This month, college freshmen across the US are settling into their new lives.
For the next four (or five… or maybe even six) years, they’ll be immersed in safe spaces and bombarded with repugnant, hyper-socialist groupthink.
Then, at the end, they’ll walk away with a degree of questionable use… but they’ll also walk away with TONS OF DEBT.
Consumers are on pace to end 2018 with over $4 trillion of debt. And $1.5 trillion of that is student debt (more than credit cards and auto loans).
According to the latest stats, the average student loan debt in the US is nearly $40,000.
But that’s just average…
There are more than two million former students in the Land of the Free with more than $100,000 of debt… around 415,000 people have more than $200,000 of student debt.
Yet while the cost of a college education and student debt loads are soaring, wages are stagnant.
So you’re paying more and more for something that delivers stagnant value.
It’s the definition of a bad deal.
Still, every year, hordes of young people line up for this punishment. Then they graduate, indebted to the state, with no clear path forward.
Luckily, students have options.
You don’t have to be a debt serf for the rest of your life to receive an excellent education.
Going abroad is one option.
Enrolling in a foreign university will definitely spice up your resume. But it also gives you a global network, exposure to new cultures and it vastly expands your job search.
But one of the biggest benefits of international study is the low cost.
There are plenty of countries where you can study at a top-tier university for a fraction of the cost back home.
And, as an added bonus, studying abroad is a great way to obtain foreign residency and perhaps even a second passport.
A foreign residency and a second passport are components of what I call a Plan B.
Foreign residency ensures that, no matter what happens (or doesn’t happen) next in your home country, there will always be somewhere else where you and your family are welcome to live, study, work, invest and do business.
Plus, most countries have rules that allow legal residents to apply for citizenship and a passport after a certain number of years.
And if you choose the right country, on top of a low-cost (but still high quality) education, foreign residency, you’ll also have tremendous business and entrepreneurial opportunities after graduation… all in one place.
Estonia, in Europe’s far north, is one country that offers huge opportunities for a young person.
First, the University of Tartu (in Tartu) is a world-class research university – among the top 1% of the world’s best universities, in fact. It offers 23 programs taught in English, including computer science, robotics and computer engineering, software engineering and others… for only €2,000 ($2,325) per semester.
And when you graduate, you can stay and work for an Estonian startup, or start your own business. Both Skype and Transferwise were started in Estonia.
If you complete university in Estonia and remain in the country after graduation, you could be eligible for permanent residency three years later.
(That would mean you can come and go as you please and travel/live freely across Europe, from Ireland to Switzerland to Croatia.)
That’s a world-class education for a fraction of the cost and a clear path toward residency in another country. And you’ve expanded your job prospects across another continent.
But Estonia isn’t the only country where you can receive an excellent university education on the cheap.
Average annual tuition in Germany is less than $1,000. And Germany grants non-European Union (EU) graduates an 18-month residence permit to find a job. (The clock starts ticking when you receive your final exam results.)
When you find a job, you can apply for either a German residence permit or an EU Blue Card that allows residency in all of the EU. After two years, you’re eligible for permanent residency in Germany.
Before you take on a huge amount of debt for a degree of questionable value, remember that there are ALWAYS other choices.