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Topic: School too expensive?  (Read 3988 times)

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Re: School too expensive?
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2013, 07:43:17 PM »
My advice is this:  Finish your community college, apply for grants and scholarships to go to college in the US, keep in touch with your girlfriend throughout, making visits during every school break, and see where it goes from there.  If it's meant to be, it will work out.  But personally, I don't think amassing over $100,000 in debt is worth it.  Because yes, school in the UK is expensive, and so are the living expenses.  Hopefully she is able to understand that limitation.

I'm speaking from a somewhat similar situation-- I met the love of my life at a relatively young age (20) when I was on an exchange in the UK.  After 6 months together, I had to return to the US to finish university.  We did the long distance thing for 3.5 years, travelling back and forth whenever we had the time off, and money for flights.  We've now been together for 7 years.  I wouldn't necessarily say it's been easy, but it has made our relationship very strong.  I think the main thing is-- I wasn't going to put my life on hold, or force him to give up his in order to be together.  That would have caused way too much resentment and/or regret if things didn't work out.

After a few years of long distance, visiting each others countries, and completing your education, perhaps things will have changed and you'll both feel more ready to make the big decision to either get married  or move countries.  Best of luck.
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Re: School too expensive?
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2013, 01:25:42 PM »
Have you checked the Entry Requirements for the UK university? The education system is completely different here and many universities in the UK require that international students from the US have at least AP classes (level 5.0) in the subject they wish to study, college courses, or an Associates Degree under their belt before they begin a UK undergraduate degree.


 I did some more research and have found out in order for me to even attend a school in england i need to have a degree or a certain amount of classes to get in.
 

The best thing to do would be to spend the next year or two (until you have finished your community college course) meeting in person, visiting each other's countries, seeing if living in England is something you could actually do in reality and be happy with... then you can make bigger decisions about moving to the UK for a longer period of time.


I have to agree with you on this one =[ as much as i wanna go there to see her, i need to finish community college first.



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Re: School too expensive?
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2013, 01:35:48 PM »
I did some more research and have found out in order for me to even attend a school in england i need to have a degree or a certain amount of classes to get in.

I had a feeling that might be the case - it's just because of the difference in education systems.

UK students take the equivalent of a high school diploma at age 16 (GCSEs) after 12 years of schooling, but they cannot start university until they are 18 and have taken 2 more years of advanced level (A Level) classes in 3-5 subjects (which are equivalent to US AP classes or an Associates degree). Then they apply to university for a specific major (they decide their major BEFORE they start college) and spend 3 years studying only that major.

So, by the time they have finished their bachelors degree, they are at the same standard as someone with a US bachelors, it's just that in the US, those 'A level' classes are usually taken a bit later, either at community college or freshman/sophomore year of 4-year college, and then the '3-year UK bachelors' is taken between sophomore and senior year of US college.

Because of this difference, when I studied abroad in the US I went from second-year UK classes to senior and graduate level classes in the US... and there was a US student who came to study in my UK department, who was a Junior in the US, but was put into second-year classes in the UK.
 
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I have to agree with you on this one =[ as much as i wanna go there to see her, i need to finish community college first.

Just because you can't move there for a longer period of time right now doesn't mean you can't try to visit each other in the mean time :).

You could both start saving now for trips to see each other over the next year or so  :).


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Re: School too expensive?
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2013, 01:45:26 PM »
I know everyone has given you a lot of food for thought, but just make sure that you are looking at long-term solutions to problems that may creep up along the way.

I know people who have been together since they were 15, so just because you guys are young, that doesn't mean you won't be absolutely perfect together, so let's go with that assumption.

What program are you considering studying in the UK?  Is it an education that will set you up for a lucrative career/job when you graduate?  $80k is a HUGE amount of debt.  My parents live in Florida and you can buy houses out right for $80k.  Remember federal loans are the only loans that cannot be discharged under any circumstances.  This IS debt that you will carry for the rest of your life.  The only way it will go away is to pay it all back plus interest.

I plan to study Computer Science, and the money is starting to become real to me. Taking on that much debt this early on could cost me a lot in the future. My best bet is to find a study abroad program with a university. But currently i'm still in community college so i will have to wait until i finish Community first.

If you are fortunate enough to obtain sponsorship for a position in the UK after graduation (as you won't be allowed to stay without a new visa), keep in mind what your potential salary will be, the monthly repayment for your student loan, as well as living expenses.

