View Full Version : Quitting your job...

04-03-2003, 04:45 PM
For any spouses/partners who decided to quit their job and come with your spouse/partner to medical school, how has it been? Do you regret doing it or is it causing problems financially?

My hubby will hopefully be attending AUC in Jan and we both thought I would quit my job and come down too. We both have the thought that we're married, we stick together...and I want to be there with him, supporting him, while he makes his deam a reality. No problem there.

But, we're getting some nasty thougts from his dad, my father-in-law. He thinks it would be better for me to stay in the states, with my job. Grated, I am very thankful to have a very decent job, but personally, I would never want to pass up the opportunity to be side-by-side w/ my hubby, cheering for him every step of the way while in medical school.

If my hubby went to school in the US, I would go with him. But, my father-in-law assumes that if that was the case, I could easily transfer with my job....which would all depend on IF a job was available in the area we were moving to, but FIL doesn't even think that would be a problem.

This is getting to be rather long and I appologize. The bottom line is FIL is being very critical about this being a very bad decision we will regret, if I quit my job and go with hubby. Granted, I understand to do what is right for you, regardless of what anyone says... which is why our plans have not changed: if hubby gets into AUC, I will be going with him... too bad job and FIL. :twisted: Financially, we would have student loans and use $ from our savings. I would be in favor of getting a job on the island, but know the possible hardships of doing so... and that in most cases, I would probably be working at the university which is fine by me, but probably won't be very much $, when compaired to my current job...which again, FIL thinks would be a bad idea.

Have any of you had to deal with attitudes like this? :x Did you end up quitting your job and do you regret it? I really like my job, but honestly, would love to say "bu-bye" come this winter b/c we (hubby and I) would be going in the right direction to fulfilling his dream, and that is #1 on both of our lists. :lol:


04-04-2003, 04:47 PM
Hi Jennifer

I quit my job to accompany my husband's studies in MUA (on Nevis). I too had a decent job with good pay too. I didn't regret at all, like you I married with a thought that we would stick together no matter what. I didn't face your problems, nobody was against my decision coming down here. Financially, we need to use our savings plus student loan; but we calculated it and know that we can survive, so we came.

I still think the decision is correct even I couldn't find job on the island. If you go with your husband, he will have better food than other students, have more time to study, and sbd to share emotionally when he is too stressed out with school works. And I do feel I take part in his success when he gets good grade.

Just be prepared yourself mentally, because you may be bored/depressed if you don't know how to cheer yourself, entertain yourself and fill up your free time. Don't expect your husband to entertain you or have much time to chat w/ you. They are so so busy, and study all the times if they want good grades and really learn the material for the boards. So far, I am happy here after almost 8 mo. into his study.

Good luck

04-04-2003, 07:21 PM
Hi Stella

Thanks for your reply and feedback. We understand the difficulties medical school may bring (not much time other than studying for hubby, for example), but we feel it is worth it and both feel we are better off attaining it as a team. Everyone else seems to think it is great, except for FIL. We will be able to survive financially, as we were just poor college students not too long ago! I just think more of this thinking from FIL is based on that financially, we'll be stepping backwards and he thinks that isn't a good idea. Either way, we're still going to have student loans to pay off when it is all said and done. Hubby and I feel that it is a sacrafice we're willing to make and the benefits of me being there with him outweigh the benefits of staying in the US. Besides, we know if I were to stay, I'd be traveling to visit ALL the time, and that would probably end up wasting money and would be wiser just to be there in the first place!

Thanks again for your reply and I am sure your hubby appreciates you being their for him! Best of luck!

04-04-2003, 07:47 PM

04-05-2003, 09:20 PM
Jennifer -

I thought I would add a couple of stories for you. Two of our friends had to make decisions like yours...

One of our friends came here without his wife, thinking from a financial standpoint, they decided it would be better if she stayed back and worked. Over the course of the first month, he really felt it. He couldnt concentrate, spent alot of money on phone calls back to the States, and lacked energy and enthusiasm. The following 3 months went straight down the tubes for him. He was unable to focus, and needed the support of his wife to get through. In his words, "we missed each other way too much". He withdrew from his studies in his last month of first semester to go home and help his wife settle up in the States. This semester, he returned again as a first semester student, with his wife. He is such a different person altogether. He is always smiling, and is so happy looking. She is doing some work online, and the two of them are reunited and are working as a team just as they had always been used to.

