Choices, choices

I finally met with my study abroad advisor yesterday, what turned out to be the worst heat wave I’ve ever lived through – no exaggeration, I was sweating like Shaquille O’Neal in the NBA finals in the fourth quarter against Detroit. Although I couldn’t find a program in the Middle East as I hoped, I was offered to choose either Bangkok, Thailand or Hyderabad, India. Granted, none of these places are my first or second choices but I don’t have the capital backing of Wall Street daddy so whatever I’m offered is what I have to take. 

As far as I can see, these two destinations are pretty much similar – both in South Asia, more or less similar economic, climate, and cost of living. Of course, India and Thailand are a completely different countries in every aspect. But what I care about is the cost of the whole experience minus “personal” expenditure. In this category, Hyderabad comes on top. The dollar is worth more in India than in Thailand, so even after the initial expense, I’d still spend far less in India than in Thailand. 

During my research I learned that it’s $3,000 more expensive to study in Ghana than in Malta, a country that has one of the highest living standards in the Mediterranean. When I was sitting in my advisor’s office while he went out to get the application print out, I thought of using coin toss to decide which destination I should sign up. I didn’t go that route because I want to get the most consultation I can get before my decision is final.

Besides, I still have to get two academic reference letters plus the application itself, which then they will send it to a regional office (in my State), who then will send it to the International Student Exchange Program’s office, which in turn will send it to the host institution. The host institution will make my acceptance or rejection (yeah, even if you’re paying extortionist amount) within a short period.

Then I’ll just have to move on to the next bullshit – immigration, visas, travel shots…

So here’s my question: which one is the best choice for me?

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Categories: Education, School/Students, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Choices, choices

  1. Om, if it were me, Malta would be at the top and Ghana/India competing at the bottom but your choice would depend on what you hope to get out of the exchange experience. And the money too! I think that tourists have driven up prices in Thailand, and India is a spectacular, once in a lifetime sort of experience. Such tough choices.

  2. Om

    Isn’t Malta amazing? But Malta is vacation destination, Aya. So it won’t look “impressive” on my resume when I’m job hunting. Right now, most people I have consulted with are telling me Hyderabad is where I should go for many different reasons but the only reason I’m putting it at the top of my list is because of the cost – amazingly cheap!

    You’re absolutely right about Thailand, if it wasn’t for tourists, the cost would be about the same as India. Since I started researching Hyderabad, I’ve also discovered that it’s a city that’s mostly inhabited by Muslims so it’s kind of nice to have masjids on every corner – a definite plus, don’t you think?

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