T his would be something i hope could happen to me during study abroad. If i can try and find a internship with a company and work hard at it hopefully i can get a sponship.

you and your girlfriend live together for more than 2 years before you graduate(in a relationship akin to marriage, shared financial responsibilities, etc.), you would be able to apply for an unmarried partner visa (meaning you wouldn't have to get married straight away) and you would be allowed to stay without needing a company to sponsor you (unfortunately company sponsorship is a VERY big hurdle.  It costs the company a lot of money and hassle that they wouldn't need by hiring the next person in line who already has a right to live and work in the UK).

I did not know this, Something we should keep in mind for the future. But if this also includes that Money requirement it could be much harder to obtain because we both are still young and do not make that much money.

the requirements for an unmarried partner visa (or a spouse visa if you married) are £18,600/year income to qualify.  If you already are in the UK (on your student visa) you can contribute to the £18,600/year requirement meaning you and your girlfriend can combine your earnings to qualify.  However a student visa will only allow you to work up to 20 hours a week, so your earnings will be pretty low.  Your girlfriend will need to make up the shortfall and if she is not in an established career, this is a huge amount of money to make.
Unfortunately this option is out of the picture for us, we both are still in school and would not be able to afford this. =[

you were unable to meet the £18,600 requirement and unable to obtain a job with sponsorship, you would have to leave the UK and go back to the US.  Then your path back would be for your girlfriend to make over £18,600/year for more than 6 months or you would have to return on another student visa.  This requirement is likely to change over the next 4 years and could be higher (or possibly lower) than it is now.

think it's great that you guys are looking at all your options and that you are setting up a plan for the future.  

Do come over and experience the UK for at least a couple of weeks.  The cost of the flight is a fraction of the cost of moving here for school.  I loved the UK when I visited.  I then accepted a job here and moved on my own.  I met my now husband and that is 100% the ONLY reason why I stayed in the UK.  My first two years here were HARD.  It was only after I accepted that to be with the man I loved, I needed to accept my life is here now.  Now that I only look forward and don't look back, I'm happy.  But it took a long time to get to this point.  Again - I LOVED IT HERE when I visited...  living here is a big adjustment!

I really appriciate the advice! it helped a lot thanks :)


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Re: School too expensive?
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2013, 04:40:22 PM »


I did some more research and have found out in order for me to even attend a school in england i need to have a degree or a certain amount of classes to get in.
 


Not that I am advocating the (extra) extra debt, but if I recall, you said you were looking at the University of Essex (apologies if I recall incorrectly), which does have a foundation year for their BSc (Hons) Computer Science to accommodate this issue for international students.

BSc Computer Science (4 Years Including Foundation Year)
http://www.essex.ac.uk/coursefinder/course_details.aspx?course=BSC+G403

They also have several Masters courses in computer sciences:
http://www.essex.ac.uk/csee/pg/masters.aspx

And to do an exchange there:
http://www.essex.ac.uk/studyabroad/incoming/from_outside_EU.aspx

There's a lot of options available, but maybe starting small is more realistic and less stressful. Like starting with a visit might be less pressure overall?

Good luck to you.  :)
 


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Re: School too expensive?
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2013, 05:48:13 PM »
I'm not trying to rain on the parade, but this is a really important point.

I always loved what I thought of as British & Irish culture-- history, literature, music, art.  When I was a teenager, it was my dream to live over here.  15 years later, and in a completely round-about way, I met my husband. 

I visited Scotland several times before I moved, and thought it was great.  I was really looking forward to moving, and expected that I'd settle right in.

The past 2 1/2 years have been some of the hardest in my life.  While I still think there are some great things about Scotland, and the U.K., and although I've accepted that this is where my husband and I need to be for the foreseeable future, I would move home in a heartbeat if it were possible.

There are lots of places in the world, even within the U.S. (Florida and Chicago, I'm looking at you!) that are great places to visit, but I wouldn't ever want to live there.

Only you can decide how you feel about it, and you likely won't really know unless you do move here.  But it's important to go into these things with your eyes as open as possible.



I plan to start visiting the UK a few times to visit her, but i'm really concerned about the cost. Can you tell me a little bit about how you saved for your trips, how much they costed, and what was the average time you stayed? Keep in mind i am very young and in college.


