Education has always been important to me.

So today I’d decided to blog a post about my decision to pursue a masters in PR in Finland, to let you understand the thought process behind this decision.

It’s obviously not a decision that comes cheap. Let me do a brief cost-benefit analysis for you:

For a year in Finland (My Course is 2 years)

  • Tuition fees– 8,000 Euros.
  • Yearly Rent– 6,000 Euros (500 Euros X 12)
  • Food– 2400 Euros (Est. 200 Euros a month)
  • Transport–2400 Euros (Est. 200 Euros a month)
  • Air tix– 1300SGD
  • Clothes– 1000 Euros

Total– 20,000 Euros (Approx)/year.

So YEA. with 20,000 euros a year, you don’t take this type of sum lightly unless you are still leeching on your parents.

And, guess what? There is a chance that after graduation, I’d be structurally unemployed if I do come back to Singapore. Here’s why:

  • Singapore, being a small and open economy, relies heavily on human resources. Our comparative advantage is precisely in labour, and it’s imperative to keep the price of labour, aka wages, low;
  • This implies that if a PR firm could make-do with young PR diploma holders, they will. Couple that with super duper long working hours and you get my drift;
  • It seems that in Singapore, companies would rather hire two young PR holders than 1 experienced, highly educated one. I guess it’s still the idea that quantity outweighs quality, and afterall if you hire one person, it’s definitely riskier than hiring two.

So I kinda have to shut off my option of returning to Singapore immediately after graduation because if I go the conventional route of returning home, I’d almost certainly be unemployed.

Then what are the benefits? Why do I pursue and insist on higher education?

First and foremost, thank GOD I got the Aalto scholarship to cover my tuition fees. That’s at least 8000Euros off, and leaves me with 12000 Euros deficit. 😛

Next of course, Finland is the utmost place for any learner. It’s ranked No. 1 in the world for education, and I want an education at the best institution in the world. I want to hone my skill sets and train my precision in thinking.

Also, I find it a privilege to do PR because I’d always wanted to see how companies maintain a good image against crisis. I want to study how they scam, cheat, lie, cover-up, as well as how they contribute back to society, cut prices, innovate and embark on R&D. I’m an Econs major at NUS and I’m really excited to be studying PR, something that is perhaps more practical and down-to-Earth.

Is this worth 12,000Euros–you might ask? 12,000 Euros of expenditure, while potentially not being able to work in Finland because I cannot speak Finnish.

Actually, the truth is, I don’t know. The fact is that I never really thought of not travelling while I’m still young. Moving around, travelling, flying abroad– it has all been rather natural to me.

So I guess ultimately, the question morphs into– “If not now, when?” Doing a graduate degree perhaps, is a choice to be made when you’re still young, with low opportunity costs, and nothing much to lose.

I’m glad to have supportive families, relatives and friends too. And I’d study Finnish really hard there so that I can work there after graduation :).

How about you? Are you thinking of going overseas to study today?

Just go. I’d give you all my blessings and support.

One of the greatest meanings to life is to explore places and cultures, after all.