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SOVEREIGN MAN

The best way to stay out of student loan debt and boost your resume

August 30, 2011
Malta

Despite the mind-numbing mantra we constantly hear from our political leaders and central bankers that inflation does not exist, there are certain parts of our lives where even a freeze-dried coffee bean can see that prices are clearly rising: At the grocery store. At the doctor’s office. At the gas pump.

One of these places is also our hallowed institutions of higher learning. It’s no secret that the cost of university education, especially in the United States, is staggering. Tuition at private schools in the US averages $30,000 annually, and students often graduate over $50,000 in debt.

This leads to a fancy form of indentured servitude; students with this kind of debt load are forced to take the first paid work they can find, and they’ll work for the next 14-years of their life just to start back at zero.

Graduate schooling can be even more painful. Top MBA programs can charge $50,000 per year or more, and for those who still cling to the idea of working their way up the corporate ladder, this has become a necessary step.

Especially now in the midst of a severe recession, it has become a new trend for people to head back to school, firm up their credentials, and wait out the economic downturn.

I have a better solution for you to consider: head overseas.

Going to a school overseas ticks a lot of boxes– for one, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper, and you don’t emerge deep in debt like you would back home.

Second, the quality of the education is as good if not better than what you would otherwise receive.

Third, and most importantly, it’s just more interesting. The experience abroad will be much more fulfilling, and it will distinguish you from the pool of other candidates who all have generic resumes.

Let’s say you’re an Ivy League type. Why pay Harvard $52,000 per year when you can go to the University of Cambridge in England for around $19,000 per year? Cambridge is consistently rated as one of the top universities in the world: same quality education, a fraction of the price.

If that sounds like too much, consider a place like Hong Kong University. Tuition at Asia’s top school is around $15,000 per year, and there are plenty of scholarships and financial aid packages available. Not to mention you’d be networking with future movers and shakers in the region.

Still too much? Look at Erasmus University in the Netherlands, whose Rotterdam School of Management is one of the top business schools in Europe. Tuition in the all-English program is around $11,500 per year, 73% less than Notre Dame’s Mendoza School, and 26% less than Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

Still too much? Try Qatar University, where there are numerous English-language programs in disciplines such as business and engineering. Tuition for foreign undergraduates is just $4,000 annually, and you’d be spending formative years in one of the world’s most thriving, opportunity-rich economies.

Still too much? Try Albert Einstein’s Alma Mater, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. If you make the cut, ETH’s tuition fee is a whopping $750 per semester for both undergraduate and graduate programs, and the school is typically ranked among Europe’s top 5 universities.

Here’s the bottom line– if you’re facing an uphill battle for prospects and opportunities, get creative; don’t simply follow the same path that everyone else is taking. The world is a big place– stop limiting yourself by geography and start looking overseas for solutions.

Our goal is simple: To help you achieve personal liberty and financial prosperity no matter what happens.

If you liked this post, please click the box below. You can watch a compelling video you’ll find very interesting.

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Just think about this for a couple of minutes. What if the U.S. Dollar wasn’t the world’s reserve currency? Ponder that… what if…

Empires Rise, they peak, they decline, they collapse, this is the cycle of history.

This historical pattern has formed and is already underway in many parts of the world, including the United States.

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About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • richpeasant

    I never went to university when I left school in the late 70s and I’m glad I never did. As far as I’m concerned, I agree with one Joint Venture specialist who said – The only MBA worth having nowdays is a Massive Bank Account.

  • MadDog

    Simon, your 5th paragraph couldn’t be more accurate:

    “Especially now in the midst of a severe recession, it has become a new
    trend for people to head back to school, firm up their credentials, and
    wait out the economic downturn.”

    … and at the same time – ludicrous.  I am surounded by (US) people that have recently lost their jobs, been laid off, or cut-back.  And though few – if any – have any real savings to pay tuition, they are electing to return to those hallowed halls.  (As if their first – or even 2nd – degree is working out so well for them.)  They have little clue as to which markets or industries will be hiring in 2 to 4 years when they graduate; no idea what skills will be required; and no idea what those jobs will pay – IF they can indeed find a job (hmmm … in the US).  These idiots are flocking back to the precieved safe havens of acedemia because [1] they think they’re investing in their future, and [2] the current administation has made student loans increadibly cheep and easily defaulted on.  The US tax payers should expect Sallie Mae (government run student loans) to suffer the same fate as Fannie and Freddie.  But with no collateral or reposes-able assets, there will be NO incentive for this “Entitled Generation” to ever pay off their student loans.

