Any issues with doing a masters degree abroad?
This blog post should be informative: https://news.clearancejobs.com/2017/03/14/will-study-abroad-keep-getting-security-clearance/
This was written for study-abroad considerations, aimed at undergraduates with aims for cleared jobs later. The difference in your situation is that you are already cleared. I assume that your clearance will move from ‘active’ to ‘current’ when you stop your job for school abroad. In this case, you will likely need to engage with an FSO and will need to report the expected items (foreign contacts, any financial ties you developed, foreign job offers, etc) once you come back to cleared work. If your clearance remains active during this time, for whatever reason, you would pretty much do the same.
If you spend over 24 months with your clearance on ‘current’, you will lose it and need to apply for clearance from step 1.
The amount of trouble that this causes will be strongly related to which country you are going to study in and who you associate with while you are there.
While it’s cool that you might save $40k in tuition, you will have costs for travel and living and you will forgo your current salary as well as potentially risking your clearance. All of this needs to be taken into account when making a decision of this type.
Concur Ed…not to mention this could be…could be…run by the host nation Intelligence agency as a means of entrapping foreign students, developing contacts…and it would not have much impact in the US if our school systems and accreditation agencies did not recognize it as a valid Master’s Degree. That said, if working with a clearance is not really a big player in your future and you can afford to live on the economy going to school…it would be quite an adventure. But I would think it is just a ripe recruiting ground.
Visiting a foreign country, even a “hostile” nation, is one thing. But living in a foreign country, even a “friendly” nation, is another. Of course there is a continuum of concern, from living in Canada or the UK (for example) at one end, down to enrolling at the Kim Il-Sung State Polytechnic Institute.
I am trying to think how the “two year rule” might apply here. That is, you leave a “cleared” position and usually have two years to be re-employed in another cleared job without too much trouble. But at the minimum, I think you’d have to fill out an SF-86C to report any new info since your last investigation, and you’d have to report studying in Canada (or Albania or whatever it is) and that’s where the process might slow to a crawl.
As far as the local services trying to recruit you, just keep track of names and numbers and don’t take any wooden nickels
or wooden yen…
I think what you stand to gain…vs what you put at risk…changes the equation. Save money? Check. Have education recognized by a US Accreditation agency? Risk. Plus risk to clearance? Yeah I see that as raising flags, not insurmountable, but flags not worth raising.