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Guest Post: The Best Way To Stay Out Of Student Loan Debt And Boost Your Resume

Tyler Durden's picture


From Simon Black of Sovereign Man

The Best Way To Stay Out Of Student Loan Debt And Boost Your Resume

Despite the mind-numbing mantra we constantly hear from our political leaders and central bankers that inflation does not exist, there are certain parts of our lives where even a freeze-dried coffee bean can see that prices are clearly rising: At the grocery store. At the doctor’s office. At the gas pump.

One of these places is also our hallowed institutions of higher learning. It’s no secret that the cost of university education, especially in the United States, is staggering. Tuition at private schools in the US averages $30,000 annually, and students often graduate over $50,000 in debt.

This leads to a fancy form of indentured servitude; students with this kind of debt load are forced to take the first paid work they can find, and they’ll work for the next 14-years of their life just to start back at zero.

Graduate schooling can be even more painful. Top MBA programs can charge $50,000 per year or more, and for those who still cling to the idea of working their way up the corporate ladder, this has become a necessary step.

Especially now in the midst of a severe recession, it has become a new trend for people to head back to school, firm up their credentials, and wait out the economic downturn.

I have a better solution for you to consider: head overseas.

Going to a school overseas ticks a lot of boxes– for one, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper, and you don’t emerge deep in debt like you would back home.

Second, the quality of the education is as good if not better than what you would otherwise receive.

Third, and most importantly, it’s just more interesting. The experience abroad will be much more fulfilling, and it will distinguish you from the pool of other candidates who all have generic resumes.

Let’s say you’re an Ivy League type. Why pay Harvard $52,000 per year when you can go to the University of Cambridge in England for around $19,000 per year? Cambridge is consistently rated as one of the top universities in the world: same quality education, a fraction of the price.

If that sounds like too much, consider a place like Hong Kong University. Tuition at Asia’s top school is around $15,000 per year, and there are plenty of scholarships and financial aid packages available. Not to mention you’d be networking with future movers and shakers in the region.

Still too much? Look at Erasmus University in the Netherlands, whose Rotterdam School of Management is one of the top business schools in Europe. Tuition in the all-English program is around $11,500 per year, 73% less than Notre Dame’s Mendoza School, and 26% less than Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

Still too much? Try Qatar University, where there are numerous English-language programs in disciplines such as business and engineering. Tuition for foreign undergraduates is just $4,000 annually, and you’d be spending formative years in one of the world’s most thriving, opportunity-rich economies.

Still too much? Try Albert Einstein’s Alma Mater, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. If you make the cut, ETH’s tuition fee is a whopping $750 per semester for both undergraduate and graduate programs, and the school is typically ranked among Europe’s top 5 universities.

Here’s the bottom line– if you’re facing an uphill battle for prospects and opportunities, get creative; don’t simply follow the same path that everyone else is taking. The world is a big place– stop limiting yourself by geography and start looking overseas for solutions.


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Tue, 08/30/2011 - 12:46 | 1615413 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

Permanent semester abroad, bitchez. 

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:53 | 1615718 russki standart
russki standart's picture

My advice to any young men contemplating university abroad would be to study in Colombia, Bogota or Medellin.   Beautiful women, good food, low costs, beautiful women, cheap booze, crazy night life, beautiful women, very pleasant climate, learn to speak pure spanish, beautiful women.....

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 14:11 | 1615807 patb
patb's picture

And if they kidnap you, you get a free stay for 3-5 years.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 14:43 | 1615993 russki standart
russki standart's picture

Actually, patb Colombia is much safer than it was 15 years ago. Most of the violence associated with the drug trade has moved to Mexico.  But, you do need to be careful, especially if one of those colombiana hotties gets you in her grasp :-)

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 15:21 | 1616131 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

I totally agree with Columbia. When this lilly white blonde haired gringo was in South America I was dating model quality ladies who want it every night (or at least convincinglt pretend to) and believe their life goal is to serve their husband and raise children.

If I had known then what I know now I would have married one.

Guys there are better things waiting for you overseas. You may make half your income but your life is fantastic.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 16:00 | 1616309 Leopold B. Scotch
Leopold B. Scotch's picture

I wonder how many of those prices are subsidized by govt so their education looks good by global standards? 

Not saying we're not seeing inflation concentrated here in higher education.  Actually, I've been saying what this post says for a decade:  Money printing does not just blow into CPI... it blows heavily into asset prices and other things people buy with leverage.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 18:15 | 1616770 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture


"... so their education looks good by global standards? "

Well, that might be a part of it.  But in "Old Europe" it is the beginning of the Ruling Class's gravy train.  Since screening into Ecole Superior and Ecole Polytechnique and ETH involves certain "connections"

Subsidized to hook the young 'unz.

- Ned

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 19:50 | 1617071 Thomas
Thomas's picture

There is a simpler way: Rack up a few semesters at a community college and transfer them over. I teach at one of these overpriced elite institutions; lots of kids do this.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 02:23 | 2299766 jaffa
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In insolvency proceedings, secured lenders traditionally have priority over unsecured lenders when a court divides up the borrower's assets. Thus, a higher interest rate reflects the additional risk that in the event of insolvency, the debt may be uncollectible. Thanks.
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Tue, 08/30/2011 - 16:03 | 1616335 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Does that program include conjugal visits?