    Not only does the US government NOT learn from its mistakes, it continually attempts to out “mistake” the previous administration.

    I applaud your attempts to encourage your readers to think “internationally” – especially when it comes to education.  I wouldn’t be the least concerned about an English-language program in a foreign country — when I attended the University of Minnesota’s School of IT, I had more foreign speaking professors than English speaking.  The TAs (teacher assistants) were little more than translators.

    I believe that a good education could be the most important investment of one’s life.  Research ALL options!  Get the most bang for you BUCK!  Let the free-market drive prices down and quality up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kiernan.lynch Kiernan Chef Lynch

    There is something to be said for internships and designations. I am thinking CA or CFA if you are considering finance. Likewise in the long run of things it is probably better to just get working in your chosen field. All though this might be a bit hypocritical for me to say I do have an undergraduate degree, only did it for a line on a piece of paper. Spent the majority of my university career reading book and not attending lectures, I am pretty sure I could have accomplished my study abroad.

  • Eric wt

    Outstanding post!

  • John Henry

    Great post.  I applied for citizenship to a country in Europe for two benefits: a) cheaper university fees for my children, and b) free health care for my wife and I in our retirement.

    Aside from networking and resume building, the college years are supposed to be about expanding one’s intellectual horizons.  I believe studying abroad would aid in this broader educational aspect.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PXPAWX6266FKGW6CBFRVFVOOLU Brian

    Exactly right!  Plus in Paris, the Sorbonne is virtually free, and they have the Cite Universitare on the outskirts, where students can live in buildings with their own countrymen…if they so choose. As you point out, in many schools, the courses are mostly (or all) in English: for example, at the ultra-prestigious IIT in India, all courses are in English. An IIT degree lets you write your own ticket anywhere in the world—especially Silicon Valley! Peter Drucker considered the medical school in New Delhi to be the best in the world.

  • Leopoldhankel

    Still too much? Consider community college. Still too much?
    How about returning to your favorite cave and living by hunting?

    Your own solo self-sustaining community…

  • MadDog

    Simon, your 5th paragraph couldn’t be more appropriate:

    “Especially now in the midst of a severe recession, it has become a new trend for people to head back to school, firm up their credentials, and wait out the economic downturn.”

    … and at the same time – ludicrous.  I am surrounded by (US) people that have recently lost their jobs, been laid off, or cut-back.  And though few – if any – have any real savings to pay tuition, they are electing to return to those hallowed halls.  (As if their first – or even 2nd – degree is working out so well for them.)  They have little clue as to which markets or industries will be hiring in 2 to 4 years when they graduate; no idea what skills will be required; and no idea what those jobs will pay – IF they can indeed find a job … in the US.  These idiots are flocking back to the perceived safe havens of academia because [1] they think they’re investing in their future, and [2] the current administration has made student loans incredibly cheep and easy to defaulted on.  The US tax payers should expect Sallie Mae (government run student loans) to suffer the same fate as Fannie and Freddie.  But with no collateral or reposes-able assets, there will be NO incentive for this “Entitled Generation” to ever pay off their student loans.

    Not only does the US government NOT learn from its mistakes, it continually attempts to out “mistake” the previous administration.

    I applaud your attempts to encourage your readers to think “internationally” – especially when it comes to education.  I wouldn’t be the least concerned about an English-language program in a foreign country — when I attended the University of Minnesota’s School of IT, I had more foreign speaking professors than English speaking.  The TAs (teacher assistants) were little more than translators.

    I believe that a good education could be the most important investment of one’s life.  Research ALL options!  Get the most bang for your BUCK!  Let the free-market drive prices down and quality up.

  • YourNameHere

    OT: Simon, what do you know about Gold Bullion International? I’d appreciate your thoughts.

    http://www.bullioninternational.com/

    Related reading:
    http://fofoa.blogspot.com/2011/08/treasure-chest-2-game-changer.html

  • http://www.bzemic.com/impossibleInstinct/ steve ward

    To be honest i don’t get it myself both England and hong kong are suppose to be first world countries. But just look at the differences in price, i know one reason it higher here is because of teaching in outdated ways.

    • Coomber187

      If you spoke English, you would be much easier to understand

  • Dane

    Under-grad classes at ETH are ~70% german, 30% english offerings, while 100% of the grad classes are taught in english. For math-based and technical classes, the german vocab will be pretty repetitive, and can be picked up quickly. Saturation of english proficiency in a university setting is 99% (1% for the clerks, cafeteria staff, etc.) 

