Author Topic: PhD in New Zealand and take out more loans? Urgent decision  (Read 510 times)

Toughmat

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MMM,

My financial situation is not great and I owe student loan of $17k with $6000 to my name. No other debts and own my piece of shit car. I'm 35 single. And straight.

 I have the chance to go to New Zealand and do a phd on youth athlete development at AUT which has a great sports science center. I love reading the research but not sure about spending 3 years on one study myself while I pay the school another $5k a year with low potential of earning on the side.  I was wondering your thoughts on the value of a PhD and what you think of this. An important thing to consider is that for years I have had a voice in my head telling me I have to live outside of Los Angeles. Perhaps this is my chance for an adventure and investment in my future but I cannot determine the total life cost of not earning those years and if it is worth it. What would MMM do!  Any opinions on the matter would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers

Toughmat


gooki

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Re: PhD in New Zealand and take out more loans? Urgent decision
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2017, 02:09:46 AM »
Get a scholarship, or talk to AUT about how you can work for them to fund your tuition.
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MayDay

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Re: PhD in New Zealand and take out more loans? Urgent decision
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2017, 04:56:38 AM »
No.

You get a PhD if either :

1. If the school pays you to get it (typical stipend is 20-30k a year plus tuition)

Or

2. You are independently wealthy and can fund 5 years of studying poetry with a 0.05% chance at a job in the end, for your own academic fulfillment.

If you want a PhD, research programs and apply for funding. If you want to move out of CA, apply for jobs other places.
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Raenia

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Re: PhD in New Zealand and take out more loans? Urgent decision
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2017, 05:46:41 AM »
It's also important to consider what jobs the PhD would qualify you for that you are not able to get now.  Do those jobs pay significantly higher?  Are they more in line with what you want to do?  If the answer to both of those is no, I wouldn't do it even if you can get funding.

If the answers are yes, though, then as the previous posters said, look for scholarships, see if you can get an on-campus job (i.e. teaching undergrads) to cover your tuition.  Talk to the school about the options, they should have a good idea what's available.  But if they're not helpful, don't give up - just means you'll have to do your own searching for available scholarships.

QueenAlice

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Re: PhD in New Zealand and take out more loans? Urgent decision
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2017, 05:53:40 AM »
No.

You get a PhD if either :

1. If the school pays you to get it (typical stipend is 20-30k a year plus tuition)

Or

2. You are independently wealthy and can fund 5 years of studying poetry with a 0.05% chance at a job in the end, for your own academic fulfillment.

If you want a PhD, research programs and apply for funding. If you want to move out of CA, apply for jobs other places.

+10000
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Toughmat

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Re: PhD in New Zealand and take out more loans? Urgent decision
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2017, 09:09:07 AM »
Thank you so much for replies. It's actually $22k Total  for he schoolmate I have a scholarship covering most of that but have to pay the remaining $5k. They said work shouldn't be hard to find on the side but it's just not guaranteed. It's also 2 years a  with a 30 year being flexible where I could finish the writing remotely.  Not a typical US PhD program .  I don't want to be a professor but I think I want to work in coaching so I am unclear as to how much the PhD will help. I'm sure it wouldn't hurt but short term financially it will.  Does that info change anything?

Toughmat

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Re: PhD in New Zealand and take out more loans? Urgent decision
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2017, 09:10:35 AM »
*school not schoolmate
*third year not 30 year

wonkette

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Re: PhD in New Zealand and take out more loans? Urgent decision
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2017, 10:35:45 AM »
I think you should try it for one year but be prepared to walk away.

Living outside the country is a great experience and studying abroad is a very mustachian way to do it! Living like a student and getting someone else to pay most of your own way is much cheaper than visiting NZ as a tourist. And it sounds like you're interested in the subject. Especially if you've been getting the itch to leave your current location. BUT everything else that has been mentioned is also valid - will you be able to work on the side? will you qualify for higher paying jobs?

If after one year it is either more expensive than you thought or you have lost interest in the program you should withdraw and chalk it up to a life experience. You will still be able to put some graduate level study on your resume (though I don't know if credits will transfer from abroad) and have a better sense of how much you value living in LA.

affordablehousing

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Re: PhD in New Zealand and take out more loans? Urgent decision
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2017, 11:29:40 AM »
Interesting situation. I have a sister going the traditional PhD route in the US, and friends who just moved to NZ for an adventure and to seek political asylum from the US. I think it is worth considering this like paying $5K for a two year international adventure. Yes on the upside it might catapult you to new coaching heights, but on the downside, you spend $5K for two years of trying something out living abroad. What would be the alternative if you continue to live in LA? Are you forgoing significant income? What if you discover a community you really like abroad, some industries qualify you for fast-tracked citizenship in NZ. If you want to try something new, and your opportunity cost is low (you don't have a lot of ties to your current state) which it sounds like you hint at, you just need to think if this program is the best and most economical structured adventure you can have. It may be, and if not, try to move with a job in hand and try something for a year.

Raenia

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Re: PhD in New Zealand and take out more loans? Urgent decision
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2017, 12:08:42 PM »
I would do some careful research into what the degree will do for you.  Talk to the people who have positions like the coaching you want to do, and if possible talk to the people who make hiring decisions for those positions.  It sounds like you're not sure that the PhD will actually help you further any of your goals, besides being interesting for you.  I would not do it unless and until you are sure it will actually help you.  Don't go for a PhD just because the program is there, regardless of what it costs.

If you are only considering it because you want to live in NZ, that is a different question, but either way, you should be very clear with yourself about what you expect to get out of the program/experience.

Toughmat

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Re: PhD in New Zealand and take out more loans? Urgent decision
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2017, 01:09:39 PM »
Thanks for the great replies. It's $5k a year for school but I would also have to pay for room and food and living expenses. I could go try for a year that is always an idea. The idea of starting something and quitting doesn't sit well with me, but life experience is another way of looking at it.

gldms

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Re: PhD in New Zealand and take out more loans? Urgent decision
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2017, 12:15:49 PM »
An emphatic NO! In general, you should never pay for a PhD; they should pay you.  Unless you hope to go into an academic career in sports science (good luck with that, pal..), a PhD will not only be worthless, it will probably make you "overqualified" and would seriously compromise your employability (e.g., if you wanted to work at a community college or High School).  A good Masters degree is always worthwhile, however.  Also, a PhD in NZ would follow, more-or-less, the British system.  You would do nothing but research your project; you won't be taking a bunch of interesting graduate-level courses because they don't offer them (unlike, say, UCLA). You could finish the whole PhD without having learned much of anything besides what you did your project on!  I speak as a Professor.

KungfuRabbit

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Re: PhD in New Zealand and take out more loans? Urgent decision
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2017, 07:38:49 AM »
The job market for gym teachers isn't good man....