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 16:05 | 1616347 Campagnolo
Campagnolo's picture

Is that is the case I will go for the region: higest levels of educacion, safest country, estrongest economy, beautyful weather and geography, best wines...chilean women are not that hot as Colombian though...if you want a banana republic like the US so  go to Colombia, if you are looking for serious future, go to Chile or Uruguay as a second alternative.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 16:51 | 1616545 russki standart
russki standart's picture

Campagnolo,  I agree that Chile is a wonderful place to live and prosper. I only suggest Colombia as a place for young men to have fun whilst learning to speak good spanish and obtaining an education at a decent price. Uruguay is also a good place to live, but rather boring, except for Punta Del Este during the tourist season.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 17:03 | 1616597 halflink123
halflink123's picture

Can you f*cking stay on topic?  We aren't talking about where to find the best brothels.  We are talking about where to get the cheapest quality education to enable one to make MONEY; the best EDUCATIONAL investment not the best PUNANI investment.


God I f*cking hate Columbian women shut up about that crap already.  They look mostly like Indian women, if you like that kind of thing great but don't go on about it ad naseum.


Yes American schools - the quality is average at best and the price is extortion, especially in this economy where there are no jobs.  I recently finished law school in the U.S. - no job, huge price tag, condescending professors, low quality in terms of information learned.


Same with the B-Schools here - they just turn out banksters and sheep.  Look at how well the B-School graduates ran the banks and other financial instutions, not to mention the economy.  These schools have destroyed their reputations.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 17:26 | 1616654 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture


Tue, 08/30/2011 - 17:26 | 1616655 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You do realize that you are arguing with a MBA who whores himself? I thought you knew that.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 19:29 | 1617014 russki standart
russki standart's picture

And I love U too, Flaky. I am just waiting for the next ZH article on AGW.... 

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 19:27 | 1617011 russki standart
russki standart's picture

Sorry , halflink123, we are only trying to inject a bit of levity into the conversation.  Most of what I remember from college were the girls. The rest of it, ie education, took me many years to unlearn.  As a suggestion, if you are a recent graduate, why not go overseas and study for 1 or 2 years? It will look good on a resume, you can develop new skills and will open opportunities that you may not imagine. Good luck finding a decent job stateside. 

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 02:11 | 2347929 jaffa
jaffa's picture

Debt will increase through time if it is not repaid faster than it grows through interest. This effect may be termed usury, while the term usury in other contexts refers only to an excessive rate of interest, in excess of a reasonable profit for the risk accepted. Thanks a lot.
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Sat, 04/21/2012 - 06:14 | 2363371 jaffa
jaffa's picture

Higher education generally involves work towards a degree level or foundation degree qualification. In most developed countries a high proportion of the population now enter higher education at some time in their lives. Higher education is therefore very important to national economies, both as a significant industry in its own right, and as a source of trained and educated personnel for the rest of the economy. Thanks.
sat tutoring nyc

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:57 | 1615734 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

It ain't sexy, but a car/diesel mechanic will always put food on the table. Even during a Mad Max depression.

And he'll have time to love his wife and raise his kids.


Tue, 08/30/2011 - 14:38 | 1615973 V in PA
V in PA's picture

Might I add machinist /gun repair, electrician and chef.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 16:07 | 1616354 A.W.E.S.O.M.-O 4000
A.W.E.S.O.M.-O 4000's picture

Fred Garvin. Male prostitue.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 19:33 | 1617026 bankonzhongguo
bankonzhongguo's picture

Let me help you with that back brace.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 23:17 | 1617778 animalogic
animalogic's picture

Dig it, RF!

The best advice you can give to most (not all) kids is get a trade while they are still young. Plumber, mechanic, locksmith, wielder etc - these trades always tend to have better income and employment opportunities than many of the jobs requiring university credentials (nevermind all the unskilled/semi-skilled jobs).

And having worked for a few years such a trade can then be used (if the person is dead-set on it) to get that university degree they've always wanted. They can either have saved up for university or they can study part time and pay fees as they go; thus avoiding the later debt load that blights so many young peoples' lives.

On a slightly different note -- I know it's a fantasy to suggest this, but I suspect many American young people would like a system like we have in Australia: its called HECS (Higher Education Contribution Scheme) and it basically means that the Commonwealth government pays for your university etc degree up front. You then have a choice: you can pay back the government immediately at a reasonable discount or you can pay later, after completing your degree. However, you are only required to start paying back when your income hits a certain level -- I think it's around $45,000 per year  (averaged over 52 weeks) that initiates repayment. When you do repay (you might have to pay this week, but not the next because your income has dropped) the government takes something like 2% of your weekly wage in repayment. The percentage increases a couple of stages for higher incomes (I think the highest is posibly around 4 %). Of course, the total debt owed increases each year in line with official inflation.

Don't get me wrong, it's far from a perfect system -- however, I do think it has some advantages over a system that basically demands that poorer students obtain loans at basically commercial rates of interest the repayment of which kicks in on simply completing your degree.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 14:38 | 1615925 reload
reload's picture

Cambidge university; here in the Uk for $19k p.a? I think not. Tuition fees for Uk residents are £9k ( call it $15k) and higher for overseas students (by @50%) which is why Universities here love foreigners and let as many of them in as possible. Back to the £9k p.a tuition fees - thats without any living expenses or study materials! so you can double it AT LEAST! 

The Education minister was on the media last week defending the increase in tuition fees thus:

"as no repayments on government loans for University are due until the graduate is earning at least £21,000 pa we calculate that only 60% of men and 40% of women will ever make any repayments"

Which would be very funny if it were not so tragic.

