Sierra is our official Outlaw Student of the Day (light bulb?). She wants to strike out on her own and go to Germany, she’s getting timid and bad advice from people close to her, and she’s creatively trying to solve her own financial problems. LOVE HER ALREADY.
Hey Judge Josh,
I have two questions for you, but hopefully they aren’t that difficult. First I would like your opinion. I am a Visual Communication Design major with minors in German and Communication Studies. It has always been my dream to live in Germany.
Sounds like you’re well on you way. Congrats!
The way I’ve decided to do this is by being an au pair after I graduate next spring. It’s a great set up because my food, lodging, and transportation are paid, but unfortunately I wouldn’t be making hardly any actual income.
I agree, it sounds excellent. There are lots of ways to make side/fun money, and it sounds like that’s all you need. Hopefully the family that’ll be employing you will actually give you a little bit of time off from the kinder to enjoy the country!
My advisors keep telling me this is a bad idea because when I come back after a year my education will be “out of date” due to field I’ve chosen.
Please, please, please — tell me that the “advisors” saying this are not employed by a university and earning actual American dollars to give advice to students. The only way I know how to respond to advice that bad is with sarcasm.
- Yes, it’s a TERRIBLE idea to go live and work in a foreign country while you’re still young, and to completely immerse yourself in its culture and language. That won’t add to your lifetime employability and earnings potential at all.
- It’s true, your Visual Communication degree that you receive in 2011 will be as antiquated as a certification in hot typesetting or manual butter-churning when you get back from Germany — in 2012. Shit will be so different that you won’t even recognize the world around you. Bacon will come in spray bottles. Motorcars will fly in the sky and they’ll be windowless and you’ll control your speed by how loud you hum. And surprisingly enough, you’ll be able to smoke in restaurants again.
- This is because Germany is a black hole of visual communication and design. It’s not the birthplace of Bauhaus, Dieter Rams, the Ulm College, etc. It’s not where an overrepresentative portion of the world’s best web and interactive designers live today. And of course it has no Internet access that might allow you to follow trends and sharpen your skills while you’re there.
- There’s a bright side, though. Your school will give you all your tuition money back, since they defrauded you by selling you four years of education that apparently goes “out of date” in 12 months.
OK, now that I’m all worked up and pissed off at people I don’t even know, we’ll let Sierra continue.
This is something that I really want to do though and I feel that graphic design can’t really change that much in a year. What do you think?
You know, I think I agree with you. 🙂
And this leads me into my second question. When I started school I knew nothing about loans and neither did my parents. I took out $5,000 in unsubsidized Stafford loans and paid everything else with scholarships and tuition reimbursements from my job.
I just recently figured out that this has been accruing interest over the past two years. I had understood that interest didn’t start accruing until I graduated, but I guess I misunderstood.
Yeah, that’s for subsidized Staffords. With unsubsidized Stafford loans, it accrues the whole time.
Would it be a good idea to take out a subsidized Stafford loan this last year of school and use it pay off the unsubsidized? I know $5000 (about $5700 now with interest) isn’t much, but I won’t be making much of anything at all straight out of college and payments are gonna be difficult.
To be honest, I probably wouldn’t mess with it at this point. It’s already accrued interest for two years and you can’t change that, and it’s only going to accrue for one more before you’re out of school and it’s accruing anyway. Doesn’t seem worth the paperwork hassle to me.
HOWEVER…look a little further into the future. You said you’re going to need money in Germany. You could certainly take a subsidized Stafford now, while you’re in school, sock the cash away and use it while you’re in Germany. Just sayin’.
Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you!
That’s mine. What about you guys? Any thoughts on the loans, the move to Germany or a future with windowless cars controlled by humming? Let us know in the comments below.