Choosing to move abroad to obtain my master’s degree came with a carefully crafted pros and cons list, and choosing to move back to the States came with a list just as gruellingly detailed.
Living abroad has given me an education just as valuable as my studies in graduate school, and an experience beyond anything I could have hoped for. I feel that I have lived more fully in these past nine months than I have in my life thus far. A bold statement, but one I believe true nonetheless.
Ireland offers its international students a plan called The Third Level Graduate Scheme, which allows those who graduate with an Irish accredited degree to remain in Ireland for up to 24 months for employment-seeking purposes. This scheme was one of the main reasons that I chose Ireland to earn my master's—I knew I would want to stay as long as I possibly could.
I overcame my battle with homesickness, but the comparisons in my mind between Ireland and the United States never stopped—especially the comparisons surrounding job prospects.
While I overcame my battle with homesickness, the comparisons in my mind between Ireland and the United States never stopped—especially the comparisons surrounding job prospects. Nothing in Ireland that I had come across got me excited, and the idea of settling for a job I did not particularly want just to continue living in Europe wasn’t as appealing as it was nine months ago. Going through the demanding workload of graduate school, and knowing the amount of effort I have given in earning my master’s degree, makes the idea of settling absolutely abhorrent to me.
I never understood it when people call America "the land of opportunity." I didn’t understand how it stood out against Europe. It’s the mentality that the grass is always greener, and I thought there was plenty of opportunity in Europe—that is until I was restricted to one country and realized that maybe, in my situation, they were right. I’m not bilingual, I don’t want to teach, and trying kickstart my career as a freelancer with fresh graduate student loans wasn’t exactly ideal.
No country is perfect—throughout my travels across Europe I have definitely learned each country has their merits—and America is no exception, but for a factor as important to me as a career, as well as the investment I made in earning my graduate degree to further said career, I can’t overlook the fact that there are more job prospects in a single state that intrigue me than Ireland has in its entire country.
I followed my dream in living abroad while also achieving a master’s degree, and I have never been more proud of my own accomplishments. My decision to move back State-side is bittersweet, but in living abroad I have achieved everything and more I set out to, and I can’t ask for much more than that.Add this article to your reading list