How to Buy a Udemy Course for Someone Else: Four Steps



Looking for a unique, exciting, gift idea that the recipient will actually use and benefit from? Consider the gift of online learning through Udemy, an online learning platform that offers a wide variety of courses for just about anyone wanting to learn. This gift is one that truly keeps on giving, as it allows the recipient a way to better themselves through mastery of new knowledge or a new skill.


How to Buy a Udemy Course for Someone Else? Four Steps:

  1. Identify a Good Udemy Course Gift Recipient

  2. Identify the Course You’d Like to Gift

  3. Purchase Your Gift

  4. Follow Up With Your Recipient


Giving an online course from Udemy is quick and easy. You can access Udemy’s brief instructions on how to give (and receive) a Udemy course here. To provide a more comprehensive guide, I’ve compiled four steps loaded with all the necessary information to guide you through the process of giving this innovative gift.


A Brief Introduction to Udemy

Perhaps you’ve taken a course on Udemy which has inspired you to share your learning with someone else. But if this is the first time you hear about this online learning website, what do you need to know? Udemy is a community of 50,000 instructors, 130,000 courses, and 40 million students. Courses are available on a wide variety of topics and can be accessed and completed in your own home from your own device (including mobile devices).


Other perks of Udemy include:

  • No time limits-- courses you choose to purchase are available at any time

  • Some free courses offered

  • Very reasonable prices

  • A variety of resources to reach those of a variety of learning preferences

  • Accessible from a variety of mobile devices

  • Professional development type courses available to help you add to your resume and advance in your career field


Udemy is not an accredited school, which is important to note-- you will not be getting any college credit or degrees from Udemy. You will not be receiving any type of official certification. Udemy offers its own certificate for courses upon completion as proof you took the course.


Step One: Identify a Good Udemy Course Gift Recipient

Udemy can be used by just about anyone who can access the internet and can use a computer. Here are some things to consider:


  • Age-- Udemy has courses for people of all ages, from child to adult. However, not all ages are bound to be thrilled with the gift of online learning (think a 7-year old being told his birthday gift is he gets to do more school). Udemy courses are best gifted to older teens and adults.

  • Internet accessibility-- gifts that are a chore to use are no fun. Make sure your gift recipient has easy access to a computer (laptop or desktop, or a good-sized tablet) and reliable internet access. No one wants to squint through a class on a tiny phone screen or spend their afternoon waiting for videos to load with a slow internet connection.

  • Available free time-- Learning, even online learning, takes time and energy. To someone that already has too much on their plate, an online course is going to seem more like a homework assignment than a welcomed gift. Make sure your recipient has the time to devote to an online course. For example, a couple with a new baby or a college student already inundated with college classes are probably poor choices.

  • Materials-- Does the student have the required materials for the course? If not, can you buy them and gift them alongside the course? A gift is no fun if the recipient has to spend their own money to actually be able to use it. Some needed materials can be obtained at minimal cost (paper, cheap art supplies), while others require more of a financial equipment (like a drum set, camera, or pricey computer program).


Some good choices for gift recipients could be:

  • High school juniors or seniors (or recent graduates)-- For students trying to decide what their career path in life is going to look like, online courses from Udemy provide a way to explore different interests and possibilities from the comforts of their own home

  • Teachers on summer vacation (or any other professional lucky enough to enjoy summers off)-- While some teachers prefer to enjoy a (well-deserved) relaxing vacation full of naps and binge-watching tv, others may prefer to take time off to learn a new skill, such as knitting, watercolor painting, or playing the violin!

  • Professionals looking to make a career change-- Have a friend that works in tech support but feels real estate is their true calling? What about a relative that is considering going back to school to be a game designer? An online course from Udemy is a cheap, risk-free way to “try out” a new field commitment-free. Again, degrees, licenses, and official certification are not given through Udemy, however, a course in Udemy can help someone identify their interests before pursuing costlier education options.

