I remember last summer when all of this planning began. I knew I needed a change, but didn’t quite know what to do…
At 23 years old with my steady nursing job, 401k going strong, and loans all paid off, I found myself at a crossroads.
Should I do travel nursing for awhile? Take a year off and backpack around the world? Apply to grad school in the states? Buy a house?
I hadn’t a clue. But, what I did have is the best mother in the world. We went to Macaroni Grill for wine and deep conversation (as per usual), and I laid it all out on the table. Tears and all, we eventually concluded that maybe graduate school abroad could be the best of both worlds- traveling meets practically advancing my career. My mom helped me realize that what I missed in my life at the moment was adventure- the same adventure I had experienced as a 19-year-old studying abroad in Ireland.
So the planning began!
I researched each and every healthcare-based master’s program abroad (thanks mastersportal.com!) from the UK to Germany to Israel, and I looked for a few requirements:
- One year programs. I did not want to be stuck somewhere I didn’t know if I’d love for more than a year.
- Taught in English. You’d be so surprised how many schools abroad have master’s programs in English! So wonderful!
- Less than $20,000. I wanted to be able to pay cash for my education, as I don’t want student loans to weigh on me.
- Travel opportunities! I googled all of the schools/cities in relation to the airports and the cost of traveling around the world.
After finding over 100 programs and making an Excel Spreadsheet (nerd alert), I narrowed it down to 2 universities: Trinity College Dublin and the University of Edinburgh. After receiving acceptances from both schools (Gracias Saint Mary’s!), and after much prayer, I decided upon Edinburgh. I loved the program structure, as well as the opportunity to explore a brand new city.
Now, I have SEVEN weeks left until I move to Scotland.
I’m a firm believer that if you want something bad enough, you GET IT DONE. It’s amazing to think about all of the time and energy that I’ve put into making this dream of living abroad a reality. Finding the programs, obtaining transcripts, acquiring academic references, applying to school, saving money, obtaining my visa, buying new luggage, applying for a credit card, canceling all of my US accounts, telling my current employer I’m leaving, etc. All of these little things seemed so daunting at the time. But here we are….
I’ve always known I wanted to live abroad sometime during my adult life, and I’m hopeful that this program at Edinburgh will enable me to live out this dream.
All of my friends & family have been so supportive with this new adventure. And others have commented, “You can do that?!” Or, “Will that work when you come back to the US?” Or, “What are you going to do with that?!”
And to be honest, I don’t know.
But what I do know is that I’m going to continue to treat EACH day in these next seven weeks as a blessing and as an adventure in preparation for the HUGE adventure I’m about to embark upon.