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Re: School too expensive?
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2013, 06:13:16 PM »
Not that I am advocating the (extra) extra debt, but if I recall, you said you were looking at the University of Essex (apologies if I recall incorrectly), which does have a foundation year for their BSc (Hons) Computer Science to accommodate this issue for international students.

BSc Computer Science (4 Years Including Foundation Year)
http://www.essex.ac.uk/coursefinder/course_details.aspx?course=BSC+G403

They also have several Masters courses in computer sciences:
http://www.essex.ac.uk/csee/pg/masters.aspx

And to do an exchange there:
http://www.essex.ac.uk/studyabroad/incoming/from_outside_EU.aspx

There's a lot of options available, but maybe starting small is more realistic and less stressful. Like starting with a visit might be less pressure overall?

Good luck to you.  :)
 

Thank you so much for the help you have contributed to this post.
You are correct about me wanting to attend the university of essex! I notice they do not list the schools they have an exchange program under, so im going to look into that. If i can find a university in my area that can get me to essex that would be great. This would be the only way i can study abroad for free without being in debt.
- Another note is i would have to finish community college first, which is another 2 years before i can transfer to a University. My plan right now is to visit her over the next two years until i finish community college then study abroad the full legnth of my degree through a university. =] will take awhile but i know i can do it!


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Re: School too expensive?
« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2013, 06:15:17 PM »
I can't speak for everyone...but my husband and I visited each other about 3 or 4 times each in the couple of years we spent long distance. We were fortunate that both of us were working full time jobs at the time and especially me being a recent graduate I still lived with my Mom...however before that while I was in college I did a lot of travel around the US...

and for me it was all about priorities

travel was my priority so every penny that came in that didn't need to go to something essential (like gas money) went into my travel fund. I didn't go out with my friends hardly ever...didn't buy any dvd's or video games...didn't eat out....lived at home with my parents...and just made travel money my priority.


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Re: School too expensive?
« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2013, 06:28:04 PM »
I can't speak for everyone...but my husband and I visited each other about 3 or 4 times each in the couple of years we spent long distance. We were fortunate that both of us were working full time jobs at the time and especially me being a recent graduate I still lived with my Mom...however before that while I was in college I did a lot of travel around the US...

and for me it was all about priorities

travel was my priority so every penny that came in that didn't need to go to something essential (like gas money) went into my travel fund. I didn't go out with my friends hardly ever...didn't buy any dvd's or video games...didn't eat out....lived at home with my parents...and just made travel money my priority.


I want to make travel my priority as well, i want to visit her as many times as i can as i finish school, Could you give me a little advice?
- How many hours did you have to work to save up money?
- How much did you save up before you could go visit?
- How long did you stay?
- Did it take a long time to save up enough money?


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Re: School too expensive?
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2013, 06:36:23 PM »
Depends where in the US you are travelling from, but $1,000 per round trip flight would be a reasonable amount to budget.  May be slightly more or slightly less depending on where you fly from and the time of year.

You can set up price alerts on Travelocity and other comparison websites which will tell you dates that travel between two airports drop below a set price.


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Re: School too expensive?
« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2013, 06:47:49 PM »
Yeah I flew from St. Louis which has nothing direct....my cheapest flight was just under $1000 and my most expensive (a summer later booking) was $1400. I've flown into both Heathrow and Gatwick.

How much you'll need when you're in England will be totally dependant on what you want to do and if you're staying with your girlfriend or need to get a hotel/hostel. My first trip here was much more expensive as we did more touristy things. The later trips were much more relaxed (and we did lots of cooking instead of going out!). I would recommend once you figure out what you'll be doing and where you're staying you can generally look up those costs and just budget it out. And don't forget to factor in the exchange rate!


In terms of like hours and how long that will be totally dependant upon you...how many hours you can work, what you get paid, etc. When I was a student I generally worked about 20 hours a week during school but really loaded up over Christmas (I worked retail) and was working 40 hour weeks even during finals...which is less than ideal to be honest.

When I was actually traveling to London I was working full time at a salaried position so it was a bit easier and faster to save up.


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Re: School too expensive?
« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2013, 08:10:28 PM »
My advice is this:  Finish your community college, apply for grants and scholarships to go to college in the US, keep in touch with your girlfriend throughout, making visits during every school break, and see where it goes from there.  If it's meant to be, it will work out.  But personally, I don't think amassing over $100,000 in debt is worth it.  Because yes, school in the UK is expensive, and so are the living expenses.  Hopefully she is able to understand that limitation.