  • Retirees-- For retirees with extra time on their hands, a Udemy course may be the perfect gift to learn a skill they hadn’t time to explore while they were working full-time.

  • People who love to learn-- Udemy courses aren’t solely for individuals who want to learn a new skill. There are plenty of courses meant to inform and teach about a variety of topics.

  • Someone hoping to start a freelance business-- Know anyone that wants to be a freelancer but who does not have the time, desire, or money to attend college in the field of their choice? Udemy offers a way to learn without the constraints or limitations of a traditional learning institution. Via Udemy, freelancers can get started on a career in writing, photography, web design, and more.

  • Anyone with an unexplored interest! Perhaps your daughter has expressed an interest in photography but has no clue where to start. Maybe your coworker is always talking about how she’d like to know more about investing in the stock market. Gift a Udemy course for anyone who would enjoy learning something new.


For what occasions might you give the gift of a Udemy course? You can find a Udemy course to help a friend or loved one celebrate just about any occasion, such as:

  • Birthdays

  • Christmas

  • Valentine’s Day

  • Anniversaries

  • Graduations


So far, we have focused mostly on purchasing a Udemy course as a gift, but are there other reasons you would buy someone a Udemy course that is not in the context of a gift? Consider these suggestions:


Buy a course for your child to further their learning:

  • There are courses to help with academic skills such as this course that teaches mental math techniques

  • Choose a course for your child to take over spring break, winter break, or summer vacation to keep their mind sharp, such as this course that introduces kids to the very valuable world of coding

  • Purchase a course that will help your child learn or improve a new hobby, such as this course that teaches students as young as eight years old to paint with acrylic paints


Do you have employees? Purchase a course for one or more employees to further their professional development:

  • Help employees perfect soft skills with courses such as this one which teaches communication skills

  • Help employees practice job related skills by buying courses such as this one that teaches photoshop

If you are an employer looking to improve your staff through the use of Udemy’s wide array of online courses, consider Udemy for Business. This resource is intended for businesses that want to train five or more people.


Step Two: Identify the Course You’d Like to Gift

Now that you’ve decided upon the person (or people!) you’d like to buy a Udemy course for; the next step is to decide the course you’d like to purchase. As boasted on the Udemy website, there are 130,000 courses to choose from. It’s safe to say it’s not exactly practical to browse through all 130,000 to pick the best gift for your recipient.


So, how to choose? There are two different things you can do:

  1. Gift a course you are currently takin

  2. Gift a course you are not currently taking


Choose a course you are currently taking: Perhaps you yourself are currently taking a course on Udemy, and you are impressed and want to share the course with your loved one. Doing so is easy.


Choose a course you are not currently taking: It is a little more complicated to gift a course you are not currently taking due to the tens of thousands of possibilities. If you already know the topic of the course you’d like to give, you can start by searching the topic on the Udemy home page.


A simple topic search is bound to bring up a myriad of different options. So how should you narrow these down to find the right one for your gifting needs? Some things to consider.

  • Level- You can choose from beginner, intermediate, advanced, or all levels to meet your learner’s needs.

  • Language- Udemy has courses to take in 60+ languages. Find a course that is in the language that your gift recipient is most comfortable with

  • Rating- See how others have rated the course out of 5 stars

  • Duration- Pick a course of an appropriate length for your learner. Also consider value for your money-- perhaps a longer course is the better deal if prices on courses are similar.


All of these options can be customized in your search by clicking on the “Filters” button that appears near the top of the page on the right-hand side when you perform a search.


If you click on a course you can view more detailed information about the course:

  • Comments to go along with the reviews out of four stars

  • How many students have taken the course

  • When the course was last updated (so you don’t end up taking a course that is out of date)

  • Materials you need to take the course

  • A course description

  • Skills you will learn during the course

  • A course preview

  • Information about the instructor

  • Information about the resources the course includes

  • Price


As you browse through the vast course offerings, you may come across some you may be interested in gifting, but maybe you aren’t ready to make a purchase yet. There is an option to add a course to a “wishlist” to save for later. This tool is handy as it allows you to keep tabs on options that appeal to you before narrowing it down to a single choice. To do this, select the “Wishlist” heart-shaped button in the upper right hand corner of a course landing page.


