Continuing Education 2012

Continuing studies in NYC—from computer courses, cooking classes and language lessons to photography classes and yoga instruction.

Illustration: Joe Paul

Job hunting

If you’re unemployed, it’s hard to spring for a formal continuing ed course. Luckily, the New York Public Library’s Science, Industry, and Business branch (188 Madison Ave at 34th St; 917-275-6975, offers a slew of free job-hunting lectures. Career coach and former recruiter John Crant gives a popular series of classes on how to use social media in your job search, like “Building Your Professional Network with LinkedIn” (Aug 22, Sept 27, Nov 10 6–7:30pm; free), in which you’ll learn how to craft a profile and pick up tricks to get the most out of the site.

Once you secure a meeting, you’ll need to finesse your approach. Baruch’s single-session “Leaving Your Lasting Impression on Interviews” (Sept 28 10am–2pm; $99; 646-312-5000, examines different kinds of interviews and gives guidelines for how to craft your story line for each. The interactive seminar, led by an industry professional, also covers tailoring your résumé, preparing questions and following up.

Not even sure what you’re looking for? Get inspired in Sharon Good’s one-off seminar “What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do, at the 92nd Street Y (1395 Lexington Ave between 91st and 92nd Sts; 212-415-5500,; Oct 22 or Nov 19 7–8:30pm; $25). Through exercises and discussion, Good, a seasoned career coach, walks students through a structured process to help them clarify their desires and the components of their ideal career, and to generate ideas for new paths.—Rebecca Dalzell

Knitting (and other crafts)

True to its name, yarn and craft shop Purl Soho (459 Broome St between Greene and Mercer Sts; 212-420-8796, offers courses in knitting, plus crocheting, needlework and sewing. In Beginning Knitting ($140, three two-hour sessions, day or night classes; check the website for schedule), you’ll master the basics: knit and purl stitches, casting off and finishing ends. By the end of class you’ll have made a small scarf. Taught by needlework maven and author Jessica Marquez, the “Hand Embroidery: Stitch Dictionary” class is a four-hour primer held over two evenings in elementary needlework, including tools, materials and stitches (Tue 6–8pm; $95; Aug 7, 14). By course’s end you’ll complete an embroidery stitch sampler that’s not only decorative, but also useful as a reference for future embroidery projects.

Pratt Institute’s four-day Jewelry Design Intensive I (718-636-3514, is intended for both beginners and those seeking to refine or develop their skills (Sat, Sun 9am–5pm; $375 plus materials, Nov 3, 4, 10,11). Artist and designer Maria Leather demonstrates techniques such as working with wire, stringing pearls and beads, and using the right tools. Students not only receive a solid foundation, but develop their own designs and skills through class projects.

Feel like a badass at 3rd Ward’s Intro to Metal Shop (195 Morgan Ave between Meadow and Stagg Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-715-4961, All sections include four three-hour classes on either nights or weekends (check the website for schedule; members $200, nonmembers $275, plus $100 materials fee). The course teaches you how to use all the essential tools in the metal shop to create furniture or sculpture. You’ll learn basic MIG (metal inert gas) welding and plasma cutting (including torch setup) and get introduced to the different ways to cut, bend and assemble. Classes are limited to eight students. You’ll get to work on your own projects, so come with ideas—a day of supervised studio time is included with the class.—Jana Martin

Book a knitting class now


Make this the year you learn to converse with your Spanish-speaking neighbors. El Taller Latino Americano (2710 Broadway between 103rd and 104th Sts, third floor; 212-665-9460, offers an atmosphere infused with Latino spirit and Level I Spanish in early-bird, lunchtime, morning, evening, weekend and intensive classes (from $35 for two hours; see website for dates and times). To make sure it’s a good fit, you’re encouraged to take a free trial class, and there’s a range of extracurricular activities, from conversational meet-ups to field trips, to enhance the experience.

In the fully immersive French program at the language center of the French Institute Alliance Française (22 E 60th St between Madison and Park Aves; 212-355-6100,, everything is in French from Day One. The approach builds a foundation of familiarity with expressions and pronunciation, thrusting students into situational exercises to learn how to use the language in everyday life. There’s more, too: FIAF students get a one-year membership, including access to cultural events, discounts on tickets and borrowing rights from the Haskell Library, which is the largest private French library in the U.S. Registration for fall classes, including French Level A1 for beginners (11 weeks $615), starts August 27; check the website for schedule options.

Baruch College of Continuing and Professional Studies (646-312-5000, offers an introduction to Standard Modern Arabic, which is the version used on television and in newspapers throughout the Arab-speaking world. In Arabic 1 (Mon and Wed 6:15–7:45pm; eight sessions $279; Sept 10–Oct 15 or Oct 24–Nov 19), you’ll learn everything from everyday use—small talk, greetings, talking to friends and family, and asking and answering simple questions—to reading and writing using the Arabic alphabetic writing system.

The China Institute (125 E 65th St between Park and Lexington Aves; 212-744-8181, has been offering continuing-ed programs since 1933. Teachers are all native speakers, and in addition to offering classes to the general public, the organization trains Mandarin teachers (its own and others), so you’ll benefit from the best methods. This fall, the institute offers three Beginning Mandarin sections, all running for ten weeks and starting the week of September 24 (see website for days and times; members $430, nonmembers $485, plus $25 registration fee). You’ll learn to read, write and speak Mandarin from the very first session, and build up a thorough understanding of culture—which you can reinforce through the institute’s range of cultural classes and events.—Jana Martin

Book a language class now