Some people just don’t know how to move on from their college glory days. You know the ones I mean, the lurkers. The ones who graduated four years ago and for some reason, are still hanging around campus, dating a random freshman. While that’s not me, I kind of have the same problem. I want to go back to school someday.
All my life, I’ve been a geek. Literally, I would read as I walked down my high school hallways, smacking into an open locker or door on more than one occasion. I’ve been the weird one who actually likes going to class. And now that I have a diploma from Goucher College, I kind of don’t know what to do with myself.
It’s more than that though. I’m fortunate to have had an amazing college experience with professors who worked with me to find what I truly love: a hyper specialized study in the political science field called ethno-politics.
Recently, I ran into a college friend who was the only other person at Goucher doing a thesis on nationalism and ethnic studies. We’d stop at random places on campus and discuss nationalism theory like we were talking about the weather. He just found out he’s been accepted to the London School of Economics for continuing graduate work (Congrats again, Eric!)
Well, naturally. I’m jealous. I’ve been debating going to graduate school for two years. I was accepted into my ideal program in Ethno-politics at the University of Exeter in southern England to start in September of 2011…but I didn’t go. Plans change all the time and it just wasn’t the right time for me.
Now, I have things to think about. I have a cat, as I’ve said many times before. A lease to an apartment. Family and friends in York I’d hate to leave. A job I kind of love. Could I really get up and move to England? Well, definitely not right now. But in a year or two? Maybe.
If one thing’s for certain, if I go to graduate school, it’ll most likely be overseas. I loved my undergraduate school, Goucher College, because it requires students to study abroad. I spent a year in Ireland, which is how I discovered how much I love ethno-politics in the first place. Plus, all of the best domestic programs for Political Science are in California (meh), New York City (it’s cool, but I wouldn’t want to live there) and the Ivys (I have a better chance at becoming queen of Britain than I do of getting into one of those.) England looks pretty appealing.
Also, Exeter is gorgeous. And J.K. Rowling, who studied at the University of Exeter, was so inspired by the small city, that she included one its main streets, Gandy Street, in her seven novels; you know the most successful book series in print history. She named the street, “Diagon Alley.” In my twisted mind, if I go overseas to study and live on Gandy Street, Hagrid will come find me and say, “You’re a wizard, E.C.”
This 2010 U.S. News article speaks of the benefits of graduate school abroad. Combined with that and a friend’s recent experience overseas for a Masters, I’m pretty convinced overseas is the way to go:
Why Getting a Masters Overseas is a GREAT Idea:
- You don’t need to go to an English speaking country; most international graduate programs are taught in English.
- MONEY. Federal U.S. loans can be used abroad as long as the school meets federal eligibility requirements.
- Tuition costs are cheaper. Like, significantly cheaper. A good friend of mine just came back from Belfast and spent $12,000 U.S. on tuition and living expenses. American schools can range anywhere from $20,000-$40,000. Yikes.
- Programs are shorter. You’re looking at 1 year rather than 3; however some of these programs are much more rigorous because of this set-up.
- International Masters programs are much more independent study based. There are less mandatory lectures, group discussions and generic hand-holding and more slaving away in the library until the wee hours of the morning. Which as a geek, I’m all about.
- Future employers may in fact be impressed by the fact you’re brave enough to go overseas to get a diploma.
- Um. You’re in a cool exotic place. Reminds me of a great Arabic saying. Need I say more?
Fellow 20-somethings, tell me: any desire to go back to school? Ever think about internationally?