However, going to graduate school in France presents me with some hard questions. Do I plan on staying in France? France has a funny little loophole for French citizenship. Two years in the country and a degree from one of their universities, and you're eligible to be a French citizen. However, I'm sure they expect you to integrate into French society, and all the paperwork to actually get citizenship would take at least a year. I don't know if I want to live or work here long-term. So here I am, in 2009, debating on whether or not I'll still want to be living here in 2013 or 2014. But there are obvious advantages to getting my education here:
-It's (nearly) free. About 600-1000€ for the year, including health insurance.
-The degrees are much more tailored to what I want to do (combining journalism/communication and languages)
-The proximity to other countries and their languages
-Mandatory internship abroad
-Staying in Paris
-My assistantship is renewable, so I could have an income while going to school (it'd be a lot of work, but many do it)
-The university I'm most interested in is in the same department I work in
-I'm already here, so registering is much easier
-No GRE required; admission process much easier
-Living in Paris is expensive
-Most likely can't get student loans to help out with costs (there are ones out there for US citizens abroad..but the schools I'm looking at aren't on their approved lists)
-It's a big time commitment (at least 2 1/2, 3 years)
-Far from home
After nine months of being an assistant, I don't know if I'll want to do it again. University registration is months away, but I really like having a rough idea of what I'm going to do so I can plan accordingly. If I choose to go back to the States, there are some disadvantages:
-The cost (varies, but at least $10,000 a year..probably more)
-I haven't taken the GRE yet and the next testing date in Paris is in February..and a lot of schools' apps are due at the end of 2009
-I haven't really found any program yet that I feel fits me
-I have absolutely NO IDEA where I would want to go. East coast? West coast? Florida?Texas? Midwest (meh..)?
Anyway, I know this isn't that interesting. Really helps me more than anything to write it out. All I know is I'd really like to continue my education, and if it comes down to cost (I am poor), staying in Paris would be the more practical choice. And I love Paris. But a year or two from now, I might really miss home and want to come back.
One thing I did do during break was see this guy (below) that I went to high school with play in a band here in Paris. Kind of weird to see someone I knew from my 'lil town in Iowa in Paris, France. Some photos from the show (called FOLK OFF!):
The view from the family's terrace