While I suppose I will have found a workaround to that by the time I actually have good money to invest (and become knowledgeable enough to do it profitably), I hope I will be away from Brazil by then, because I have some good sense in me—it is also something some of you have suggested in my journal. Since I began to think about financial independence, admittedly just a little while ago, I realized that most of the good ideas or strategies I came up with or across are either made impossible or complicated by my residing in this country.
(I mean, even simple advice like "walk or bike to work" demands additional consideration here. I remember an ex-colleague who barely escaped from being raped while on her way to work in the frigging morning, and the bastards snatched her purse. This is not an unusual sort of happening for us, and I have had my own share of similar experiences.)
Far from just making excuses—indeed, I am taking action—I must consider these special circumstances in planning for the future. And if I intend to leave these lands, I cannot ignore the fact that immigration is presently a delicate matter, so I figure Caesar's wife must not only be skilled, but also appear to be skilled in order to be regarded as a desirable addition to another country's workforce (and population).
Even if I manage to become proficient in a useful area and acquire work experience—notwithstanding the difficulty of finding a job given that the fetish for external badges or simulacra of education is inversely proportional to the availability of real education—I doubt that would be good enough when applying for a work/residence visa. Hence I have been reconsidering the idea of getting a degree.
Now, colleges in Brazil would probably be considered degree-mills in a lot of places, and my experience of taking humanity classes was punishment enough for my folly, but I suppose that taking an advanced STEM course in one of the few serious institutions could not possibly resemble that—the complexity would probably sift the chaff away, and I trust there would not be the long monologues about how the guy who shot someone twice in the head for an iPhone is but a poor victim of society.
It is possible to accomplish that, to get a degree, without paying tuition. Brazilian federal and state universities' courses are free, and those are our elite institutions, although the vast majority of our college students are enrolled in costly private institutions. In case you are wondering why the heck they would do that, our public universities do have a few catches:
- It is hard to get in. This is changing, government is coming up with alternative entrance programs, quotas for ethnic groups, etc., but the requirements for the best courses are still set too high for most Brazilians, who come out of high school barely literate. Ironically, most students in our public institutions, founded to make higher education available for the poorer, are the few who can afford rather costly preparatory courses.
- It is hard to stay in. Not necessarily because the courses are hard, but since the schedules tend to be absurd. Sometimes it is almost impossible to study and work, even for those who take night courses.
- It is far from unusual for a course to take longer than the necessary because of politically-motivated strikes, which are hardly sporadic.
Be that as it may, what do you ladies and gentlemen think? Am I mistaken in my reasoning? Can you recommend better alternatives?
P.S.: I have researched the theme, in this forum and elsewhere, but most of what I found did not seem to apply to my context. As for the very good suggestions you have already given me, in the aforementioned journal, about things I could learn by myself (writing, programming, etc.), I think it would take too long to develop them to the point of making up for a degree, in terms of emigrating, and I still can study them on the side.