Of two minds: study at home or abroad?

I came home from Explore last week, pensive.

Thinking Man Statue

Thinking Person

I was happy to be home. Truth be told, I did not enjoy Explore as much as I thought I would, and so, coming home was a relief. I also came home from Explore with a massive to-do list, and on the list: graduate school applications.

When I returned to school in 2012, it was with the intention to pursue graduate studies – a Masters and a PhD. I wanted to apply to the top schools in the UK, i.e. Oxford, Cambridge and LSE. I thought I would apply to Canadian schools as well, but I would pass up American schools as I did not want to write the GREs.

In April 2014 I was certain I would follow my plan to apply to graduate schools in the UK and Canada. But, after coming back from Explore, I am uncertain as to what I will do. This summer, I will be preparing my graduate school applications including my personal statements, reference letters and research proposal, but, I am now unsure of where I want to end up.

When I enrolled for the Explore program this spring, I found it difficult to be away from my husband. It was difficult to concentrate, enjoy activities, and appreciate the culture and people around me. I struggled with my decision to leave my family in order to study each day of the Explore program.

I am (now) concerned that if I choose to study overseas that my family and I will be miserable apart; and I will compromise my ability to study and to excel. But if I choose to study at home, I may also compromise my ability to get a job after I complete my Masters and PhD.

Where you decide to go to school matters, especially when you are thinking of a career in academe.

If I go to a university closer to home, I will save money, but more importantly, it will ease the stress of being away from my family for a long time. This may make a significant difference in my ability to concentrate and enjoy my time at school. I haven’t decided what to do yet. This chapter is still in progress.

I would love your help. If you are a mature student and you have happened to come across my blog, please do let me know what you think. I would love to have a conversation with you.

Ttyl,
Neena

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