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peersteve Dec 11, 13 8:40 pm

Grad School in Guam? Travel and Life Advice?
A young colleague (and aren't they all young these days?) is considering the Univ. of Guam Professional MBA program.....any thoughts from the wise and well-informed FTers?

On the education side, Guam U would seem to offer a USA-accredited MBA for her, and a sustainable energy/ecology Masters for her boyfriend. My thought is that an MBA from there supplemented with internships/work in the Pacific Rim countries would make for a favorable resume when returning to the USA, or even Oklahoma.

On the travel side, the seemingly costly airfare to Guam is a concern, but they apparently have some connections in Guam for low-cost living. Any special tips for routing & fares from OKC to Guam (one-way)? I showed them the $1100 round-Pacific fares if they wanted to take an exploratory trip/vacation.

On the "life" side......the big distance from home seems to make Guam attractive to her...too far/costly for family to visit, or for family to expect her to come home for holidays. The boyfriend seems to be determined to go to U-Guam in fall it's her turn to decide. Will the isolation from current friends&family by being in Guam be an idyllic togetherness, or will the rigors of grad school tear them apart?

Advice welcome......thanks in advance.....

HkCaGu Dec 12, 13 12:32 pm

I can't tell you about education, but I can tell you about moving, flying and living.

Flying between the states and Guam you're legally limited to US airlines. Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese airlines can't sell you such transportation, while UA and DL can route you through Japan or Hawaii (UA only).

Flying to Guam is expensive compared to similar distances in Asia, not necessarily because that the market is small, but because competition is legally limited. Flying from Guam, however, is even more expensive (to anywhere and on any airline) because of being a small captive market. (RT from GUM to mainland US count on $1.5k low season, $2k+ high season.)

Moving to Guam will be a bit more stressful than moving within CONUS. You'll need to buy/sell a car (shipping is only worth it if paid by an employer). You'll need to decide whether and what to ship other than accompanying airline baggage. You'll need to decide whether to keep/discard your otherwise permanent cellular number (e.g. $10/month if on a family plan) or any subscriptions (e.g. gym membership, TV, internet).

Housing is not that expensive if compared to large cities (LA, SF, NY), but everything else is a bit more expensive--food or just about anything. Online shopping is OK if using USPS, but many smaller retailers don't understand or refuse to do non-military OCONUS shipping. Letters take less than a week, but packages flown across the ocean often take two weeks.

Get the passport done in the states. Guam's passport office is simply a GovGuam office taking your check (and money) and passing the package on to Honolulu. Takes quite a while. Having a passport also widens your travel options, especially to/from the US.

Michael El Dec 12, 13 12:51 pm

I can't comment on the U of G, but I travel to Guam once or twice a year for work and love it there. I have terrific clients I deal with and have made several personal friends on island.

As HkCaGu stated, the cost of everything is higher than the CONUS and will be extremely high compared to OK. Gasoline is $1 per gallon higher than I pay in So. Cal. and that's usually $.40-$.60 higher than other states. Since Guam is tropical, running the A/C is a 24/365 proposition and electricity there is outrageous.

Not only is the airfare expensive between Guam and the CONUS, the travel time to and from Guam takes anywhere from 18-25 hours. It's not like you can jump in the car and be at granny's in a couple of hours for Thanksgiving dinner.

What about jobs? Most jobs on Guam are in the service industry and pay federal minimum wage.

On a positive note the people there are wonderful and the water is clear and warm.

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