My Hunt for the Perfect Grad School

I decided earlier this year that I want to attend graduate school. After thinking it about it for some time I decided to research programs in the areas of language, linguistics, education or translation.  I plan on becoming an official translator in Colombia by the end of the year and, in addition, I plan on teaching English after I complete my CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) in December.

Now that I’m in Colombia and no longer in the USA I have been researching the programs and loans through ICETEX which is a Colombian governmental organization which offers grants and loans to students who wish to complete their studies overseas.  In addition to ICETEX, I am also researching ColFuturo which is a non-profit organization that chooses students every year who wish to complete their graduate and Ph.D. studies overseas and also offers grants and loans. In addition ColFuturo has a number of agreements with international universities that offer Colombian students tuition discounts anywhere from 10% to 100% of the current tuition fees at that particular university.

diplomapiggyThrough my research I’ve come to realize that there are quite a few countries in Europe that still offer tuition free degrees even to international students.  Keeping this in mind, I am certainly looking through degree programs at universities that offer tuition free education as this would be a significant savings over an education in the USA or even in Colombia since a college education in Colombia is not free.  Some of these countries include Germany, Norway, Finland and Iceland. Austria and France offer close to free tuition at just a few hundred euros per semester.

Now you’re probably wondering if I speak German, Norwegian or even Icelandic.  The answer to that is a resounding NO! I only speak English and Spanish fluently and Italian poorly (1 year of study in college).  That said, all of these countries offer graduate degree programs for which the language of instruction is completely in English.  That doesn’t mean that I would not try to learn the language of that particular country because I’ve always been interested in languages and I absolutely would, but I certainly don’t have to worry about passing a Norwegian language exam since the program is entirely in English.

So what degrees am I planning on applying to? Well you can see the choices I’m considering by clicking here. I won’t be applying to all of these programs since some of the application fees are quite high, around $100.  Of the programs I’ve included on my spreadsheet, I’ll probably pick 4 or 5 to apply to.

Did you know there were tuition free degree options available to you? Do you have any tips on saving for grad school?


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