I would make tea at the BBC.
August 12, 2009 7:22 PM Subscribe
What would be the best route to go after finishing an AS degree? Many questions about New England, and the regular England, rolled into one inside.
I am starting community college in 2 weeks and, even though school hasn't even started yet, I've started to look ahead. I'm trying to figure out what I should do when I've graduated. I don't want to do anything impulsive; something fun for now but just expensive in the long run.
I live in Virginia, and I'm lucky because financial aid grants are covering me so far, but it's going to take a lot of research to keep myself out of debt when I go on to transfer.
I've started realising that the nagging feeling telling me to move out of the US isn't going away, and although going to an in-state school and just studying abroad would be the most logical option in the minds of most, of course I have to keep on until I uncover my every option.
1. I don't really want to stay in Virginia, but if it comes to paying $8,000 instead of $20,000, I will do it. I would like to find a college in New England to go to, one that has very good financial aid.
I found a place called Williams College in MA, which I just loved as soon as I saw the front page of the website, but they said they only accept about 4 out of the 110 transfer applicants they get each year. (?!) I couldn't compete with that, even if I did get a 4.0 GPA. (They also want a high school transcript, and my 1.5 GPA won't help me there. I am going to community college to start over.)
How can I find colleges in New England (DC to Maine) that have really decent need-based aid?
2. I've wanted to move to the UK for 5 going on 6 years now. I know I should study abroad first to see if I even like it, but I wonder what would really be the best option in case I did like it. If I studied abroad, I'd have to graduate at that US college, and I don't know what kind of visa I would even qualify for after graduating. I heard the best visa to get would be a student visa, and the fact that it can lead to a Tier 1 visa makes it sound even better. Should I just go for a non-study UK visit first? I could plan a trip. And take the train around.
3. More general UK questions. Is England really going "downhill" like I've heard so many times? Am I just so enchanted by the BBC that it's clouded my judgment? I'd consider moving to Wales, maybe Scotland, but I am most attached to England. What are the facts here? I haven't heard anything except for the vague..."You'll never get a job...it's all just immigrants living there now...British people are all trying to move to the US now..." Maybe it was all just said by a bunch of people who lived in and hated London. Isn't the US just as bad, or am I missing something?
4. More importantly, would I even be able to get a job? Or do they give all the jobs to EU students and I could never do anything except answer phones until I die? And what's all this about "No self-employment"? Will I be able to play my guitar in my one-man band anymore?
5. Is there any way to immigrate that is as simple as the Tier 4 Student Visa seems? Immigration, of course, is just speculative. I don't know what I'm planning to become, but I'm sure I won't make enough money to get all the points I would need to be a "highly skilled worker".
6. Would I be able to afford living in the UK? I lived in Chicago for a year just fine; sure I had financial aid and a job though. Are the grants/scholarships available to the average everyday non-handicapped/veteran/singlemom/hispanic/4.5GPA people like me?
If I could only afford to study abroad, I guess I wouldn't die, but that leads back around to question #1 again.
Or maybe...go to college in-state and transfer in? What does a BA count for there? Do I have to complete a whole BA degree in the UK to qualify for the Tier 1 Post-Study Visa?
7. Will they hate me, an American? I don't pick up a lot of enemies easily, but you never know.
Apparently, an AS degree is only equivalent to a Foundation Degree and I'd have to go for the full 3 years to get a BA. Those over-achievers.
Maybe I should call a university and ask, but it always seems like they know as much as I do at their international office, and different schools might have different rules.
I think that's it. Thanks for any and all advice you can give me. I guess I'm just trying to do the all-elusive "do what I want and not lose any money doing it". I've read other questions here about moving, but it seems like they all already had some kind of job lined up, which I am far, far away from having.
And sorry my questions are always so darn long.