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why not go home for a year and attend a university worthy of the title university?
This is exactly the question that brought this on. I intend to apply for graduate school in philosophy for Fall of 2010, but I went to college to be an English teacher, and thus my undergraduate philosophy courses are limited to nine hours. Enough to know I enjoy it, not enough to compete for top level programs. However, after speaking to my own philosophy professor, a few admission counselors, and professors in other programs, there is a general agreement that going back and adding on another nine to twelve hours (the equivalent of a minor) will increase my prospects immensely. If I am on a level footing as compared to those with majors and minors, then I should not only be accepted, but also gain funding which is desperately needed for a PhD program (although I have probably saved enough to get me through an MA program).
I have the time and the money to go back "home," but I am concerned about the fact that I won't be able to take my life with me. I am very comfortable here. I have a nice two bedroom apartment, I have a car, I have furniture, and stereo system, and a 42" plasma TV, and tons of other knicknacks. You didn't put home in quotes, but I did, because Japan is my home. I am settled in a way I have never been. And I don't much like the idea of undoing it all, just so I can manage a post-graduate degree with the sole external purpose being to have me obtain higher paying jobs here in Japan. At the least, I'd have to move everything back with me, because if I am eating into my savings, then I could not afford to replace that level of comfort for several years.
So, I ask if I might not take philosophy classes here instead.