    Some resources for students looking for exchange ideas:
    http://www.esn.org/content/other-exchange-programmes#Non-European_students_and_Erasmus_programmeThat site should also allow you to make an actual contact in these countries for more specific info on study programs. 

    Even though english language-barrier is practically non-existant in the universities, for those who want english at-hand in and outside the classroom, look to Scandinavia. 

    Danish Technical University in Copenhagen: http://www.dtu.dk/English.aspx
    Copenhagen has a Build-a-Bear for crying out loud. Everyone speaks great english, right down to the postal workers (not the case in Zürich). 

    University of Turku (Finland)
    http://www.utu.fi/en/

    Brian, I have to disagree. A degree won’t write a ticket– especially in Silicon Valley. Having an internship and building skills outside the classroom will be a much better indicator for the Valley. Even better would be a shipping product. A person with a well-maintained iPhone app will do much better than a person with a fancy degree. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=723230822 Vicky Rodgers

    Hey Simon!  I have a question for you:
    My mom has been a Canada Revenu Agency agent for the last 26 years and I got a passion for tax law… but to help people escape big government (I am a libertarian!).  I am looking for university admissions and I got the r-score (in Quebec you can get into law directly from cegep) to get in law and accounting school!  Should I do accounting, law or both?  Sure my master of tax law is planned on top of that but your post made me think of doing it abroad!  I need to stay in Montreal for my Bachelor but I can do an exchange.

    • Diogenese_

       My opinion-Focus on getting a solid understanding of accounting, finance and economics as an undergrad, because those skills contribute to real world productivity. Most of modern law has little or nothing to do with justice and mediation, but instead is concerned with the administration of elite benefiting government power. That’s not to say studying the law won’t be useful, because even anarcho-capitalist mediators of the future must get an education in justice, contracts and mediation somehow, and in addition there is an ever growing need to help businesses avoid the legal traps of the government.

       I would say get an undergraduate degree in accounting with courses in finance and Austrian economics, try to get a business internship, get some entry level job after graduating, then work on your law masters part time while you learn more about the real world of business. The real world of business is the ultimate future, not the business of lawyering for the government. In the US at least a lot of people who went to law school are now disappointed at their low salaries because so many went into it.

  • http://www.the-urban-survivalist.com Urbivalist Dan

    Loud Amen SM. 

    Thanks for posting. 

    If you haven’t seen it yet already, you should check out NIA’s “College Conspiracy.” All about the realistic ROI of college these days, and why College administrators started raising tuition through the roof….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpZtX32sKVE

  • Shirindge

    Appreciated your comments on the recent protests in Chile.  My husband and I w/b visiting the country + other parts of SA for a little over 6 weeks.  Chile is a big consideration for a move.

    I was wondering if you have any comments on Maipo valley or the Lake District as potential areas to reside.

    f

  • Nart

    I did this!
    I went to Aberdeen University, great university, great major, great teachers, lousy job prospects :) 

  • MadDog

    I’m so intrigued by your stories of international travel, business and now education.  Simon, in your experience (and that of your associates) what language(s) do you find the most useful?  Or which language(s) do you not know but wish you did?  I speak English; I’m learning Spanish.  What would you advise next?  Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, ???

  • Dboy

    Liked the post and the whole theme (learning opportunities). Would like to see more of this.

  • http://www.ovlg.com/debt-settlement/ Sophie Kinsella

     Attending a renowned college or university will add e real value to your resume and will also help you to get better job opportunities with money. But it needs huge money for attending colleges and university prompting many people to rely on student loans to pay for their schooling.This results in a huge debt upon graduating.Depending on the amount borrowed, it can take 15 or more years to repay a college debt. However, if the student is not in a condition to pay  his/her debt then consulting a debt counseling company could be a better choice.

  • vigeoro

    This is an excellent post by Simon, but there is something much more important that is not mentioned: What you study. 
     
    Here is a case study:
     
    I am in my early 40s and seriously considering a career change; my youth I wasted studying for an MA in Education that has yielded low profits in spite of long hours of work and study. And I very much agree with Doug H.’s view on education – http://www.caseyresearch.com/articles/uss-education-bubble – because I am living proof that I majored in the wrong subject, one intellectually interesting but not one with profit potential.  
     
    But rather than dwell on mistakes, I look for solutions.
     
    Now my search is for something to do or something to study that will yield profits to Me, Inc. I agree with Simon and other investment gurus that the rules of life are being reset and that we are witnessing a great transfer of wealth from West to East. It is time to do something and see some of this transfer of wealth come my way as well.
     
    I welcome comments and suggestions.

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