Sat, 03/31/2012 - 02:17 | 2305861 jaffa
jaffa's picture

The same is true if you finished your studies a long time ago and never went back for continuing education credits or a new certification. Employers look for updated resumes when interviewing candidates for a position, so you may be at a disadvantage even if your old credentials are good enough. Thanks a lot.
landscape forum

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 12:47 | 1615414 UGrev
UGrev's picture


Tue, 08/30/2011 - 14:00 | 1615747 buck4free
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Tue, 08/30/2011 - 14:48 | 1616013 Infinite QE
Infinite QE's picture

Like Frank Zappa said:

`If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go the library.'

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 16:03 | 1616330 Leopold B. Scotch
Leopold B. Scotch's picture

Guilty of former.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 15:23 | 1616140 Yardstick of Ci...
Yardstick of Civilization's picture

"You spent a hundred and fifty grand on an education you could have had for a dollar-fifty in late charges at the public library."

~Matt Damon as Will Hunting~

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 15:32 | 1616188 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture

And you won't be indoctrinated by propaganda-spewing, leftist professors... 

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 12:48 | 1615422 Version 7
Version 7's picture

They are all so cheap aren't they?

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 12:49 | 1615428 SokPOTUS
SokPOTUS's picture

...the world needs ditch-diggers, too...

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 12:52 | 1615447 Version 7
Version 7's picture

Had this world a majority of balanced, serious, ignorant people, it would go forward.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 12:55 | 1615464 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

.. and for every ditch digger there has to be a ditch filler in .. :)

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:02 | 1615500 centerline
centerline's picture

According to Keynesian economics as interpreted by today's geniuses.  LOL.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:44 | 1615669 SoCalBusted
SoCalBusted's picture

"What's your dirt doing in his ditch"


Tue, 08/30/2011 - 12:56 | 1615471 Id fight Gandhi
Id fight Gandhi's picture

Still need a degree for that now.

Much cheaper to save the debt or just go overseas.

If I was young I'd get the fuck out of here too. USA can bleat be competitive with the rest of the world when they have the highest cost higher education, least amount of jobs and highest debt.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 12:57 | 1615474 caerus
caerus's picture

you'll get nothing and like it!

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:23 | 1615576 WonderDawg
WonderDawg's picture

Are you my pal, Mr. Scholarship Winner?

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:33 | 1615615 caerus
Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:41 | 1615646 WonderDawg
WonderDawg's picture

But the man worthwhile, is the man who can smile, when his shorts are taking HFT heat.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 17:06 | 1616605 hunglow
hunglow's picture

How do you expect to get any pudding if you don't eat your meat!

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:16 | 1615548 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

I spent a couple of years in the early 80's in the US Navy going to technical schools. It cost the tax payers over $1 million for my education. It cost me 4 years of hell serving on a ship with an undermanned shop because no one would stay in after having served the minimum amount of time to get the "free" education others and I got. I joined the others in walking away from the US Navy and taking a 6 figure a year income job.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:30 | 1615601 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

I'm guessing twidgit, yes?

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 14:02 | 1615766 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

That and the clearance together are quite marketable.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 14:13 | 1615821 duo
duo's picture

The Navy, it's not just a job, it's an adventure.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 15:57 | 1616302 Leopold B. Scotch
Leopold B. Scotch's picture

Technical School at $1 million?   Clearly that's not machine shop education.   What?  Nuclear Physics?  Medicine?

Then again, these are the same people who paid $500 for toilet seats.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 16:09 | 1616363 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

Gas Turbine systems Tech Mechanic, Electrical, and Electronics. I did it all. I was a Tool and Die machinist before I joined. Jimmy Carter (like Obama today) killed jobs and the economy knocking me out of work in the process. After the Navy I travelled all over the world installing and repairing Gas Turbine power plants. I retired at the age of 47 and now have a little shop behind my house with a complete machine shop and electronics test, calibrate, and repair bench.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 17:44 | 1616700 snowjax
snowjax's picture

"I am so smart, SMRT"

Homer Simpson

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 12:51 | 1615435 Confused
Confused's picture

Don't want to be "that guy."

ETH in Zurich is not $750. Its 750CHF, and that is only if you are a Swiss resident. If you are foreign you pay a bit more.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:19 | 1615557 dugorama
dugorama's picture

Actually, it's 500 CHF.  And they don't care where you're from, if you can get in.  How about any Germany university where it's 500 Euro / semester including other Einstein alma mata? 

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:34 | 1615620 Confused
Confused's picture

Getting in is a different story.

And you're right. Tuition is actually lower. I vaguely remembered it being 750 and more for foreign born students. Thanks for the correction.

As to your Germany Uni point, if I'm not mistaken, tuition includes tram fare.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:21 | 1615563 Ratscam
Ratscam's picture

who cares, WBS cost me CHF 50'000 per year as opposed to the 3000 in Zurich. i did not learn more in philly than i would have in CH.
A friend of mine is a professor for an Ivy League in Doha Qatar. He is making north of USD 120000 whereas Columbia offered him USD 40000 in New York. Student tuition there is so low because of government subsidies.
My advice, do your kids a favor and get them the heck out of the USofA.
in addition they will learn an additional language which is priceless, no mastercard experience.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 14:22 | 1615877 The Spin Doctor
The Spin Doctor's picture

All WBS taught me was to get the heck out of West Philly.  I didn't go far enough, and agree that it is sound advice to the next generation: get out of the USA. 

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 14:22 | 1615880 The Spin Doctor
The Spin Doctor's picture

All WBS taught me was to get the heck out of West Philly.  I didn't go far enough, and agree that it is sound advice to the next generation: get out of the USA. 

