Sound like A LOT?
That’s because it is!
And it’s the cost of my student loans.
David owes another $28,000.
That’s a total of $93,000 plus interest between the two of us.
By the time we pay it off, it’ll probably be over $100,000.
I cringe just thinking about it.
So how did we get into this mess?
Looking for something productive to do with our time, we both decided to go back to school during the 2008 recession for new degrees. Because we were both laid off, we took out loans to pay for our education.
We spent a lot of money on schooling. Part of that education included over a dozen classes utterly unnecessary for our degree training. BUT they were requirements, and we couldn’t graduate without them.
With no regulations, every university in the US sets its own degree programs and graduation requirements. And if you switch schools, many of your credits won’t transfer with you. Plus, there’s the adding of classes that have nothing to do with real-world training.
Putting it quite bluntly, whether public or private, the US university system is about making money. To do this they pad the bill by requiring classes you don’t need rather than providing the education students need for working in the real world.
They say “hindsight is better than foresight” and in this case, that’s completely true. If we had known then what we know now, we would have gotten our higher education abroad. So, now we’re here, hoping to keep you from making the same mistakes we did.
What we know now
Traveling and living abroad opened the door to a whole new world of ideas about higher learning.
We could have gone to several different countries and gotten our same degrees with little to no-debt at world-class universities. AND we could have done it in A LOT less time.
And we’re not talking about applying to go abroad through the US university system. That approach costs thousands of dollars beyond what it actually costs to go to many of these overseas universities.
Yes, applying through the US system is easy because they take care of everything including visas, enrollment, your housing, etc. BUT they also charge an arm and a leg for these services, sometimes costing over $20,000 for one semester abroad.
In some countries, that’s enough to get your entire degree with some left over!
Yes, there are going to be some hoops to jump through and barriers to overcome, but YOU CAN DO IT and end up with a BETTER EDUCATION in A LOT LESS TIME.
Barriers to getting your education abroad
Going to college overseas could have some difficulties to overcome. Every school has different requirements just like here in the US, so a little homework is necessary to know what those barriers will be. Common barriers include:
- One of the most common difficulties will be not knowing the language (unless you go to an English speaking country). But today, many schools are offering complete degrees in English. The drawback? Classes offered in English usually cost more. Learning the language has many advantages.
- Second, you’ll have to apply, qualify and be accepted. Some universities require proficiency exams to make sure you have the education to continue. Others expect you to know the native language regardless of what language classes are offered.
- If you intend to work in the US, you’ll need to make sure your degree is accepted by employers in the US.
- You’ll have to leave your home, friends, and family.
- And you have to be able to support yourself. Some countries, like Germany, allow part-time work with a student visa but many don’t.
While there may be a few hurdles to overcome, getting your education abroad can come with tremendous advantages as well.
Advantages of going to university abroad
Going to school abroad isn’t all sour lemons. There’s plenty of good can come of it as well. Advantages of getting your education abroad include:
- You have the opportunity to get a fantastic education with little to NO-DEBT. Why start out behind when you can start out ahead? The average US student graduates with $37,172 in student loan debt. OUCH!
- Learning new languages is not only a communication advantage, but it can also be a monetary one. And people who know more than one language have fewer health issues later in life. Plus, you can multitask better!
- You’ll expand your friend pool. One can never have too many friends!
- Learning new cultures helps with global awareness and understanding of how the world works.
- You’ll get your degree in less time, meaning you start working in your chosen career faster.
- Depending on the country you choose, your living expenses can cost less in another country than in the US. And you have to pay your living costs whether you stay home or not.
- You might be invited to stay and work in the country where you acquired your degree. Many nations consider the students they teach valuable and work to keep you.
- Global corporations embrace people with multi-cultural skills. The more languages and cultural understandings you have, make you a global commodity, not just a US one.
How does all this sound to you? Like an amazing adventure?
I know it’s one both David and I would have gotten our education abroad if we knew about the option. And now that we know about it, we’re spreading the word. BECAUSE we think it’s a choice everyone should have.
What do you think? Wouldn’t it be cool to get a world-class education abroad without going deep into debt?