I have decided to take this route, and after two years of community i will transfer toa university which has a study abroad program that is funded for. I will not be paying a dime except for food/travel cost.

speaking from a somewhat similar situation-- I met the love of my life at a relatively young age (20) when I was on an exchange in the UK.  After 6 months together, I had to return to the US to finish university.  We did the long distance thing for 3.5 years, travelling back and forth whenever we had the time off, and money for flights.  We've now been together for 7 years.  I wouldn't necessarily say it's been easy, but it has made our relationship very strong.  I think the main thing is-- I wasn't going to put my life on hold, or force him to give up his in order to be together.  That would have caused way too much resentment and/or regret if things didn't work out.

After a few years of long distance, visiting each others countries, and completing your education, perhaps things will have changed and you'll both feel more ready to make the big decision to either get married  or move countries.  Best of luck.

Thank you, a touching story it is. I was just wondering one thing, how long did you know before you were right for eachother? My girlfriend and me hit it off instantly and we both knew that we having strong bonds together. We both have been single for over 2 years before we met and now we talk almost everyday and never get bored.
 I really do hope we end up like you two, we have already discussed marriage and we both want the samething, our only obsticle is distance which i hope we can both overcome in the years ahead of us.


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Re: School too expensive?
« Reply #27 on: December 07, 2013, 09:51:06 PM »
Yeah I flew from St. Louis which has nothing direct....my cheapest flight was just under $1000 and my most expensive (a summer later booking) was $1400. I've flown into both Heathrow and Gatwick.

How much you'll need when you're in England will be totally dependant on what you want to do and if you're staying with your girlfriend or need to get a hotel/hostel. My first trip here was much more expensive as we did more touristy things. The later trips were much more relaxed (and we did lots of cooking instead of going out!). I would recommend once you figure out what you'll be doing and where you're staying you can generally look up those costs and just budget it out. And don't forget to factor in the exchange rate!


In terms of like hours and how long that will be totally dependant upon you...how many hours you can work, what you get paid, etc. When I was a student I generally worked about 20 hours a week during school but really loaded up over Christmas (I worked retail) and was working 40 hour weeks even during finals...which is less than ideal to be honest.

When I was actually traveling to London I was working full time at a salaried position so it was a bit easier and faster to save up.

Thank you so much for the advice, i think i will be working a lot and doing things on the side to save up money. And on top of that i can use money i get back from financial aid. I agree that my first trip will be the most expensive, because i plan to take her out on dates and do things together.

 I guess my best bet right now is do all the research i can and calculate all my cost so i can get an average of how much i should save. :)


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Re: School too expensive?
« Reply #28 on: December 08, 2013, 12:04:36 AM »
One thing I don't think has been mentioned yet... If you do enough courses relevant to your major in college, you can apply directly into the first year of your degree, instead of taking the foundation year. A buddy of mine even applied as a second year student and if you can do that, you will still go into debt, but only for two years instead of four. Also if you live with your girlfriend 'in a relationship akin to marriage' the two years you spend in school should cover you for an unmarried partner visa.

Just for costs of flights, I never paid more than $800 direct roundtrip to LHR from DFW. My first one way flight in late September 2009 with a stop in Frankfurt was $360.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 12:08:54 AM by RAR »
09/29/09--Visa Approved!
10/05/09--Leave for the UK!!!
06/15/12--Back in the US indefinitely...


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Re: School too expensive?
« Reply #29 on: December 08, 2013, 05:08:53 AM »
One thing I don't think has been mentioned yet... If you do enough courses relevant to your major in college, you can apply directly into the first year of your degree, instead of taking the foundation year. A buddy of mine even applied as a second year student and if you can do that, you will still go into debt, but only for two years instead of four. Also if you live with your girlfriend 'in a relationship akin to marriage' the two years you spend in school should cover you for an unmarried partner visa.

Just for costs of flights, I never paid more than $800 direct roundtrip to LHR from DFW. My first one way flight in late September 2009 with a stop in Frankfurt was $360.
I'm wondering if the Unmarried Partner Visa still has the income requirement for her. Because if it does she would not meet that. She is still in College.

I did some looking up and found flight to be on average from 900-$1200 depending on the date it's schedual for.

Even if i did decide to go into debt that much would still cost me a lot. For two years would be the same to study for 4 years here in america. My best bet is to study abrod for free!


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