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 17:36 | 1616680 Ratscam
Ratscam's picture

we used to call mc donald Mc Death and Burger King, Murder King. I guess we,ve lost in every year 2 to 3 penn students to crime.
what a shit hole it was, although my most fun 2 years of my life.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 15:11 | 1616078 The Wolf
The Wolf's picture

Rat... but isn't part of the attraction of being a Econ Prof at a prestigious US school in getting hit on by Becky Quick and Diedre Bolton whilst being interviewed... and getting paid $200k to write up "independent" reports on the health of BoA  ;-)

After 10+ years at your $40k pa gig, your net worth is somewhere between $4MM and $10MM...

Agree 100%... get yo' a$$ o/s... why suffer in the US if you have a college education...find out where jobs are...apply for that passport and get moving... it ain't hard...just needs some independent thought...

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:34 | 1615622 Chestire
Chestire's picture

Yeah, you're right, it's $850

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 14:07 | 1615785 dark_matter
dark_matter's picture

I did graduate work at ETH in computer science. When I was there they paid their graduate students to be teaching assistants. The taxes were much lower than in the US. And the chocolate and skiing were fabulous.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 12:51 | 1615437 papaswamp
papaswamp's picture

Or save yourself the cash and don't bother. Most jobs available don't require a degree. 

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 12:55 | 1615461 Construct
Construct's picture

Sounds good too me.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:48 | 1615686 ServingMyKing
ServingMyKing's picture

Everything you need to know can be learned on youtube.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 16:40 | 1616494 Construct
Construct's picture

YouTube and ZeroHedge. I have learned that people who go and study economics are 100% wrong in all their predictions.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 18:10 | 1616758 TheMerryPrankster
TheMerryPrankster's picture

Economists are a trailing indicator. They do make good boat anchors though.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 12:51 | 1615440 FurZo
FurZo's picture

Speaking as someone who studied for three years at National Tawian University, known as the "Harvard of Taiwan", I attest that studying abroad has many advantages, but be wary that the letters MBA do not hold much value in America or Europe when they come from Asia. Nevertheless, living in a foreign country was a fantastic experience. More important than the formal education you receive is the live experience you gain.  

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:17 | 1615550 Rick64
Rick64's picture

Living abroad is an education in itself. Learn a new language and learn about different cultures. It is a mind opening experience.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:44 | 1615672 BobPaulson
BobPaulson's picture

Not sure how much value the letters have in North American either. The shine is coming off that degree when they track company performance when run by leaders with and without MBA's and find no correlation. 

I'd say globally there is what amounts to an education bubble, funded by: you guessed it, debt. Student loans facilitate the bloated tuitions. Too many people going to university, quite frankly, the quality of the grads is dropping like a stone while universities chasing those bucks a in a conflict of interest between collecting tuition and pissing off the customer by imposing education standards. It's just demographics: when you give degrees to a higher percentage of people, the average drops. It's called the bell curve. 

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 12:51 | 1615442 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

This is really true.  Also overseas medical care at the top hospitals is better than the average medical care in the United States at usually less than half the cost for more luxurious and attentive surroundings.

I might just go abroad as a USA trained doctor.  They still respect us overseas, but perhaps not for long if we keep practicing shitty medicine here in the untied states.


I am going to recommend my sons consider going overseas for their education, especially if they can learn a foreign language.  The USA is still the biggest trading economy in the world and a foreign language will be a plus in the future.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 12:51 | 1615444 RichardENixon
RichardENixon's picture

Hey I see an opportunity for another credit-financed bubble!

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 12:52 | 1615450 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Check out the tuition at McGill or U of Toronto or UBC....

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 12:53 | 1615454 Construct
Construct's picture


I got a better idea. Either I get a 100% paid scholarship or I am not studying at all. To many MBA's out there anyway and to few banks hiring. Supply and Demand HOOKERS!
Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:04 | 1615509 CIABS
CIABS's picture

Construct:  If and when you study, start with "to" and "too."

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 12:53 | 1615456 Debtless
Debtless's picture

Go to college in India, then stay there & get your job back which was sent there years ago.   

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 12:56 | 1615469 Construct
Construct's picture

Yeah I hear ya but do they have working sewage systems with toilets in India?

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:06 | 1615517 Silver Dreamer
Silver Dreamer's picture

Yes, they do.  The street.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 14:47 | 1616007 V in PA
V in PA's picture

I thought it was the Ganges.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 16:01 | 1616315 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Jim Cramer is in India now?

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 16:37 | 1616476 Crisismode
Crisismode's picture

Yes, he is swimming in the Ganges right now . . .


and he is screaming "C'MON IN THE WATER'S FINE!!"

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 17:37 | 1616682 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture


He is the turd in the punch bowl! Er, uh, river.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:22 | 1615565 dugorama
dugorama's picture

Sorry!  While your office may well be filled with H1B visa holders from Delhi, you are not allowed to go there and work.  Even if the 2/3rd salary haircut is acceptable.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:50 | 1615701 Manny
Manny's picture

Wrong. From what i see in the IT field the salaries are now on an average 2/3rds of what you make here. And yet they keep rising by 10-20% everyyear. Would not be surprised if in 2-3 years they are on par with what we make here.

Plus 2/3rd salry in India can give you a better lifestyle than you get here. You can hire maids, people to drive you around and food is not poisioned with HFCS!

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 16:01 | 1616313 Steaming_Wookie_Doo
Steaming_Wookie_Doo's picture

"and food is not poisioned with HFCS!"

