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The posts are in reverse chronological order, and are pegged by topic on the links to the left. For more of an introduction, please see the About this site page listed above.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

There's light on the road ahead...

It has been said that genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. I am reminded of this many times in my life when I work, and toil, and labour over something, make no progress, and then in a flash, something changes.

Not too long after writing my last post, I took a closer look at Master's programs in Europe and made an incredible breakthrough!

First off, I found this website, Master's Portal, which helps to sort through academic programs in Europe, filtering results in many ways including type of program, cost, and location. I have complained about not being able to find a website like this for quite some time, and I wonder why I was not able to find it before. Of course, now that I think about it, it might have been recommended to me last year by my friend Meredith, but either way, I'm glad to have found/re-found it. Coming from a small town where only the teachers had gone to university, and being the first in my family to attend university, I have found my quest for higher education to be a little challenging.

Anyway, so I found the above website, and I typed in 'space' under the keyword section. I kept it super vague because I had my doubts as to how well this website would work. I was pleasantly surprised when I obtained 184 results from all across Europe. Not wanting to limit my options too much, and excited by the prospects, I reviewed them all. From that, I found 10 programs which looked really interesting, and from that, I've narrowed it down to 3 which I really like and 2 which are okay. Of the three I really like, 2 are in the UK, and 1 is in France.

I couldn't believe it! I was so happy! I finally found programs which I didn't have to just say maybe to. Of the programs I mentioned in my previous blog post, every single one of them only interested me because I thought there might be some flexibility to make the program more about engineering for the space environment. They were all general electrical engineering programs which I thought could be interesting, with effort. But, check these programs out!

Astronautics and Space Engineering

Space Technology and Planetary Exploration

Master of Space Studies

Designing for space! I couldn't believe it, I had to read these programs several times. I went to the school's websites, looked through every shred of information I could find, worried the whole time that I had missed something really obvious, that there would be some reason why these programs would not work out, that I would be back to not knowing where to go.

But as far as the academic credentials are concerned, these programs are perfect! Cutting edge, connected very closely with the industry, each program offers a chance to learn more about the space environment and designing therein. Each school offers a term of lectures comprised of mandatory and optional modules, and some offer both a team and group project.

The Master of Space Studies, in France, offers an internship where you work with/for a company, getting some great experience in the field and making it that much easier to work in the field once you've graduated.

Each and every course I've seen from all of the schools really interests me. Subjects like: Space Propulsion, Structural Mechanics, Life Support Systems, ans so many more, they sound straight out of Star Trek and I am really looking forward to learning all that I can.

The only real catch is the cost. $23 000 - $33 000 just for tuition alone. That's crazy. I mean, that's pretty much double what I was expecting to pay here in Canada for even the most expensive of universities.
So what to do? Well, the responsible option would be to wait a year, save up some money, and then head overseas. And I might just do that, yet again, I might not. Another advantage of these programs is that they're only a year long and they seem to have a great connection with many great space industry institutions and companies.

I have some time to think about it, as applications aren't due until March at the earliest. I have already done most of the work, I just need to secure some references, and look into living arrangements overseas. Well, I also have to figure out how to afford it, but I've been looking into scholarships and loans, and I'm sure once I get the chance to show people my enthusiasm, dedication, and qualifications then the rest will work itself out, as it always does.

In the meantime, I've been working on a side-project or two, and getting ready to move back to Toronto. I've been reading, a lot, about the space environment and designing therein, and it feels amazing to be focused in a way I haven't been in a long time. I wanted to get more specific about the programs and what it is I'm working toward, but I think I'll leave that for another day.

I plan on writing a series of posts about my studies, hopefully presenting my knowledge and dedication whilst keeping the subject matter entertaining and enlightening. I look forward to sharing that with you, and as always, thanks for reading.

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