To study or not to study? This is a question I have been asking myself and debating about for a year now, and I'm no closer to making the decision now than I was when I first asked myself the question. As is quite obvious from my birthday freak out, I desperately want and need to change careers before I go insane. But the question is, should I go back to school (and put myself through the miserable torture that is the French educational system) or should I just keep looking and trying and hoping that something comes around?
The background: I have a Bachelors and a Masters that I earned in the US, both in French language and literature. Basically as soon as I finished my Masters I headed off to France to be an English assistant so that Lionel and I would have the opportunity to live together and see if our long distance relationship could work. Since then, we got married and I found myself in France with little to help me find a job here (who in France really needs someone who studied French language and literature???). With little work experience (we're talking mostly stores and restaurants in high school and throughout college, and a lot of interesting volunteer work that apparently counts for absolutely nothing here) and basically worthless degrees granted by *gasp* American universities, I struggled for 9 months to find a job, and finally settled for English teaching out of financial desperation and because of lack of any other options or offers. Since I gave in to the evils of being an English teacher in Paris, I have continued to look for other jobs, to no avail. All I managed to find was another English teaching job (which fell into my lap) with better pay and better conditions that has basically permitted me to put up with teaching a little longer. But now I'm at my wits end and I've gotta change before I go crazy or become seriously depressed.
So, for a year now I've been researching and debating the idea of going back to school. The reasons I don't necessarily want to do it are: I hate the French school system; it makes me very angry that I would be able to get a good job in the US with my degrees and experiences, but that this country makes it extremely difficult and I really thought I was done with school when I finished my Masters, unless one day I decided to go back and get a PhD (in the US, of course); I can't decide what exactly to study; I feel like I'll be putting my future, happier career on hold for another 2 years, which frustrates me; and Lionel and I can't afford to have me not working, so I'll definitely have to continue with some sort of English teaching while I study in order for us to survive financially without emptying our hard earned savings accounts. But I also know that going back to some sort of school in France is probably the only way I'm going to be sure to get out of English teaching, and since it doesn't seem like Lionel and I will be packing up to head back to the US (unfortunately) any time soon, I have to get myself a better life going in France or I will never be happy.
I've been considering a number of different options. I've looked at the idea of a BTS Tourisme, but I'll have to get over the little bit of pride I have left since having moved to this country in order to go all the way back down to a BTS. I also considered a BTS Secrétariat, but I just cannot possibly justify going to secretary school (what do they even learn???) and I don't really dream about becoming a secretary. It's just a job I thought I would be able to find easily here in Paris since I speak English and French. Unfortunately that didn't really work out. I've also been looking into a number of different Masters programs at the different universities here in Paris. They all follow the same general theme of histoire, culture, patrimoine, gestion du patrimoine and I've looked at at least 5 such similar programs which all eventually lead to the hope of a job in tourisme culturel, métiers de tourisme, métiers de patrimoine, etc. These are all things that I would be very interested in and would love to do, but is it realistic? Can an American get a job in the secteur du patrimoine français? Tourism, I'm sure, is more realistic at least. And do I really want to put myself through all that schooling? Again? Another Masters (because I'm realistic enough to know that I will never get into a PhD program in France with an American Masters)? And then what if things change and we decide to go back to the US after all that? It would basically be for nothing.
So, this is where I have been stuck for nearly a year. Not at all sure what I should do, but knowing that I need to do something. And I don't really have anyone to talk to about it because Lionel just thinks I'm ridiculous to be considering a return to school. But sometimes I don't think he's very realistic. Any suggestions???