The cost of actually *going* to school

One of the reasons I had originally chosen doing the MA at the Shakespeare Institute (besides the program itself) was that they offered summer session courses. I was really looking forward to going to England for two summers to complete my coursework on campus – I’m very much a classroom learner, which is why doing the coursework through distance learning has been such a challenge. Unfortunately, due to low interest, the Dean sent a letter saying that summer courses had been indefinitely suspended. Dammit.

Luckily, I do get to go to the Institute to do at least one course – a Pedagogy module the week before Easter I’m rather excited, and as of last week, all of the travel details are in place.

Studying full-time in England would have been untenably expensive for me (what with taking a year off, tuition, living expenses, travel, etc.) but going to England for the week-long course has also proved to be very, very expensive. One of the things I didn’t quite factor in. A quick round-up:

  • Tuition: £650 (around $1200)
  • Airfare: $1050
  • Lodging: $475
  • Trains: $100
  • Food, Entertainment, Transport: $1000

Ouch. Luckily, all of the costs up until the actual trip are already paid. The only thing I need to worry about are on-the-ground costs.

This, of course, doesn’t include the 7 days of work I had to take off unpaid, which means that this one course will end up costing me…

…nearly $7000.

I kinda wish I hadn’t done this post now.

Another thing that I’ve been looking into is the possibility of claiming my studies on my impending taxes. The news there isn’t awesome. Not bad, just not awesome.

So because I am studying part-time at a foreign institution, I can’t claim the Tuition tax credit, but I can claim an Education tax credit, which is $120 for each month I study during the school year. So I can claim $480 for 2013, and I’ll be able to claim more of that in 2014.

I need to keep reminding myself that this is a long-term investment in myself.

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