The other friend of ours came down with his wife. She was here for a few weeks, then decided she missed living in the States. She made the decision to go back, get an apartment, and work while he completed basic sciences down here. Guess what happened? After putting deposits on her apartment and finding a new job, they couldnt hack it. He spent a small fortune on phone calls, was very depressed all the time, and so was she. She is returning in a few weeks, after having to leave her aparment and belongings and work, once again. But finally, they have decided that no matter what, they need to be together as they had been used to.

Granted, it really can get boring while your husband studies constantly...but the support you can give him is invaluable. You do have to be inventive and independant to get by. Especially during finals, when they eat and sleep with their noses in their books. The added stress of suddenly being in a new environment, foreign country, etc, and then ALSO suddenly not having your soul-mate by your side can be overwhelming. So, you have to weigh the pro's and con's, but this just points out a few of the experiences of my friends.

Your father-in-law may be looking out for your financial interests, and thats very nice of him. But you can live off of financial aid, and the added income of working while down here will help too. Twenty months is quite a long time to be apart, even 20 weeks or days! Do what is best for you and your husband. Good luck! PS - The Spouses Club at AUC helps alleviate boredom and you'll make alot of lifelong friends down in St Maarten. There is a whole network of partners and spouses. Some even have babies down here, after all, you do end up with alot of extra time on your hands! :)

04-06-2003, 01:06 AM
Hi Julestx,

After reading all the posts through Jon's log-on, I decided to get my own :mrgreen: I'm Teresa, Jon's wife. First, I want to thank you for all your advice...I don't think we'd be making this move if it weren't for you guys. And second, I have a question...of course...how do people afford to have a kid down there and be in school? (This has been one of our dilemmas about moving.) Any thoughts?

04-06-2003, 01:17 AM
Thank you for sharing your stories! Matt and I both believe it will be well worth it for me to come. It is nice to know of others who have had to deal with this type of situation. Of course, Matt will be applying next month but we're trying to consider the options should he get in. It wasn't until my FIL's voice that we started to think that maybe we were not thinking too clearly, but after re-considering everything again, our decision has remained the same and feel it is the right one for us, should he get accepted. :D

I am excited to hear about the support groups for spouses at AUC! It only makes AUC better!


04-06-2003, 01:21 AM
I would love to be able to take my wife and kids with me there but sometimes choices have to be made with the mind rather than with the heart. My situation may be a bit different in that we had kids while in undergrad. I went to school during the day and worked 50 to 60 hours at night and she went to school during the day so we were forced to spend alot of time apart. She finished before I did since I changed careers and has an incredible job. We thought about going together but the economy today is just not in mode for someone to leave a job voluntarily. What if this Iraq thing drags out and the market slips farther? what, God forbid, if there is another "martyr" attack by these idiots (by the way who really beleives that by killing themselves they will get to paradaise with 50 virgins anyway?) or what if SARS jumps from the Asian population and starts killing in other parts of the world? travel to Asia is down 90% and people are talking about shoratges of electronics, what if parts can't get here to be assembled and lay-offs start?

Granted these are long shots but there are just too many variables in this for me to gamble my family's immediate future on. And this whole idea of two people not being able to be apart one minute of their lives is romantic but a bit frightening. The thought of not being able to function without another human being scares me. If religion is the opiate of the masses or the crutch of society what does that make marriage?

My wife is the first person I think about in the morning, mainly cause she wakes me up yelling at me for one thing or another..hehe, and she is the last thought that crosses my mind at night. Without her I would probably be 6 feet under or behind bars somewhere. Watching her give birth to my children gave immesurable respect for women, and brought me closer to her than anyone else on this planet. We have been apart a few months at a time before and our marriage is stronger now than in those euphoric, hormone filled few days after the honeymoon. If you are grown up enough as a person and your marriage is mature then distance is irrelevant. Just in case though she is getting a battery powered friend when i leave...hehe.

This really is such a personal choice. If you don't have kids or have oonly been married a short few years then being apart will probably have a neurotic effect. I just wanted to post a counter point. Chose whatever you want in the end you FIL will not be the one that is making the sacrifice either way right?

