So I've posted numerous times on here about my long distance relationship from Australia and what to do with my future.
If that is all tl/dr, I'll sum it up: I am mostly interested in environmental communications and community engagement. My main interests fall into engaging communities to create marine protected areas, but I am also interested in poverty and sustainability and climate change adaptability, specifically on islands. I want to get a master's because I love to learn and I think it will help my career goals. My dream career is to either be a director of community engagement with a marine nonprofit that does what is listed above, an environmental writer, and/or a professor.
Money is not an issue because after my mother passed, I was left a huge trustfund, and my father wants to see me through my education. I just want to state this to make it clear that money is not in the decision making process.
I am currently living in Tasmania on a working holiday visa because I traveled here a year ago, and fell in love with both the place and an individual. My S/O and I are in a really great partnership, going on a year and a half, and he is very important to my future. He is an engineer w/ an MBA and has a great job here, but after he does it for about a year, if I were to go to graduate school in the states, he has promised he will take a leave of absence and follow me there for awhile because he wants to travel, he cares about me too, and he thinks he will have the credentials to land a job in the states. He is really keen to see Seattle too, which I know he will like to live in for awhile.
I have been accepted to the University of Washington's Masters in Marnie Affairs (Seattle..) and I am waiting to hear back from two more schools in the states. Today I sat in on the first class of the semester at the University of Tasmania's Environmental Management Masters.
Pros for UW: I have a better knowledge of its reputation and what its students and alums do
I have many friends and networking opps in Seattle, since I went to undergrad and have had jobs in the region
They offer more opportunities for travel (I think) and are better funded than UTAS
Pros for UTAS: I love the location and am very interested in its environmental issues (see my research interests above: marine protected areas, islands...yes!)
It is practical since I live here and easy to switch over to a student visa
I would be done with my master's by June 2015, as opposed to May 2016 at UW
The students are from all around the world and it is a bit broader than UW's strictly marine focus, which I find interesting
I liked the class enough today to give it a thought, but that means I have 2 options:
-Enroll at UTAS NOW as a full-time student and complete my master's by 2015.
-Enroll at UW. If I like it, I'll stay there. By the chance I hate it, I could always reapply to UTAS and return. I could sit in on UTAS's classes until I am no longer allowed to, so I have a better idea, since I am staying here until August anyway.
The only problem is that I have to make this decision very quickly. People ask me: well do you want to live in Australia or the US? The answer is I don't know yet/I don't care/Either.
Tl/dr again: Should I go to graduate school in the fall in the states and pick up again an LDR (I know I can do it; we did it for a year but it's not nearly as happy)? Or stay here and get a master's sooner, where I am already happy and settling?