Who needs that when you can have cholera and ascaris worms.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 16:22 | 1616424 Manny
Manny's picture

Ignorance is bliss!

Major Indian cities like Banglore, Mumbai and Delhi have some of the finest restaurants around with some great hygenic food. Most people from developed countries prefer that option.

On the other hand you can really economize a meal by getting food from street vendors which might come all those diseases free. So the really really cheap ones are the one who get impacted!

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 16:22 | 1616425 Manny
Manny's picture

Ignorance is bliss!

Major Indian cities like Banglore, Mumbai and Delhi have some of the finest restaurants around with some great hygenic food. Most people from developed countries prefer that option.

On the other hand you can really economize a meal by getting food from street vendors which might come all those diseases free. So the really really cheap ones are the one who get impacted!

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 12:56 | 1615472 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture

Might actually be a good choice for my children.   Of course if they come back culturally contaminated, I'll be pretty pissed off. 

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:00 | 1615494 Confused
Tue, 08/30/2011 - 16:33 | 1616464 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

LOL. yeah, no cultural contamination on this soil!  ;)

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 12:59 | 1615482 Yardstick of Ci...
Yardstick of Civilization's picture

I graduated near the top of my class from a very presigious graduate school in the U.S. with a $100k in student loans.  Basically committed career suicide when I realized what a sham my profession was . . . three years later, still no default on the loans, but I am considering an international move where I can start a new credit file at zero.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:01 | 1615497 Construct
Construct's picture

Is that even possible?

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:36 | 1615630 Yardstick of Ci...
Yardstick of Civilization's picture

Well, if you read The Big Short, a lot of the loans piled into MBS's and CDO's were comprised of "thin credit file" loans--loans taken out by foreigners who had established new credit in this country.  I'm assuming that such a mechanism must exist in other countries as well.

Wouldn't it be sweet if a mass exodus of debtors eventually causes the cows to come home?

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 15:29 | 1616168 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Do it and dont be afraid.
If I were young and single I would leave.
A caucasian american can get really hot chicks easily overseas.
Dont go to college.
Set up an american style sports bar in south america.
Buy a hair removal laser and set up a clinic there.
There are so many business opportunities for high growth capital starved countries.

Leave now! Never look back! You wont regret it!

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 16:40 | 1616470 Yardstick of Ci...
Yardstick of Civilization's picture

I would love to own/run an american sports bar in Columbia or Brazil.  I can even handle fending off the bandito's myself.  Sounds like you're an investor! 

That's what I need . . . time to develop new credit in a new country so that I can invest in something that will return a profit OR investors . . . .  I only have $15k.  That's not going to go very far.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 22:11 | 1617545 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

Go back to school for a few months, borrow another 100 grand or so and leave.   If you're not going to pay anyway, don't pay even more.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 22:33 | 1617623 GiantWang
GiantWang's picture

They give you the cash one semester at a time, but you could max out every personal line of credit buying gold coins (or some other hideable asset) before leaving.  Same thing that you're suggesting in theory.

Wed, 08/31/2011 - 21:03 | 1621228 chindit13
chindit13's picture

I can't say walking away from debt is a good thing, though it certainly has quite a fan base here on ZH.

What I can say is that being an expatriate is a good thing, provided you are the right type of person. By "right type" I mean two things. First, you have to be capable of walking away from everything and everyone you know and starting fresh, and view that as an attractive challenge. Second, you have to be the type of person people in another culture would take kindly to. Not everyone is built for the job. Show some self-restraint, humility and a bit of diplomacy and you'll be okay. Make an effort to learn the language, and if you have an affinity for languages, learn it well. Think you or your system is inherently superior, and you won't be particularly welcome. Keep those thoughts to yourself, partly because it is polite, and mostly because until you've lived in half a dozen places and experienced half a dozen cultures, you don't know that answer. Oh, and learn to joke in another culture. A sense of humor is welcome the world over; it just varies from place to place.

There are a host of reasons for leaving the US. Each of us is different and had different reasons for taking flight. I left because I had seen enough of it, and while the clock was still ticking I wanted to see a lot more of the world. I didn't care much for US politics, and as I aged I didn't care much for US people and the direction they were heading, at least the majority. I tend to favor curious people, open-minded people, educated people (formal or self, I don't care which), people open to new ideas, people who have time for others, people not afraid of an honest day's work, people who can keep their tempers in check and who view violence as a last---not first---resort, and people who can laugh at themselves. Most of all I favor people who will go out of their way to be happy.

I've had the great opportunity to live in several countries whose cultures and religions cover the spectrum of what humans have developed. I'm not religious myself, but I do have a curiosity about what others believe. I've learned a dozen languages, and would call myself still proficient in at least half of them. I'm comfortable wherever I am, but like nothing better than to be dropped into a new place where I know no one and can't speak the lingo. I simply adore that challenge. Get out there while you are still young. There's far too much to see and experience than to limit yourself to one place and one culture, that is, if you're suited for it.

Thu, 09/01/2011 - 12:19 | 1622892 Rick64
Rick64's picture

+1000   Its a shame that you didn't post this earlier and most people won't see this.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:20 | 1615560 TheBillMan
TheBillMan's picture

F*ck the banks.  Move and then default. 