Note: You will have to create an account before you are able to save a course to your wishlist.


Another great way to determine what course you should buy is to have your recipient take the quick quiz on Udemy that helps identify interests and corresponding courses. To do this:

  1. Have your recipient go to www.udemy.com

  2. Have your recipient scroll to about the middle of the page. Have them look for the black bar that says, “Get Personalized Recommendations-- Answer a Few Quick Questions to Identify Your Top Picks.

  3. Click “Get Started”

  4. Your recipient will have to select up to five interests out of the given categories. They will then have to answer some simple, targeted questions concerning the topics they have picked.

  5. Your recipient will be given course recommendations (they will have to have an account before being able to see these recommendations.

  6. Have your recipient go through their recommendations and pick their favorite (or favorites).

Of course, if you go about gifting a course by having your recipient take this quick quiz, it will not be a surprise. However, choosing a course that your recipient is truly interested in is more valuable than surprising them with a course that they are not so into. Perhaps let your recipient know you are gifting them with a course from Udemy of their choice. Choosing for themselves can be a fun part of the process!


Step Three: Purchase Your Gift

If you choose to gift a course you are currently taking yourself, the Udemy website offers the following simple procedure to do so:


  1. Navigate to the course player and click the ellipses at the top-right corner of the page.

  2. In the dropdown menu, click on Gift This Course.

  3. Enter the gift recipient’s name, email address, and the date you want the gift sent. You can also enter a personal message for them if you wish.

  4. Click Proceed to Checkout if you have a coupon code enter it on the left-hand side.


Please note that if the gift recipient doesn’t have an account on Udemy, they will need to create one before they can redeem the gift.


If you have chosen a course that you are not currently taking, purchasing the gift is just a simple using these directions from the Udemy website:


How to Gift a Course From the Course Landing Page

You can also gift a course that you're not enrolled in from the Course Landing Page. To do so, please follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to the Course Landing Page of the course you wish to gift

  2. To the right of the course title, and above Preview This Course, click Gift this Course

  3. Enter the gift recipient’s name, email address, and the date you want the gift sent. You can also enter a personal message for them if you wish

  4. Click Proceed to Checkout. If you have a coupon code, you can enter it by clicking on Redeem a Coupon at the top.


Note that “Course Landing Page” refers to the page that you see upon clicking on a course to learn more about it.


The gift will be sent to your recipient via email. One great feature about this gifting process is that Udemy allows the buyer to choose the date that they want the gift to be sent to the recipient. This way, you can choose the way you wish to present the gift to your recipient, and then have the email sent shortly after. That way, the email won’t ruin the surprise of the gift before you are able to tell the recipient about it.


When going through this gifting process, as the steps detail above, there is an option to leave message to your recipient. Make sure you do so, so that your recipient knows what the email is and doesn’t assume it’s trash or spam! If you let your recipient know that they are going to be receiving this gift in the form of an email ahead of time, it might be helpful to ask them to add Udemy to their “safe email” so that the email is not automatically sent to spam when it comes through.


You can’t exactly wrap an online course in sparkling wrapping paper and fancy bows.. Also, it’s not very exciting or decorative to get a gift in the form of an email. So how can you “give” this gift to your loved one? Here are some ideas:

  • Buy your recipient a nice card with a note explaining the gift inside the card.

  • Buy a present that represents the gift. For example, a music note necklace to represent a gift of a course that teaches one to play the flute, or a new dog toy to accompany a gift that teaches a friend how to train their dog. Inside the package, include a note that explains the course (or just explain it in person).

  • Wrap supplies needed for the recipient to take the course, such as a camera for a photography course or a journal for a course on writing

Notes about purchasing a course:

  • A course can be refunded within thirty days. Make sure your recipient is aware of this. If at any point your recipient decides that the course is not what they wanted, they can request a refund and possibly choose a course that is a better fit for them.

