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Education and Careers Work of any kind can get stressful at times. Ask in this forum if you need help with coursework, applications, and more.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
firecrackers Offline
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Unhappy I can't afford a university anywhere (neither in the exterior nor in my own country)? - June 13th 2016, 07:48 PM

Hello, I'm new to the site and thus don't really know how things work here, so please pardon me if my question is a tad long.
The subject of my concern would be "My parents cannot afford a university ANYWHERE for me, neither in the exterior nor in my own country."

Ever since I entered the 10th grade (sophomore) I've experienced plenty of panic and anxiety attacks at the thought of going to university. I'm entering my senior year (12th grade, final grade to complete High School) this August, so imagine how I must be feeling! The thing is, things are a bit complicated for me, as I do not live in a necessarily "normal" country.
I live in Venezuela, and unless you haven't seen it in the news, things are pretty messed up here. Basically, I live in the country with the highest rate of inflation in the world, scarcity of the simplest of basic products (ranging from toilet paper to sugar), one of the most dangerous cities and countries to live in, DAILY power outages (they last 3 hours each day), lack of medicine, and daily protests. And oh my, if I continue this list I'll just upset myself and the people reading this, so I'll just stop there and let you reflect on how awful things are going for us Venezuelans.
Naturally, mostly everyone in Venezuela in search of a decent lifestyle would want to go to the exterior, to look for a better life. This is why each year, thousands of Venezuelans are leaving the country. However, as each day goes by, this is becoming a tougher task, as the country has started to prohibit many people from fleeing the country and whatnot.
My family has thought about the possibility of leaving, but as I said, this has become really tough for us.
Now, going back to my main subject: university.
The thing is, I study in one of the most "prestigious" schools in my country, something extremely hard to find. And as suspected, this "prestigious" school is expensive as fuck. HOWEEEEEEVER, this is where the exception arises: I'm only studying in this school because I've got a full academic scholarship. Because, quoting my mum, "If it weren't for that scholarship, we couldn't even afford one third of what the school charges." It's really hard to let you know an estimate on how much my mum (she's the only one who works in my family) earns, as our currency is "Bolivares" and our currency is also EXTREMELY devaluated. If I convert my mum's earnings to dollars (which in Bolivares is 80,000), let's just say she earns 80 dollars a MONTH (1,000 bolivares per dollar, which is a whole fucking lot). And to put it to perspective, the minimum wage in Venezuela is 14 dollars a month.
I have to admit that my school excels academically, and I've managed to get a GPA of 4.0 (unweightened) on both semesters this year (grade 11) because I've worked my ass off.
The only issue (which is one of the reasons of my anxiety) is that my school is an International/American school. Meaning, once you graduate from this school, you only get the American diploma. So evidently, this is a school for people who will study in the United States once they graduate. And it makes sense, because most people studying here have parents who earn more money than I could imagine (remember this is a "prestigious" school), so naturally they can afford whichever university their child desires.
This is not my case. As I said, if my mum earn only 80 dollars a month, how the hell will I pay a university that charges minimum 15,000 dollars a month? Many people have said "scholarships!" Of course, scholarships are an excellent solution. The only slight detail is that I have not taken the SAT, not even once. My parents were not able to afford it, and most universities that give scholarships request SAT scores. And unless I gain a full scholarship (which I doubt it'll happen. As high as my GPA is, I do not have the highest GPA in my class), I still cannot afford to study in the United States.
Others have said "student loans!" It's another good idea, but as I've seen in the majority of the cases, I do not wish to become another person who struggles to pay student loans for their entire life :( It's the last thing I'd like do if I were to study in America.
Now another question that may arise is why I don't just study in my own country. Good question. However, remember that my country is (and excuse my cussing throughout this question) a piece of shit right now. It may seem hard to believe, but it really is THAT bad. I mean, we have power outages daily and we even have a schedule of when the electricity will be cut off each day, so as I write this, I'm looking at the time every five minutes because we're scheduled to have no electricity from 4-7pm today. It's 3pm, so I'm rushing to finish this before the electricity is cut off..
Anyway, another issue beside the country being in awful conditions is that as I mentioned earlier, my school only offers the American diploma. Not a Venezuelan one. Meaning that by default, I cannot enter/study a Venezuelan university UNLESS I complete a course that will give me my Venezuelan diploma. However, there's yet another issue :( My oh-so-wonderful government hates the United States and calls it "the empire" and pretty much offends it daily (I'm so sorry Americans :( ). Therefore many students who request the Venezuelan diploma are rejected because the educational ministry responds with "If you hadn't supported "the empire" you'd have your Venezuelan diploma." And thus many are not able to get their Venezuelan diploma and stay with their American one, which is completely useless in ALL Venezuelan universities. That's exactly what happened to me.
I just need advice on what I could do. I know many people have it worse and I'd hate it seem as if I were self-pitying. However I'm just stuck right now and I have no idea what I'm going to do :( As of now I cannot study in America due to economic issues, yet I cannot study in Venezuela either due to political issues. My mum's income isn't enough to pay a Venezuelan university either. And public universities are diminishing in quality each passing day. There have been weeks where universities had to shut down because of protests. The other day we were in search of cheap back-to-school items (there are sales in summer) and my mum told me "Unless you want to afford university, we cannot buy these notebooks." Which is kind of true because they were very expensive (as is everything here).

I'm just.. I don't know what to do guys :( My heart is racing as I write this because I genuinely do not know what will happen to me or what my future will be. And it just makes me really angry that due to the situation of my country, so many options have to be rejected. Any advice? :(

(I'd like to genuinely thank whoever read this until the very last sentence. You got determination and a big heart x)
   
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Re: I can't afford a university anywhere (neither in the exterior nor in my own country)? - June 13th 2016, 11:28 PM

Can you apply to a university in Germany? Its free to foreigners now.
Thats something to look into. And if your grades are good enough, you cna get scholarships.
You cna consider student loans as well.
   
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Re: I can't afford a university anywhere (neither in the exterior nor in my own country)? - June 14th 2016, 02:17 AM

America isn't the only country with good universities. I think that that's something that is easy for a lot of people to forget. Hell, loads of Americans could (but usually don't) study in Canada as international students and pay less in international tuition fees than they would by studying at an equal university in the US - I realize that might be an exaggeration in some cases, but not by much

Like aguy said, countries like Germany offer affordable (even free) tuition fees to foreigners. Also, you can always work at the same time as going to school. If you go to a country that isn't outrageously expensive (e.g. Canada, Germany, Australia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, England, Scotland, Ireland), then you could easily work. You might still have *some* student debt but a small amount that could be paid off in 5 or so years (which is manageable when you consider how insane it can be in the US




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Re: I can't afford a university anywhere (neither in the exterior nor in my own country)? - June 15th 2016, 03:19 AM

Thank you both so much. I hadn't thought about Germany or Europe but I guess that's an entirely good possibility. As for Canada, I'd really like to study there, and thank you for letting me know that the international student fee would allow me to pay less money. Again, thank you both!
   
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Re: I can't afford a university anywhere (neither in the exterior nor in my own country)? - June 16th 2016, 04:19 AM

No worries. Best of luck mate
   
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