Studying Abroad vs. Working
April 15, 2011 8:48 PM   Subscribe

Asking for my friend. My friend is finishing her associate's degree in a creative field in May, but is not sure of whether she should look for a job right away, or accept her admittance to a prestigious and high-profile exchange program at a foreign university. Oh, and she knows about the flipping-a-coin trick so that won't work.

A friend of mine is finishing her associate's degree in a creative field in May and is trying to make a decision between looking for a job and continuing her studies. She was recently accepted into a highly selective exchange program at one of the best institutions for her field of study, and the exchange is only one semester long. She is having trouble deciding whether to go for the following reasons:

- Her current school is in the US - she is a Canadian citizen and when she finishes her associate's degree, she gets one year to work visa-free. She is hoping to translate this 1-year of work into a relationship with a company that could sponsor her for a visa afterward.

- If she goes on the exchange, it will begin a bachelor's degree, effectively ending the one visa-free work year she can have as soon as she goes.

- The exchange school is in Europe, where she would love to work, and companies there are also biased against those with US schooling in the field, though it really is a case-by-case basis.

- The one semester exchange will cost approximately US$15,000. She can afford it with savings, but her field is not a well-paying one.

- Going on this exchange will not guarantee better job prospects, but would be excellent for personal development in the field.

- She already has a bachelor's degree (in a completely different field) and feels she is too old (25 this year) for more education and owes it to her parents to work for a few years first.

A couple of follow-up questions that are perhaps more easily answered: how difficult/unlikely is it for someone to obtain a work visa in the US/in the UK/Europe in a creative field? (Also to clarify, the creative field she is in is not one that qualifies for TN status.) She will have an associate's degree in the area, a bachelor's in another, and about 1 year of work/internship experience.
posted by tickingclock to Education (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Contacts & reputation will likely be built at the prestigious school, as well as an improved ability to work in Europe.

There is always more time to work; and ways to work legally in the US, especially for creatives.

Personally, I jumped quickly into the world of work instead of doing more school, and I regret it.

You haven't given us very much info, and it's a personal question, but this Internet stranger votes school.
posted by Heart_on_Sleeve at 5:43 AM on April 18, 2011

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