04-06-2003, 02:02 AM
You do bring up good points! I think not having kids and only being married 2 yrs allows us some flexibility and ability to make certain sacrifices which we would probably re-think, if things were different.

04-06-2003, 07:48 AM
Hi again. Rrod does make good points. I only had intended to throw in those stories to add something to think about. Absolutely, if it suits you, then being apart from your spouse for a period of time will work out. I'm sure its been done many times before. Its true, the decision is very personal, and one that requires alot of thought. Its definitely not going to be easy no matter whether you decide to stay in the States or come to St Maarten. So in that respect, making a list of pro's and con's is a good way to go. I find it helpful to bounce idea's off of friends and family, who often help by coming up with things to consider that I'd never thought of. But then in the end, you have to choose where you want to be! I wish you all the best. And I look forward to meeting you all. If any of you would like to be added to the spouses club mail list, to get an idea of what events go on, etc, email [email protected] :D

04-24-2003, 05:09 PM
Thanks, rrod!

My husband and I decided that it would be best if he stays behind while I go to school down there. That subject was opened at the student forum and some of the other guys were saying that it's ridiculous and either do it together or don't do it at all. It made me furious! To simplify such a complicated and personal matter (and to call our decision ridiculous) just outraged me...but seeing those stories about couples who couldn't function without each other made me feel kind of guilty for even deciding to go there alone.

I love my husband very much, and we've never been apart for more than one week. But he is working on a degree up here and just started his own business, and I couldn't possibly expect him to drop all of that just to follow me around for 16 months. His school and his business are just as important to him as medical school is to me. So we think this is a sacrifice we have to make. Besides, I'm not moving away permanently...and I could go home during semester breaks.

04-24-2003, 07:14 PM
When I started at AUC many moons ago, my wife and I decided it would be better for her to stay in the states and work while I went to school. We thought the extra money would be a good thing, but also not having my wife would allow me to concentrate on my studies etc. It didn't quite work that way. My wife and I missed each other terribly, and it certainly didn't make things any easier. As was stated in a previous post, the phone bills were horrible. My opinion is that if a married couple can stay together, they should. Even if it means sacrafice and cutting corners, your relationship is more important than any stinkin' job. Just my 2 cents. G

06-10-2003, 03:48 PM
I see everybody study so hard but somebody still flunk. What if after a few semesters, you found out your best was not good enough and you got kicked out of school. You and your spouse would end up jobless with tons of debt. So leaving your spouse at home with a good job might be a back up plan if you could handle a life away from your spouse.
My $0.02

06-10-2003, 05:05 PM
There are some excellent post in this topic. There is alot to think about when deciding to bring your spouse. I will be bringing my spouse down because I KNOW that I couldn't do it without her. Call me weak, or maybe it is because we have been married 4 months...

I am actually sacrificing for her a little and waiting another year to matriculate so she can finish her BA.

Anyways, my question is.. is there enough financial aid for both of us to live on? The previous posts have talked about some people using their savings. We will have some savings but, not more than it will take to get set up with our apt. and other moving costs.

06-20-2003, 04:32 PM
We used some of our savings for the med school. But if we have had no saving at all, I think our line of credit with our bank still enough for the 20 months survival on the island. Everybody is different, check the financing aid provided by your school see if it's sufficient. Have a spouse does not increase the rent, and the additional food cost is not significant. In fact, having a spouse cook for you may equal to the expense of the student to dine out like lunch.

Another tip, contact banks while you're still working because that way you may get a higher limit of your line. It happened in our case. Our bank just look at our current income when they decide on the line limit even they knew we're off to med. school.

06-22-2003, 02:19 AM
When you speak of line of credit, does that mean you took a loan out from the bank to help pay for med school...or did your line of credit help the amount of $$ you got from the school for financial aid? :?:

06-22-2003, 12:10 PM
Anyways, my question is.. is there enough financial aid for both of us to live on? The previous posts have talked about some people using their savings. We will have some savings but, not more than it will take to get set up with our apt. and other moving costs.