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:33 | 1615618 Yardstick of Ci...
Yardstick of Civilization's picture

That's what I'm talking about . . . move, establish new credit in a foreign country, and default.  Life continues.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 14:36 | 1615962 goodrich4bk
goodrich4bk's picture

I assume you have no need for that SS check when you retire overseas.  Because student loans are the only debt that the government can collect by taking it out of your SS check.  A lot of today's kids are going to get doubly screwed in about 40 years when they realize that the SS ponzi has collapsed, that their benefits have been cut by 40% and that those lower benefits are taken to pay off their student loans that have been accruing interest and penalties for 40 years.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 16:05 | 1616342 Steaming_Wookie_Doo
Steaming_Wookie_Doo's picture

And you think SS will still be around when this person retires? I suspect it will be hyperinflated to oblivion soon enough. With luck, our ex-pat will be able to get onto the local social support if need be. And if the hyperinflation hits hard, maybe it will only take a few hundred pesos to satisfy any extant student loan debt. Winning!

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 14:37 | 1615967 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Last I checked, those loans weren't dischargeable.  Presuming you'll be required to report to uncle sam your earnings for 10 years after leaving, I'd have some reservations...  practically speaking, whether or not anyone will take the time to do anything about it is another issue...  but, having experience with tax liens in general, I'd say they're not something you want to get acquainted with.

I'd suggest getting a job some place where they pay your student loans...  do your time, maybe 3-5 years tops...  and book it.  Add the debt repayment to your salary and you're looking at some solid wages most places...  and to sweeten the deal, it's probably government work...  which means work without expectations (and with tranny porn, depending on your area of placement).

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 15:11 | 1616085 Yardstick of Ci...
Yardstick of Civilization's picture

They absolutely are not dischargeable.  That's why I'm talking about moving to another country, where I can't be garnished (except for SS and tax refunds).  They can take whatever they want out of my tax refund, but living abroad means the first $80k or so is tax free anyhow.  Screw SS, I'm not depending on it.  I'd rather have a stash of gold buried in a mayo jar in the backyard!

We have no debtor's prison, but student loans are certainly an advanced form of indentured servitude.  What are they going to do when 15 - 20% of students start defaulting for lack of jobs?  Cash life = ability to say "fuck you bankster."  Now as for personal responsibility, c'mon . . . credit is the new crack and it's sold on school campuses to kids without fully formed frontal lobes . . . .

If you have a suggestion as to where I can get the type of job you just described, I'm all ears.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 15:54 | 1616284 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Try this:  There are also programs that private employers do...  Also might want to consider working for a non-profit...  probably no one there and you might hit a home run when factoring in loan payments on your behalf.

Generally speaking though, if you get fired before the time is up, most will demand you to repay the loans paid on your behalf...  I'd consult with your accountant/attorney, but the debt to your former employer may actually be dischargeable...  so, if you accomplish nothing else, you'll have gotten that monkey off your back after filing bk or settling...  potentially.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:38 | 1615644 I Got Worms
I Got Worms's picture

Lemmee guess... law school?

I just paid my last law school load off in january after 11 years, and I went to a "cheap" state school in Texas. I steer everyone I can away from law school. I am lucky to be in the job that I am (for how long remains to be seen) but for most folks with a law degree, what a racket. Unless you are way up high in class ranking, get ready for a life of hourly wage document review. Can't even get a job with the State these days, and they don't pay shit anyway.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 15:12 | 1616089 Yardstick of Ci...
Yardstick of Civilization's picture

10-4 Chief . . . .

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 16:03 | 1616334 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

There's presently a $200m suit against law schools for misrepresenting job prospects, etc... 

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 16:49 | 1616536 Yardstick of Ci...
Yardstick of Civilization's picture

I didn't hear about the suit, but I did see the NY Times (WSJ?) article on the topic a while back and suggested to my buddy that we file a class action.  Problem is, we both landed high paying (but soul sucking) jobs right after graduation.

When I quit, I felt like I was on top of the world and that prospects were bright, now I scrape by in a low paying job but still make those loan payments . . . at least until interest rates pop and I'm forced to default or not eat.

Still haven't figured out the entrepreneurial thing . . . yet.  Probably not a great environment to be trying, but what else am I to do?

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 18:39 | 1616850 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Not a bad time to start a business, per se, you just have to be really careful what you start and it can't be particularly risky nor with any leverage...  it's going to be a slow grind trying to keep up with inflation...

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:44 | 1615670 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

History? Molecular biology? What was your profession?

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 21:20 | 1617338 Tompooz
Tompooz's picture

Career suicide? Did you say anything critical about Israel?

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 12:59 | 1615483 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

I shared this before...there is no inflation:


Children's School Lunch Price Rises, Sparking Fears Over Health

"Children will have to pay up to 17 per cent more for their school dinners this year compared to last year, a survey has found."

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:18 | 1615552 DOT
DOT's picture

Sucks to be a kid in GB.

Then you leave school, get on the "Dole", and buy your lunch at the Pub.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:27 | 1615590 AustriAnnie
AustriAnnie's picture

Kids are already on the dole in school.  More kids receive "free lunches", which is probably why the cost has gone up.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 15:08 | 1616074 John Rotten
John Rotten's picture

Somebody has got to subsidize their lunches.  Mamma is barely getting by on welfare and they don't know their father who, by that point, has fathered something like seven children with five different women and is married to none of them.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:28 | 1615593 JohnG
JohnG's picture

But, but, the Fed ignores food and energy inflation.  Can't be true (sarc)

Gov't cheese and soybean meat can't be all that expensive anyway.....

Many kids get thier lunch paid for by the taxpayer anyway.

