Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include storytelling, discussion, teaching, training, and directed research. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators, however learners may also educate themselves.
Being separate from each other for a short or long time does not nullify the marriage. In the rulings related to marriage, a husband is not allowed to travel or be away from his wife for more than 4 months. In the case that he does, and the wife does not approve of it, he is sinning and if she does not approve, it will be grounds for divorce.
So, if the husband abandons for more than 4 months, he is committing a sin and that is haram, unless the wife approves, or he has a valid excuse, or the husband had stipulated this in the marriage contract.
But, in any case, the Nikah will still be valid, and it will not automatically become nullified, even if years pass.
However, if the wife give consent, and approve of being distant from each other, then that is permissible and allowed.
And Allah knows best.
It is allowed to take money from the government to meet studying expenses and repay it later on after employment according to the agreement.
Education and gaining knowledge is part of best deeds and best worship in Islam. Education in Islam aims to make life better by knowing the facts of life and universe. Islam focuses on useful knowledge and not any knowledge which might have no effect on the life of the learner or his family and society. Useful knowledge according to Hadeeth is:
1 Knowing your Creator.
2. Knowing His bounties on you.
3. Knowing what He wants from you.
4. Knowing what is harmful to your religion.
Education system in Islam is open and free. It goes on with the human being all along his life.
If the exam team allows the students to do so, then it is permissible, but if they do not allow it, then it becomes a type of cheating which every Muslim must avoid.
You may contact them directly or through their website.
You are not too old; as the hadith says, "Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave." Besides, many Islamic scholars started their education later.
There are physical colleges that you can attend and also there are a number of online courses; you can explore them to see what fits your needs.
Some suggestions to start your search are:
* The Islamic College in the UK (islamic-college.ac.uk)
* Al-Mahdi Institute in the UK
* Ahl al-Bayt Islamic Seminary in Chicago
* AlQaem institute
* Online ShiaStudies (onlineshiastudies.com)
* Al-Mustafa Open University in Iran (https://www.onlinestudies.com/universities/Iran/Al-Mustafa-Open-University/)
This is a very partial list. If you talk to people around you or search online you can find different programs in specific countries and see what is suitable for you, your situation, and your interests.
Best wishes with your studies!