I don't know if you've made your decision yet as to where to pursue your MD, but I'll share what I just found out about AUC. Even with the new tuition increases effective this September, after tuition is taken out of your student loans you will be left with close to $3,500 a month. While this seems like alot, keep in mind that there are a ton of other factors to consider and budget appropriately for (health insurance, car insurance, all associated fees with having a car, FOOD :mrgreen:, books, notes, incidentals, etc...).
My wife and I are both quitting excellent jobs to pursue my dream... I wouldn't have it any other way. She totally keeps me grounded and focussed and heaven knows I'll need that. We feel (after viewing numerous threads in this forum as well as corresponding with many wonderful members) that this is something we can do comfortably. Consider the fact that Julestx is making all of this work for her and her family (five total) while her husband studies full time...kudos to her!
In any event, sacrifices will need to be made whereever you end up. Stay focused and you will be successful! :D


06-22-2003, 03:38 PM
We use our line of credit to pay the school tuition and our living exp. We didn't apply to any other loan. We are not US citizens and our school is not approved for any Government loan. We figured the total interest cost and the guarentee/admin fee of the CanHelp or Medachiever (if you aware of them) loans is higher than our line of credit. We paid 5% annually on our line of credit and only get charged when we use it and we just pay interest for the first couple of years. This was the lowest we could find. We are not big spenders, we keep our cost low, so our line of credit is sufficient for us. We surely didn't spend $3,500 a month on top of tuition. I just borrow enough to survive so when my hubby graduated, we can payoff the loan quicker. Keep in mind, residents' salary is pretty low too.

10-27-2003, 09:45 PM

Was browsing back in the 13-15 links and came across this post. Darleen and I were thinking of the same stuff. We had all kinds of advice tossed at us. She really loved her job and it was a big struggle to give it up. We talked tons and tons. We finally made the decision to stay together and I believe this will be for the best. The more we think about it the better we feel.

We're going to have a wonderful and exciting experience living in St. Maarten. Who would want to pass this up? Building an "e-friendship" with you has made Darleen feel all the more better about the decision and for that I say thank you. I'm sure Matt and I will see more of each other than our own wives.

Anyways I'll see all of you on the island in a couple of months.


11-07-2003, 07:10 PM
I just scrolled down and read your post, Doug! It is a little old, but wanted to say how we look forward to meeting you both, too, and how the "e-friendship" has helped ease some of our thoughts as well. It is funny b/c now that January is so close...and after sharing many stories w/ my F-I-L about couples who have went together and others who's spouses stayed behind in the states, he understands the situation and supports our decision to go together...which in the end makes for happy times when visiting! :P So, we're glad that it all worked out and were able to hear all parts of people's stories just to make sure we were making an informed decision, not just one that felt right from the beginning. We certainly did not want any blinders on while making the decision, but we just wanted to be able to consider all the possibilities and choose what is right for us. We can't wait to be on St. Maarten and we just realized we'll be on the island next month and Matt will start classes in less than 2 months!!! :-rainbow :-happy :yeah:

See you soon! :)

11-19-2003, 02:11 PM
I believe every S.O. has dealt with this issue and in my mind, it comes down to one thing: priorities. If you value not being quite so much in debt and being "comfortable" with one spouse working, then that's what you do.

If your priority is being with one another, then you go with your student.

When I had to make the decision, my husband was already in Grenada and I was home working two extra months, packing, and getting everything ready to leave, when 9/11 happened. At that time, unsure of what was going on, I wasn't sure if I would even see my husband again and I regretted not going with him right away. Of course things worked out, and I joined him 2 months after he started school, and it worked out for us, but it made me think about what is really important in my life.

You're going to be in incredible debt when your student graduates- whether you stay home and work or not (and don't forget the expenses of two homes). For me, I look at every day as my last and try to cherish my time with loved ones. I chose to stay with my husband during his schooling and even though I gave up a great job and put off my career, I had some life-altering experiences living in a different country (you don't have life-altering experiences at yoru job) and going through the trials we did, together. I feel I changed as a person and I see the opportunity as a great one which expanded my horizons, taught me to be daring, showed me what poverty and humility really is, and got me out of my comfort zone. I have no regrets. And I know that if my husband went without me, he would have grown through all those experiences without me, and we would not be on the same level anymore. Going through those experiences brought us even closer together and helped us reorganize our priorities and find common ground in what we really want out of life.

Now that I am back in the states, I have an even better job than I did before I left, (and lots of great stories too).

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