1. Skillshare

Language: English

Last year, just about every YouTube vlogger considered it their duty to drop a word about Skillshare. It might be annoying, but the website indeed can boast an impressive selection of courses and offers a free subscription for three months.

The flipside, however, is that uploading your own course on any topic is as easy as ABC. That’s why the resource is awash with amateurs and weird content like ‘Bored at Work? Have a Blast with Microsoft Excel Games!’.

But worry not! We found some very useful courses that you’ll be able to finish in two months’ time:

  • Create a Perfect Morning Routine (34 minutes). For many of us, morning begins in a rushed panic, but it shouldn’t always be like that. In this course, freelance illustrator and designer Jeff Finley shares his tips on how to make your morning much more enjoyable and productive by changing your daily routines.
  • Learn to Speak: Conversational French (2 hours 22 minutes). Of course, you can’t learn a language by simply watching videos on the internet, but these can be a useful tool if combined with other learning methods. On Skillshare, you can also learn Chinese, Spanish and Russian, but what makes this particular course so valuable is its practice-oriented approach. According to the platform’s statistics, over 500 people have already taken this course.

2. Coursera

Languages: English and Russian

Coursera is an educational platform with lots of courses and even Master’s programs organized by the world’s leading universities such as Illinois State University, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, HEC Paris (École des Hautes Études Commerciales de Paris), and many others, including some Russian universities. Upon completing a course, each student gets an electronic certificate, which you can include in your portfolio.

All this comes at the price of 3,277 rubles a month. Before you dish out, you can test the service during a free seven-day trial period. You can use this free time to complete the following courses:

  • Building Your Leadership Skills (14 hours). A part of a larger Master’s program offered by HEC Paris, this course will introduce you to the essential notions such as self-awareness and help you gain self-confidence for better leadership. Study program includes an hour and a half of videos, 14 materials for independent learning, and 16 theoretical texts. The course has an exceptional rating, with lots of former students’ raving recommendations, so it’s likely that you’ll want to continue your leadership training with HEC Paris and subscribe for the next and bigger program, which will take you 69 hours to complete.
  • Learning How to Learn: Powerful Mental Tools to Help you Master Tough Subjects (12 hours). Developed by the University of California in San Diego, this course will teach you a wide range of learning techniques and practices needed for mastering difficult subjects and fight procrastination. Apart from the usual videos and texts, the course’s program also includes progress tests.

3. Arzamas.academy

Language: Russian

According to the platform’s creators, Arzamas is a magical project dedicated to the history of culture. It aims to explain complex literature, art and history concepts in the most accessible and varied way possible, by means of its many sub-projects, texts peppered with interesting facts you’ll not see elsewhere, podcasts, and a mobile app jam-packed with top-quality content. Although the app isn’t free, Arzamas offers great discounts for students, and if you don’t want to pay, the majority of the information is on the project’s website for anyone to read and learn anyway.

Since its launch in 2016, Arzamas has worked up an impressive amount of interesting courses, for example:

  • Understanding Japan (1 hour). A gem for all Nippon-obsessed, this course breaks down different elements of Japanese culture in a range of short overviews. Subscribe to learn more about a wide range of topics such as the Japanese food rituals, the nation’s attitude to nature and the metaphysical, and the nuts and bolts (or, rather, the rocks and bonsai) of the Japanese gardens. There is also a short anime series narrating the country’s history.
  • 20th-Century Russian Literature. Season One (1.5 hours). A star Arzamas offering, this course is part of an ongoing project constantly updated with eminent philologists’ lectures on the rich literary tradition of the 20th century Russia. As of now, the project includes six seasons, with the last one aired in summer last year, which will help you form a better understanding of, and an increased appreciation for, Russian literature and literature in general.