The decision to move to the other side of the world (and the complete opposite side of the weather spectrum!) came after having a short conversation with a rugby coach of mine. I had been comfortable in my career at the American Council on Exercise, but I was always looking for more so the opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time. Pete Steinberg, USA women’s rugby coach suggested that if I wanted to continue my passion as a strength and conditioning coach with an emphasis in rugby, I should earn my masters at Cardiff Metropolitan University, as it was known for the quality of its Cardiff School of Sport.
Not to mention, living abroad was always in the back of my head, so why not turn my side gig of being a strength and conditioning coach into full time career?! It didn’t take long for the thought to turn into action. After the research phase, financial planning began and that lead to numerous emails with the program director and Associate Dean. The application process was tedious and demanding, not only completing forms, collecting letters of recommendation, but providing proof of finances since I would be paying out of pocket. Thankfully it’s been worth it!
Although it costs a bit less to go abroad for this master’s program (sans scholarship)- moving expenses, VISA fees, health surcharges (depending on the country), transportation, and accommodation quickly added up. A comparable master’s program in the US would cost a bit more and that does not include transportation, food, accommodation, educational supplies and if coming from abroad- factor in the flight cost and insurance costs. It’s all important stuff to consider.
Here are few suggestions if you find yourself moving abroad for school:
- Save or arrange for more money than you think you’ll need. But don’t let this stop you from making the move.
- Travel. Take advantage of where you’re studying and how close you are to new adventures and life lessons.
- Stay (or get) healthy. The more active you are and cleaner you eat the happier you will be.
- Keep in touch with friends and family. But be sure to make new friends and network with classmates.
- Indulge in the culture. But remember your priorities!
When considering to study abroad, cost may be the biggest deterrent but remember that money comes and goes and it is meant to be spent. It is an investment not only for your education but your life overall, so fill out those applications and take that leap!