Maximizing My Time In South America

I swear I do my best thinking while trying to sleep. I just now came up with a brilliant plan for the next 3 years of my life!

I need 57 more credits to graduate from the University of Pittsburgh. That breaks down to 15 more credits in Communications and 12 more credits in Anthropology. I am currently enrolled in 18 credits (3 in Anthropology and 9 in Communications). After this semester I need just 39 more credits (6 in Communications and 9 in Anthropology). Did I mention that i fulfill all of my general education requirements after this semester? I do!

I am also enrolled in Spanish 4 to become more fluent in Spanish which is important if I want to make a life in South America. I figured that i don’t have the motivation to study Spanish if I am not receiving some kind of benefit. I tried taking free Spanish lessons in Ecuador a few summers ago and quit because it was boring and i would rather just travel.

The next semester I will study abroad, probably in Argentina at the University of Belgrano, where I will take an easy 15 credits in English while living in Buenos Aires. The great thing is it will cost far less as I will enroll directly in the university. I could study in Colombia but i don’t think I can manage taking 15 credits all in Spanish.

After a great time in Buenos Aires, completing my junior year of college, I will return back to Pittsburgh and take my remaining 15 credits in Anthropology and Communications plus another 3 credits in any subject. That leaves me just 6 more credits to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Communications. That also leaves me with a few options for my final semester.

A) Finish in Pittsburgh as a part time student taking 6 credits. I can relax and enjoy life in the United States while running my 2 businesses (online store and career services) and continue interning for 10 hours a week at the Small Business Development Center. This option also means I can spend travel until late August after finishing in Buenos Aires in June/July.

B) Finish in Pittsburgh as a part time student taking 6 credits. That leaves a lot of free time. It also costs just $1500 in tuition compared to about $7,000 as a full time student. I will apply for a job and get one, making a salary equivalent to $25,000-$50,000 a year. I figure that my strong resume with lots of experience and understanding of how to apply and get hired based on my experience writing resumes and advising hundreds of clients will allow me to find a full time job to work at while finishing school. It probably won’t be something special…an insurance adjuster for all I know. But, and a big but, I will use the $10,000-$20,000 saved up from working the full time job and $5,000-$10,000 earned running my businesses for 4-5 months to return to Colombia where I will continue to run my businesses and enjoy a life of leisure for as long as it lasts (probably 1 year). I won’t feel guilty about not saving the money I earn that year because I would have saved about $12,000-$18,000 from studying abroad in Argentina and going to school part time.

C) Finish my remaining 6 credits attending university in Colombia. The cost of tuition ($1,000 maybe) and living expenses are little. I will also be running my 2 businesses and making money. This allows me to spend another 4-6 months abroad much sooner that option B. While in Colombia I will begin applying for jobs that would start after graduating. When I return home, I will begin my first full time job.

All three options sound great to me!

Jason Bartoli

"Jason is the best person you'll ever meet here. He's just a ray of sunshine. An adventurer, businessman, and has a 4.9 Uber rating. Lovely person inside and out. I say, go message him" - My Mom

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