Let them eat ketchup.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 14:52 | 1616027 Grimbert
Grimbert's picture

You have to have a net household income of less than about £16k for that. I considered increasing my pension contribution to get my salary that low, but we would have had to forgo at least one of our foreign holidays each year. It costs £2.20 x 3 kids/day, so I make sandwiches.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 15:43 | 1616231 JohnG
JohnG's picture

Lots of ways to game the system here in US.  And they do, my wife is a schoolteacher.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 17:16 | 1616633 caerus
Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:00 | 1615491 Ergo
Ergo's picture

Or... go to a good state school with a winning football team. 

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:32 | 1615609 Panafrican Funk...
Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

Indeed.  Plan:

1.  Take 6 years to graduate (minimum credits per semester to be considered full time).

2.  Major in sociology.

3.  Borrow every available dollar.  Spend none of your own money.

4.  Work cash jobs for fucking around money.

5.  Finally graduate.

6.  Continue working cash jobs, while subletting.  

7.  Die from some manner of overdose before the age of 30.

8.  Declare self winner.


Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:00 | 1615492 centerline
centerline's picture

College here in the US is just the next bubble.  It too will pop with horrible consequences.  Just a matter of time.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:00 | 1615495 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

umm...  what about an apprenticeship with a good local tradesman?  Air conditioner repair?  Mechanic?  Computer tech?  Etc, etc. etc... 

Ok, so you eat a little pay on the front end...  but it seems to me this is about all there is out there... 

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:40 | 1615653 pods
pods's picture

Been seriously looking at HVAC machoman.  It would allow us to live by the coast, and set my own hours.  

People at work look at me like I am crazy.  Half because they are H1Bs and do not know what HVAC is, the other half because they still think that our "jobs" are going to be here.  (Our jobs are there simply due to the FDA)

I figured since I work on mine and my neighbors already, why not do it for cash?

AC is not something that is elective in today's southern society.  


Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:52 | 1615703 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

Even better. I know a guy who installs vault doors. I figure that will be a booming industry in the future. I'm going to ask him about an apprenticeship. I'm sure his eyes will bug out of his head.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 15:12 | 1616090 John Rotten
John Rotten's picture

Those AC units require electricity.  Become a linesman.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 16:13 | 1616389 pods
pods's picture

The allure of playing with a chainsaw while getting paid is great I must say.  I would love bucket pruning but not the up for 4 days hurricane duty.


Tue, 08/30/2011 - 16:39 | 1616490 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Yeah, but you get the time and a half and I'm pretty sure the pay has some tax reduced during the "emergency" period.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 16:20 | 1616415 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

Do you like working in hot places and sweating your bag off?

Remember, everywhere you go the AC is busted and as soon as you fix it, you leave.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 14:20 | 1615862 caerus
caerus's picture

agreed...the trades will be the way to go imo (other than farming)...there's something to be said for acquiring actual skills...

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 14:48 | 1616011 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Add farming to the list...  especially farming.  While machines can take quite a bit of the guess work out of it, that doesn't mean a novice can do it worth a shit...  kind of like expecting to be able to drive an F1 car just because you can fit in the cockpit.  What most people don't understand about the most successful farmers is that they're generally the smartest people in the room...  despite having no formal education so to speak and often times being socially strange (but that generally comes with intelligence anyway).

I could see the possibility of nationalization...  but whomever ends up working still needs training.  And it's not the type of thing that reading a book will cut it...  you gotta go and get your hands dirty and even the slightest mishap or error can cause a dramatic decrease in yield.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 15:08 | 1616071 caerus
Tue, 08/30/2011 - 15:39 | 1616211 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Make all of those fuckers in prison cultivate the land.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 15:39 | 1616212 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

Am I missing something or did you just present evidence refuting yourself and supporting Macho's assertion? Which I believe to be 100% spot on.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 15:58 | 1616305 caerus
caerus's picture

sorry, maybe i was unclear...i think trades AND farming are the way to go...although i favor farming

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:01 | 1615499 pan
pan's picture

Better alcohol, more interesting women and lower tuition bitchez!

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:08 | 1615507 VogonPoet
VogonPoet's picture

Please, I think education is a massive ripoff, but even at their exaggerated prices these statements are a lot of hyperbole.

"Tuition at private schools in the US averages $30,000 annually, and students often graduate over $50,000 in debt. Students with this kind of debt load are forced to take the first paid work they can find, and they’ll work for the next 14-years of their life just to start back at zero."

Aside from the fact that currently nobody can find a job when they are just out of school (making all education debt untenable), if we reset to 5 years ago when you could and the numbers were similar, this statement above is not an absolute. So much depends on what field you are practicing in. If you go into computer science or other forms of engineering you can get a top 5 figure salary that even in high end urban area like SF or NYC would leave you with enough to pay rent and food, some partying, and still have maybe 8K to put into paying down the loan. Do that for 3 years and you have cut the debt in half and have enough experience that you're probably moving into 6 figures quickly. Completely managable, worth the investment, and youre not going to be forced to take just any job and you'll still have a nice lifestyle. Not much to complain about for taking the safe track. I still think its a rip off but these statements about how all expensive education is slavery are ridicuous.

However, if you want to invest 50K in english lit undergrad, or journalism or something, you're beyond a fool. These prices are a complete rip off. These prices only make some sense at the elite level, Columbia, Newhouse, where you're confident of your tallent (for tv you better look spectacular) and you're paying to jump the line into the nytimes or onto msnbc or whatever. Its an entrace fee and if youre good enough to make it at the elite level then the fee isn't so bad. Same story for Yale MFA programs. If you can get the show at Louring Augustine on graduation you're gold, 50K is nothing, you'll be selling paintings for that much in 5 years. All others should think twice.

