Yes, in other countries people go for adult education or learning this or that, but it’s usually very focused, very serious. Here, it’s not unusual to find that someone is taking some very serious subject on the side, in their spare time, just for fun.
It’s also why finding out someone “only” has a high school education means nothing. My plumber is an expert on the civil war and its weapons. One of my friends who has “only” a high school education and from a part of the country not known for the excellence of its teaching could give lessons to most of my literature professors.
In the same way that there are second acts in American lives, there are second and third and fourth careers, and a continuing education, and structures to support that, and the fact that no one finds it weird that a computer programmer is “really” a medieval sword expert and a weekend blacksmith.
People do tend to forget it, though– I can’t count the number of folks who’ve been shocked to find out that my dad knows more about classical music than they do, or that are amazed when a sweet great-grandmother with a passion for quilting turns out to be one of the second-wave computer programmers.