As A Parent of 5 Kids, I Am Thinking Outside The Box. For Colleges.

If Disneyland is out of the picture for us, then paying for college 5 times over is well out of the picture.

As mama duck to my precious little ducklings, I have a lot on my plate.

Three meals a day for seven mouths, two adults included, can start adding up. Fast. We have gone from cooking two cups of dry rice for dinner, to five, just to get everyone fed. One loaf of bread a day. Apples are hardly a dime a dozen anymore — don't even get me started on the amount of peanut butter and jelly we have gone through already.

Other questions of logistics come up. How do you keep everyone's shoes in one place –– particularly when the 3-year-old keeps putting them on her teddy bears? How long can we pass down clothes? Until we can't remember who wore them in the first place? Will we ever see Disneyland, or is that going to be a vacation left for retirement?

There are all sorts of logistics and questions with a large family. It is no simple task making sure everyone has what they need in order to feel loved and well provided for.

However, my mind often goes straight to the not-so-distant future, well before I start pestering them for bundles of grandkids: College.

If Disneyland is out of the picture for us, then paying for college five times over is well out of the picture.

Fortunately, these children have a mother who thinks outside the box. That box being the United States.


Follow me on this idea.

5 Incredible European Colleges American Graduates Can Attend ... For Free

I'm not even kidding –– I love this idea so much!

1) Germany

Bist du von Deutschland? Nein?? Good, then you are in a great place to apply for free college in good ol' Germany.

DAAD: German Academic Exchange Service has all the resources you need to get yourself on a plane to enjoy your studies with a side of sauerkraut.

From the University of Duisburg-Essen to the Hamburg Institute of Technology, Germany has courses in German and English for your little expat.

2) Finland

Finland Scholarships for International Students

Would you like a little more Nordic in your life? Finland's got'cha covered! They are the loveliest people –– with the driest wit on earth. Do not underestimate their lack of smiling for ill humor. They are just biding their time until something genuinely strikes their fancy to dazzle you with their grin. After homework, of course.

3) Scotland

Perhaps you are feeling a little more brave than frigid. Scotland is waiting for your budding college student to enroll!

Study in Scotland is where you begin your tartan travels into Bachelor degrees. And for goodness sake, invite your mother to come live with you. Because she loves you, and was in 20 hours of labor to give birth to you ... she deserves some time in Scotland in her lifetime.  But, no pressure. Your education is more important.

4) Brazil

Talvez você gostaria de estudar no Brasil?

Maybe you need something completely different. Something you have never experienced before. Maybe you aren’t the chilly-weather, independent, northern-European kind of student.

Maybe you need a university that's a little warmer, a little more flamboyant … a university with some South American pizazz. Perhaps you need to be in a country where everyone is family, and many Acarajé and Moqueca meals await for you there.

Well, my friends, Science in Brazil is your new home.

 5) Slovenia

Do not underestimate the idea of studying in Slovenia. Their tuition is free, their cost of living is reasonable, and they have an incredible amount of programs available for American students –– and it is a beautiful country.

In a country nestled in the Alps right next to Austria and a boat ride away from Italy, you will find a land just smaller than New Jersey. Despite its size, this small amount of historical land boasts both a coastal line on the Adriatic Sea and a mountain line of the Alps, valleys and farmland, with delightfully charming towns in between.  

Expand your educational horizons, and check out Studying in Slovenia.

There you have it, fellow parents! 5 different paths to college for your little, expatriate ducklings!

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