Ok, internet friends! I have a DILEMMA!
I just found out yesterday that I was accepted into a program that is for a Masters of International Diplomacy that is jointly in Australia and Norway (5 months in Norway, 5 months in Australia), and specializing in Peace and Conflict studies.
It is an AMAZING opportunity, yes?! I applied for it totally on a whim. I didn't think they'd ACTUALLY accept me!!! (Fools that they are! Bwahaha!)
The details on the logistics of the program are all a little fuzzy right now because the "official" letter hasn't arrived, they just sent me word via email.
So.... there are 2 big questions about this...
#1) How do I pay for it?!? (and is it WORTH the money!?) (It doesn't look like Australia has a financial aid system set up through the university the way that they do in the US.)
#2) What do I do with Jedi?
So, for #1)... I had told myself that if I got a scholarship I applied for at the same time as the program (which I don't know if I've gotten or not, but I'm assuming NOT since there was no mention of it in the email) I would DEFINITELY go. (Duh.) However, if I DIDN'T get the scholarship, I totally wouldn't go.
Now that I've actually been ACCEPTED I'm rethinking that whole "not going" thing. But the money is still the issue.
I should add that I've been fortunate enough to study at 3 different universities and not paid more than nominal fees for any of it because of scholarships that I received. Given the quick turn around time (the program starts in August) I don't know that I would have time to secure any other sources of funding other than perhaps a student loan. All told, I'm guessing $50,000 in debt-- between tuition, living expenses (AND FLIGHTS!)...
I'm looking into deferring for a year so that I can secure more funding-- I don't know if that's an option.
(Additionally, I have a mortgage! Gotta figure out what to do with my place! Tragically, Jedi would not be able to afford to live there on his own unless I was able to contribute around $400/month to his living expenses!)
So... yeah... I feel in a BIG quandary about this.
Would I go if money wasn't an issue? HELL YES. Does that mean I should go if money IS an issue? ... I'm not sure. I will have a masters (almost-- in June!) already (and from an Ivy.) Is this worth the additional investment? Don't know. Is it worth it in terms of life experience? Most definitely.
I do not want to live an unlived life!
As for Jedi...
Well, he's Jedi. So, he's being wonderfully supportive and proud of me even though he's all sad-face because he doesn't want me to be gone for so long.
I understand that. I'd miss him terribly. But.... This is ONLY for 10 months. A drop in the bucket in terms of a lifetime.
He wants to come with me... Um... Yeah... I can't really see that working. WHAT would he do in Australia & Norway!? I don't think he'd be allowed to work on a tourist visa. And he's got school to finish HERE! (and he's got his own bills to pay as well.)
One of my mentors thinks I should bring Jedi with me anyway... My mom is all "You don't want to lose him now that you found a good one..." (Um, thanks mom. If 10 months apart meant that I lost him, perhaps that would be a sign we shouldn't be together?!)
I want to be respectful of his feelings, but in this particular instance I think that being apart would be worth it in the long run. Have I mentioned that Jedi plans to be a stay at home dad? (I'm on board with this plan, as he is the most caring person i've ever met... But that means I'll need to earn BEAUCOUP BUCKS.) I think that having this degree would give me a leg up in job hunts... it's certainly an unusual thing, I think, to say-- I have a degree from France, from Ireland, from the US, from Australia and from Norway. I would think that would make someone looking at my resume take a second look.
On the other hand... (and I can hear Npapaya in my head...) WHAT do I hope to accomplish with this degree? What is my career plan?
The truth is, I don't know.
I think Npapaya (Who is a fabulously wise woman and mentor in addition to being a great friend) would say that if I don't know I probably shouldn't be doing it.
But... But... But... I WANNA do it!
I've thought about going into government work... maybe living overseas... working in an embassy. (Doesn't everyone?!?) I mean, I've also thought about working in the theater... working in Higher Ed... Becoming an author... becoming a therapist.... so it's not like I've narrowed down my life plan or anything. But. Well.
HOW AMAZING WOULD THIS BE?!
If I didn't do this, would I spend the rest of my life wondering what could have been? Probably.
But is it $50,000 worth of Amazing....?
That, dear friends, is the question.