U3A Central Coast (NSW) Inc

Spread Your Wings

FAQ

 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How large an organization is U3A Central Coast?
The current membership is over 650.
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Who can join?
While most members are those who are no longer working full time and are either retired or nearing retirement, there are no real restrictions on membership for others who are able to attend courses.
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What does it cost to be a member?
The  annual membership fee is $50.  The membership year runs from 1st December to 30th November but you may join at any time.  The year is divided into semesters, from February to end of June and July to late November.
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What does my $50 annual membership fee entitle me to?
This fee entitles you to apply to join up to FIVE courses in each of the two semesters, a total of ten courses, plus unlimited ‘One Day Specials’. You also receive the U3A Central Coast Newsletter and can attend any additional functions (socials, trips) held during the year. You are also entitled to vote at the Annual General Meeting.
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How many courses are there to choose from?
Currently, more than 70 courses are held during each semester, covering a wide range of interests.
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When are courses held?
Nearly all courses are held in the daytime on weekdays and occasionally on Saturday.   Theatre and dining and other outings may also be held at night or on weekends.
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How long are U3A courses?
Courses may run for as long as all of a semester (about 5 months) or, according to the leader’s wishes and the type of course, for as short a time as only 2 sessions. Most courses are somewhere in between these two periods.  Some of the courses are ‘one day specials’, otherwise known as ‘forums’.
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How frequently are meetings held?
Some groups meet every week, many every fortnight, and a few only monthly.
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How long are sessions in U3A courses?
There is no set length but most sessions go for about one and a half or two hours.
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How do I know if courses are being held close to my home?
Venues are well spread out, from Ettalong to Wyong. When, as a member, you receive the “Course Booklet” before each semester begins, you will see that the courses available are organised according to the days of the week and category of course and the venue also being listed. This allows you to choose courses according to days you have available or according to your interests and home location.

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How sure am I of getting into the courses I apply for?
There is no guarantee that you will get into all of the courses you apply for. Every effort is made by those allocating places to satisfy your requests but some courses/leaders that are very popular may attract too many applications for the places available in the course. Places then are allocated based on course priority, number of courses requested and date received.  U3A Central Coast does guarantee each member a position in at least ONE course each semester. As well, after the applications have been processed members are provided with a list of courses with vacancies and members may apply to attend any of these.
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How many are in each group?
This depends on the sort of course. Ones involving a leader talking TO a group, simply presenting material, may have 40 or more in the audience. Those involving discussion and interaction, or involving materials such as paints, etc, may be limited to 20 or fewer.
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What are U3A meetings like?
There is no single answer to this question. It depends on the type of course and, to some extent, the personality of the leader. The common factor in most U3A meetings is a friendly and relaxed social atmosphere, where participants of similar age enjoy learning together.
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How qualified are the leaders of U3A Central Coast?
A person needs no formal academic or other qualifications to lead a group, just a special interest or knowledge that they are willing to share with others.
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How do I become a leader?
You may apply to the Committee to lead a course at any time and, assuming the course is considered suitable and worthwhile for members, you may begin in the next semester.
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Can I be a volunteer?
The answer is a resounding ‘YES’.  U3A can only run with the help of volunteers. Volunteers can be leaders or presenters,  accept a position on the committee, assist with data entry, with packaging and posting, and a host of other tasks which are required from time to time.  Please indicate your willingness.
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What happens to the fee I pay?
Most money collected in fees goes towards the hiring of halls, rooms, etc for meetings. Other costs include postage, printing Course Booklets, Newsletters and material for individual courses. All members of U3A, including the Committee members, are volunteers and receive no pay.
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Are there any additional fees besides the $50?
Most courses charge a nominal fee for the cost of morning/afternoon tea ($1 or $1.50 per meeting).
Occasionally a course that is quite expensive to run, or which requires special materials, may need to charge an extra amount but information about this appears in the Course Booklet so members are aware of it beforehand.
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Are there any exams?
There are no exams.  Each person can  delve into the topic as much or as little as they wish  for their satisfaction.
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