Thursday, April 8, 2010

The road not taken...


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.


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.


Anonymous said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Totally need the caps lock, because this is SO exciting.

As for whether to's such an amazing opportunity, I don't know how you'd say no. Except. The money. 50K is a LOT of debt. So, I think I'd take the approach of figuring out how long it would take you to pay it off with the kind of job you'd find having done that work, versus how much you'd make with the kind of job you can get right now. Does that make sense?

As for Jedi...I wouldn't take him unless he would have something to do. Because, not to be mean, but there is a good chance you'd drive each other crazy if he has no purpose there. And if you are paying 50K for an awesome experience, you should enjoy the hell out of it.

That said (ACK! SO CONFUSING!!!) IF you can honestly say you'd enjoy it more with him, or enjoy it less without him...take him and enjoy having a clean house and groceries when you get home at the end of the day. :)

Oh, and it might be good for him to get an idea of how you live, and what that kind of life is like. So...I guess I am leaning toward taking him with you. :)

Anonymous said...

Gosh, just realized I made it sound like you're going on spring break or something. I know it's going to be a lot of difficult work, too, and that it will be stressful and intense...which is actually another reason it might be good to have Jedi there, for support.

Anonymous said...

thank you for you to make me learn more,thank you∩0∩

Hypatia said...


Thanks! I'm so excited... but... but... but...! So many variables!

Oh, what to do!? Universe! Send me a sign!

Something She Dated said...

okay I've read somewhere between 5-10 blog entries in the last 2 months I want to say...and I choose the post I read just before this to ask what your field is...and here you are posting it...what are the chances?!? lol

Anyways...from the sound of your degree/qualifications $50,000 doesn't actually seem that much debt to take on...but then again I have $40,000 and I haven't even started applying into MA programs yet so that shows you my game plan...but if it were me...I'd already be getting my plane ticket

As for Jedi...I agree with mmeperpetua...unless he has something to do...don't take him...that being said...perhaps he could do a transfer for a year or something with his school? Likely you'd still only be together 5 months as it seems unlikely he could do a transfer to 2 different schools but still...5 is better than 10?

Hypatia said...

Based on Jedi's course curriculum, there's really no chance of him joining me. I've not come to any decisions yet! It's driving me nuts. I applied for financial aid and a scholarship, but I'm still waiting to hear back!