The Udemy website notes that if most/all the course content has been downloaded prior to the refund request, the refund request might be denied. Therefore, it is best that your recipient decides as soon as possible that the course is not for them to ensure the best chance that their request for a refund will be granted.


Per the Udemy website, the instructions on how to request a refund are as follows:


How to Request a Refund

You can quickly request a refund by contacting our support team. You can also make a refund request by clicking on the ellipses at the top right-hand corner of the course player, and then by selecting Request a refund.


When you submit a refund request, please be sure to include the course URL.


Also noted on the Udemy website-- your purchase will be refunded in the same way that payment was given. Therefore, if you gift a course, the course fee is likely to be refunded to you and not your gift recipient. It may be a good idea to let your recipient know to inform you if they request a refund so that you can return the gift to them in some way, whether it be through another course, cash, or another gift.


How can you pay for the gift of a Udemy course?


Forms of payment accepted by Udemy include:

  • Credit Cards

  • Debit Cards

  • Paypal

  • Bank Transfers

  • Apple App Store

  • Google Play Store


Step Four: Follow Up With Your Recipient

After you’ve given your first Udemy course, it is a good idea to follow up with your recipient to ensure they were able to access the course and that they were able to use and enjoy their gift. Make sure to refer to the Udemy website if your recipient is unable to redeem their gift so that your money and their gift doesn’t go to waste.


Encourage your recipient to leave a review on the course so that others can benefit from the feedback. Anyone can be an instructor and make a course on Udemy. That doesn’t mean all courses are going to be worth taking. A review can help weed out the poor courses and help the quality ones rise to the top.


Asking your recipient for feedback can help you decide whether the gift of a Udemy course is one you want to give again in the future.


Alternatives to Udemy

Udemy is not the only option for those wishing to learn online. If you aren’t pleased with the Udemy experience, try one of the following alternative websites:

  • Khan Academy- If you or someone you know is looking to brush up on academic skills, Khan Academy is a good place to look. One great feature about Khan Academy is it’s free! Khan Academy features help in areas such as math, grammar, science, history, and standardized test. There are materials on the Khan Academy site for kids as well, making this a great resource for parents and teachers as well.

  • Coursera- Coursera features courses from different universities and companies. This website features both free courses and paid courses. The paid courses are costlier than Udemy’s offerings, so beware of that when considering your options

  • Skillshare- Similar to Udemy. The website is currently offering an opportunity to try two months of the premium membership for free. Keep in mind Udemy also has sales/offers. Make sure to check the Udemy site for updates.

  • Udacity- Udacity is a similar site that offers what they call “Nanodegrees.” This website offers an array of courses that focus more on career based skills. Udacity offers unique, high-tech offerings such as courses in artificial intelligence and self-driving cars. Udacity may be a great place to look for someone who is into innovative science and technology.

  • LinkedIn Learning- This online learning website is also similar to Udemy. A major difference of this website is instead of choosing and purchasing individual courses, this platform has you pay a monthly fee in order to receive unlimited access to courses

  • Codecademy- Codecademy is a website that offers online learning, but is specific to the world of coding. Like many other online learning platforms, Codecademy has both paid and free content.

These are far from the only websites with similar online learning content to Udemy. Check out the options above, but don’t be afraid to do your own search to get a better idea of the wide range of options out there. Learning doesn’t have to take place in the classroom and doesn’t have to be costly thanks to online platforms such as Udemy.


Other Opportunities

Another opportunity for your gift recipient through Udemy is to become an instructor. Is your recipient an expert on something? Do they have in-depth information about an exciting topic or a unique skill? Let them know that there is a money-making opportunity through teaching on Udemy!


Details can be found on the Udemy website here. Udemy will help your recipient build his or her course, and there is a support team in place for instructors to help them be successful.


Interested in trying out a Udemy course? Check our lists of most-recommended Udemy courses by category.