So evaluation of cost really requires contextual analysis. Something sorely lacking from this article. We can't even praise this article for spot lighting reasonable cost effective alternatives because the alternatives are still elite institutions. If youre good enough to get into top global engineering school, 50K in debt simply doesnt mean a hill of beans. There are many good alternatives to high fee private education, and someone can write a good article about them. This one aint it.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 15:56 | 1616293 koperniuk666
koperniuk666's picture

Bang on mate.

My best friend is a Doctor and,  although Im probably smarter than him, I didn't go to university.I set up my own business.

we compared incomes ( annually and total to date) and it wasn't until we were in our early forties that his income exceed mine. His lifetime total income has not yet exceed mine although it will quite soon (Im 49).

add in a few other factors such as time risk , and would you rather have cash now or later, and i would suggest anyone would be foolish to take his life plan over mine. what he does have over me is status = which is very important for chicks.

my view is that Uni largely a waste of time . if u are smart, u are going to do well whatever. If you want to be a professional, remember that the earnings reported in the profession are often AVERAGE not median. Median incomes in the Law business in the UK are falling!. Yes u cn make GBP1m a year but a lotta lawyers ( esp women( bimble by on 35- 50k.

not a living wage....

if you are just trying to better yourself - DONT WASTE THE TIME. your lifetime earnings (discounted) will rarely justify the cost of uni.

as ever uni has been sold to the poor people by socialism as an answer to their problems.

"go to uni and you will be alright"

now in the Uk hundreds of thousands are slowly waking up to the realisation that this BS



Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:04 | 1615512 Downtoolong
Downtoolong's picture

Good advice. I came very close to going overseas (Norway) for my graduate degree on full scholarship 30 years ago. Unfortunately, that was back when my resident tuition at home was still just $750 per quarter. So the local economics (including a part time job I already had) still won out.

I wonder how many high school guidance counselors even mention this kind of option to college-bound students? I wonder how many even know about it?

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:30 | 1615599 SokPOTUS
SokPOTUS's picture

heh.  High-School Guidance Counselor.  Now *there's* some fat we can chop from the public payrolls with no regrets whatsoever.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 14:00 | 1615749 mp2437
mp2437's picture

Actually, you'd be surprised, but from my experience, the high school guidance counselors are a little more helpful than the teachers themselves. My wife just got her grad degree in counseling, and did her internship in the same high school she went to (outer boroughs NYC).

From the few months she was there, you'd be surprised how many suicidal kids there are, or just kids in general with many disturbing, deep problems that you would never even think that such a kid could have that, yet they run to these counselors screaming for help and attention. Sure, there are ways to improve the current system as a lot of it is fucked, but I'd argue that a good counselor is a valuable asset to a school... now the new teachers entering the system, that is another topic of discussion.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 14:20 | 1615860 duo
duo's picture

I'm still pissed at my HS counselor for talking me out of being a policeman or fireman.  i could have been retired by now and pulling in $300K in pensions if I had skipped college and gone to the academy.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 16:06 | 1616028 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

You guys are talking about two different beasts...  guidance counselors aren't real counselors per se...  they're more like life coaches/strategists...  (and suck shit through a straw at it).  However, there are mental health professionals, also called counselors, who deal with mental problems of students...   the difference between the two largely being educational background and clinical supervision/practicum (in other words, everything).  Although both get called school counselors...

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 14:01 | 1615758 mp2437
mp2437's picture

Actually, you'd be surprised, but from my experience, the high school guidance counselors are a little more helpful than the teachers themselves. My wife just got her grad degree in counseling, and did her internship in the same high school she went to (outer boroughs NYC).

From the few months she was there, you'd be surprised how many suicidal kids there are, or just kids in general with many disturbing, deep problems that you would never even think that such a kid could have that, yet they run to these counselors screaming for help and attention. Sure, there are ways to improve the current system as a lot of it is fucked (including what they teach upcoming counselors), but I'd argue that a good counselor is a valuable asset to a school... now the new teachers entering the system, that is another topic of discussion.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 16:44 | 1616509 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

The ex went a similar route.... If 1/2 of what I hear from her is true, then we are raising one fucked generation...


Tue, 08/30/2011 - 14:06 | 1615783 ImnotPOTUS
ImnotPOTUS's picture

Post this notice on closed office at every high school.

Sell your car, cash out the college fund. Go to Europe.

First stop Amsterdam, if you have to get it out of your system.

Second, pick a seriously indebted member of the EU.

Negotiate a "debt instrument" exchange with a University Official who is now looking at a substantially reduced pay and pension future with fear and shock.

Depart for next local with a Diploma in-lieu of Bond, If you feel like it follow up with a technical PhD from a former Soviet Block state.

Enjoy a year or two with what is left after your "Debt Instrument" negotiations on a EuroRail trip.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 15:00 | 1616048 V in PA
V in PA's picture

What do you call a failed Doctor --- A Dentist

What do you call a failed Teacher --- A Guidance Counselor

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:05 | 1615513 Implicit simplicit
Implicit simplicit's picture

....or if you want or must stay here: move out of your house and become an independent student with little income after your first year at a community college getting all As. Your sophmorer year at a state college will be loaded with grants  subsidized loans and work study. Know what you want to do after college; otherwise learn a trade, and learn how to make stuff really well.

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:07 | 1615518 rgd
rgd's picture

This article is a bunch of lies.



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