Free courses and tours to try during quarantine


Laurie Santos teaches The Science of Well-Being, an online Yale course.

Social distancing and shelter-in-place orders have given many of us ample free time. As a student, free time tends to feel like an unattainable, far away dream. Suddenly, previously unrecognizable idle time seems to be all we have.

It can be hard to want to spend our new free time taking more classes with the onslaught of online course instruction, but some courses could be a chance to learn new things while escaping the panic of our current world. 

Many places offering different types of education have opened up content for free as people everywhere begin to stay home. Some courses, such as online instruction from Ivy League schools, provide a rare opportunity to learn from world-renowned educators for no cost. Some popular exercise instructors are offering free online courses to help people stay active at home. 

Here is a list of free courses out there for anyone looking for a cost-friendly distraction.

“The Science of Well-Being” from Yale

Ivy Leagues have opened up around four hundred online courses for free (Dhawal Shah, founder of Course Central, made a list here). “The Science of Well-Being,” taught by psychology professor Laurie Santos, became Yale’s most popular class ever after it was introduced in 2018, according to an interview with CBS. Strategies taught to help students manage stress and live a happier life can also apply to life in a pandemic. 

Also among the 400 Ivy League courses are 37 computer science courses and eight programming courses, ideal for those who prefer STEM to the humanities. Learners can also choose from 72 business courses or seven personal development courses.

The Louvre virtual tours

For learners who prefer to see things for themselves, many museums across the world are sharing free virtual tours of popular exhibits. The Louvre has tours of various exhibits including the Egyptian Antiquities, the Galerie d’Apollon and “The Advent of the Artist.”

Other internationally known museums, such as Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum or the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, have opened complete virtual tours of their entire collections, even spanning multiple floors from Google Arts and Culture.


Popular exercise instruction OrangeTheory is sharing a 30-minute video each day to help elevate moods and increase endorphins by keeping people active. Typical OrangeTheory membership can range from $59 per month to $159, but daily workouts are offered for free while people stay home.

Similar courses have been offered by places like Golds Gym, which are allowing free membership to their app, Goldsamp, until the end of May. 

Core Power Yoga

For those looking for exercise to wind down from the world’s events, paid yoga websites like Core Power Yoga have opened up some online classes with no fee.