Aug 22, 2016
I am a 16 year old American entering my senior year of high school, looking at colleges now. Little bit of background, I am half Indian, and look it (I don't know if that would be an issue). I know basic High school French, and English is native. Grades-wise, I am competitive for the top caliber of schools, extra curriculars, not so much. If I end up getting accepted to a top-tier school, after financial package+ my parents, I would have to take out a loan around $30k/year. That of course, is w/o scholarships/jobs/workstudy that would be different school to school. My other option would be going to my state school (UCONN), and going through their Honors program. In-state tuition is basically half of what a private school would cost, and with aid, I estimate I would have to take out a loan in the range of $10k-$16k/year.

My endgame is to become a medical professional in Europe, and I'm really leaning towards dentist at this stage. At the moment my plan is as follows:

  1. Get a 4 year Biochemistry/whatever premed degree that will prepre me for European dental school, as well as the usual shadowing/research. Try to take language classes, probably minor in French.
1a. Study abroad, hopefully in Paris or SE Asia, so I can either live in Paris and work on French immersion, or so I can travel in SE Asia.

1b. Work on campus wherever I go in order to generate money for spring/winter/summer break traveling.

  1. Apply through the Atlantic Bridge program and go to dental school in Ireland, so I am qualified to be a dentist for anywhere in the EU as well as Canada. Take out a loan for this, see if I can get any aid. I would probably also apply to Malta, Charles, etc.

  2. Live somewhere in Western Europe as a dentist.
This is obviously an over simplification of the process, but as a whole, will it work?

I don't know if I would say my plan hinges on this, but I am also in the process of getting jur sanguinis Italian citizenship through my Great-Grandfather. I'm currently tracking down his naturalization records to see if my grandfather was born before he naturalized. If I get the Italian citizenship, will that make my plan even easier? Will there be issues if I can't get the Italian citizenship? All that I've read seems to think STEM is the way to get a European visa if you're American; does that include medical professionals?

Finally, I have been unable to find a consistent salary area that medical professionals make. On this website, I'm finding they make 50k-60k USD/year in Europe, but Spain has 185k USD, and that sounds wrong with what I know about Spain's job crisis. On this job website, I found that most of these jobs that require 3-5 years of experience offer 80k-120k EUR/year with other perks. I know that European salaries are lower than American salaries, and that is definitely evident here. However, the better standard of living (IMO) makes up for that. I guess what I'm trying to ask, is, what is a dentist's salary and what kind of lifestyle would it allow me to live?

So I realize after reading this, is it's kind of unorganized, but all of this is in my head and I kind of just had to type it out. Oh, and the reason that I'm not just applying to a program such as Charles University in Prague (6 year right out of HS), is that I don't know what the situation will be like in 4 years. Maybe I will really want to stay here, in which case I'm effectively screwed if I go overseas. All the people I've asked (dentists, doctors, relatives, parents, counselors) think that it is too early in my life to make such a big decision, and I agree with them. I want to see how I feel about this idea in 4 years, after I have matured a bit. Although I don't know, is it smarter to just go to Malta/Budapest/Prague and attend dental school there if endgame is to become a European dentist?

I am just here to see if my plan is a good one, and if you guys can answer any of the questions I talked about earlier. If I forgot to mention an important detail, or if you have comments/questions, please ask them, as I would like to know from more experienced people than I. Sorry if this is in the wrong forum, kind of new to this in general.