Every day things look worse and worse for us here. I really have no idea what we are going to do…and what will happen. When you don’t know how it is going to end, it is hard to care about the assignments in front of you. For instance, I have a paper due (the lit review of my masters thesis proposal) as a class assignment for one of my courses, at the end of this semester…but oh how hard it is to give two cares when I probably won’t see next semester. At first I was partially excited to return to Turkey, imagining the days spent without any stress or concern, baking and watching TV all day with no end to the relaxation in sight…
But then there’s the money problem.
The stipend for PhD students is minimal at best, if you get any at all. With uni being free in Turkey, the stipend side is iffy. Here, if you get an assistantship to pay tuition, more likely than not you get a stipend as well. Not so in Turkey.
Also, if he decides, or comes to the point, where he will be working solely from his Master degree, he will receive a monthly pay (thats how they do it, a monthly rate instead of hourly) of approximately as much as the stipend he is receiving now to take his PhD in the US. Two people living off the measily stipend of a student? Good luck with that. Yes, Turkey is a much cheaper place to live…because many of the comforts we enjoy in the US are not as common place there. I am quite certain I cannot work on a resident permit, let alone work without a grasp of Turkish. This adds to my concerns. It was hard enough starting over in a new state when we were able to drag everything we owned with us (pots, pans, linens, etc), let alone starting off in a new COUNTRY where all we have is what could fit in 4 suitcases!
This adds to the urgency of finishing up in the US. First, padding our savings with the stipend money that we try very hard to save could benefit us enormously when we move. Second, the starting salary he would receive from finishing his PhD would be a good 1,000TL higher a MONTH. Roughly, ofcourse.
We are trying our best to make it work here. He does NOT want to go back to Turkey empty handed, and neither do I. Clearly, staying in the US is the best option… if he can get his PhD. If not, there is no chance of being able to get it after waiting even one year. With military service looming overhead, he would not be able to finish a PhD in Turkey in time…the long term result being a minimal salary that couldn’t provide the lifestyle (or the family size) we had in mind.
He said already “Raziysan gel” (great song), and I agreed and came with him. Regardless of our situation, I will be with him in the end.