. The course will give you a better comprehension of your fashion choices. It will also provide you with the critical tools to appreciate and contextualise fashion design—from everyday clothing to couture garments. 

Classes will start on March 30. You can enrol for the full course for free or pay USD49 to get a certificate. Enrol for the class at coursera.org 

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Photo by Kari Shea - Graphic design Unsplash
Photo by Kari Shea I Unsplash

3. Graphic design specialisation

This class is extensive, and if you have four hours a week to devote to the course, you may finish in five months. It will give you the fundamental skills needed to be a graphic designer so you can finally apply for that design job you have been dreaming of. 

Get a free 7-day free trial or pay USD49 per month to continue learning after trial ends. Enrol at coursera.org

Photo by Jakob Owens
Photo by Jakob Owens I Unsplash

4. Cinematography: Shane Hurlbut illumination workshop

Want to learn about the art of cinematography? Renowned cinematographer Shane Hurlbut (cinematographer for Netflix's Rim of the World, 2009 Terminator Salvation, and 2014 Need for Speed, among others) is giving free access to his Illumination Workshop. The full course costs USD499 but the free access gives students 8-hour of learning materials which will include shadows, reflections, lighting layers, and incorporating emotions in cinematic scenes. 

View the class today at hurlbutacademy.com

Impress your boss

Impress your boss I Photo by Amy Hirschi
Photo by Amy Hirschi I Unsplash

1. Introduction to search engine optimisation

If you're in the media industry or starting your personal blog, you will gain a lot of insights and actually learn more about SEO. The course is part of multiple programs, but the introduction will introduce you to search engine algorithms, how to write for better SEO, developing strategies on how to increase site rankings. The session will take approximately 10 hours to complete. 

The course will start on March 30. Get a free 7-day free trial or pay USD49 per month to continue learning after the trial ends. Enrol at www.coursera.org 

Communication skills
Photo by Headway I Unsplash

2. Communication skills for bridging divides

Still having a hard time communicating with your coworkers or clients? This course provides the essential skills for practical communication that will help you to develop communication skills in engaging in dialogues instead of arguments and teach you how to apply micro-affirmations that can lead to lead to positive behaviour changes in the workplace. 

Audit the course for free and have access to the course materials. Enrol now at edx.org 

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Photo by Priscilla du Preez
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3. Become a better listener

You just never listen! Don't you hear this a lot from your significant other? Well, it also applies to your coworkers. Especially now that you are working remotely, it wouldn't hurt to learn how to listen to be a better communicator.

The course is hosted by the founder of JibberJobber.com, Jason Alba. The class lasts for one hour and 34 minutes, so you will be able to access it for free if you start a 10-day free trial at pluralsight.com. It will ask you for your credit card, but you can cancel anytime after your trial ends, if not you can access all their courses by paying USD29.00/month. 

Team work
Photo by Csaba Balazs Da I Unsplash

4. Teamwork skills: communicating effectively in groups

Always a lone wolf? In the workforce, if you're always the 'me-myself-and-I' kind of worker, then it will not often work. Unless you're the great company genius who doesn't need anyone's help, you still have to communicate and work together with your team to produce great results. Learn effective teamwork and group communication skills with this course. 

The class will take 14 hours to complete if you allot six hours of your time per week. Enrol for free to access all course materials except graded items via coursera.org

Home improvement

Kids learning at home I Photo by Andrew Ebrahim
Photo by Andrew Ebrahim I Unsplash

1. Free online science workshop for toddlers

Staying with your kid all day driving you nuts? Take advantage of this Malvern College Pre-School Hong Kong (MCPS) free online class for ages three to five-year-olds. Get your kids to learn how to be a little scientist in this one-hour session in Zoom. Let your kids unleash that inner scientist. The workshop will also feature a hands-on online experiment that will be very engaging for your kids. 

The class will start on March 31, Tuesday, from 4pm-5pm. Visit the site for more information. Register through this link

Homeschooling
Photo by Green Chameleon I Unsplash

2. Learn at home with HKedCity

Hong Kong schools have delayed classes since Chinese New Year because of the ongoing pandemic. Hong Kong Education City prepared a lot of online resources for local primary and secondary school students, so they can learn from home while waiting for class to start. 

Check the schedules of online learning modules via hkedcity.net

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Photo by Alvan Nee
Photo by Alvan Nee I Unsplash

3. Understanding dog emotion and cognition

So you find yourself cooped up with your dog the whole day sue to your new work-from-home set-up. You now gained a new coworker who wants nothing but treats and a lot of hugs. Just for fun, take up this course so you can understand your best friend's behaviour. The course will introduce you to the exciting new study of dog psychology

The class is entirely free, but hey, if you want to get a certificate no one is stopping you, pay USD49 to share that new certificate on your CV. Take the class at coursera.org

Happiness
Photo by Lesly Juarez I Unsplash

4. The science of happiness: how to live your best life

The present time making you a bit crazy? Try to focus your energy in positivity. Check out this class to gain techniques in focusing and navigate negative emotions, and change your limiting mindset. The course is hosted by Laura Delizonna, PhD, a Stanford University instructor.  

The class usually starts at USD29, but creativelive.com is waiving some fees for their health and wellness classes to help people while coping with the pandemic. Join this class today for free. 

 

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National Geographic Kids
National Geographic Kids

5. National Geographic Kids

It's not a class, but moms can use this tool for their kids who are currently driving them insane at home. Packed games, videos, and learning programmes, the National Geographic Kids website may be your saving grace. Kids can learn stuff about the earth, animals, and even coronavirus.  

Get your kids entertained while learning via kids.nationalgeographic.com

Because you can't get enough of learning about COVID-19

Learn more about the pandemic
Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng I Unsplash

1. Science matters: let's talk about COVID-19

Obsessed about the virus and it's all you think about day-in and day-out? Divert that energy and learn about the virus scientifically. Learn from world-class experts on analysing COVID-19 and how it spread. The class will provide regular situation reports about the state of the epidemic. 

The class is free. Enrol today at coursera.org

Unsplash, Lab
Photo by Lucas Vasques I Unsplash

2. Epidemics

The University of Hong Kong is hosting a class on understanding epidemics. The course covers topics from novel pathogen origins; infectious diseases spread analysis, countermeasures; including a panel of discussions with leading public health experts. 

Enrol for free at coursera.org  

Other fun things to do at home

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