Thoughtful Thursday Week 11 – Dual Citizenship

The title of this post could also be, “Why the United Nations, as an organization, is a bit of a joke” or, better yet, “How my children can study in European universities for free.” Trust me, the two are related.

In 2008, I was summoned to Memphis, TN for one of the many steps in the process of becoming an American citizen. The immigration officer who interviewed me and administered the citizenship test put me under oath and asked me to renounce my Romanian citizenship before accepting the American one. I suppose you can say that, for a few brief moments, before the magic of American citizenship was bestowed upon me, I was no land’s woman.

Dual Citizenship

Then, I assumed I was no longer a Romanian citizen. I assumed the US State Department or the US Citizenship and Immigration Services or somebody talked to the Romanian Embassy in Washington DC or the Romanian Ministry of External Affairs or somebody and communicated to them that oops, the Romanian side just lost a citizen who voluntarily came over to the American side. Wrong. 

On my recent trip to the Romanian Embassy in Washington DC, I was working on some paperwork for my dad’s estate. I was then informed that I was and I am still a Romanian citizen; that nobody from the American side talks to the Romanian side; that even though I voluntarily gave up my Romanian citizenship, the Romanian government never accepted my resignation from their ranks. They were never informed of it and even now, when they know about it, they refuse to acknowledge it. As far as they are concerned, my Romanian citizenship is intact.

So is it any wonder that the UN, as an organization, fails at so many projects? This is just one example of many where country A does not recognize what country B is doing as a procedure, which supposedly affects country A’s citizens.

And how is all this related to homeschooling? Well, one of the many reasons I wanted to homeschool was to produce National Merit Scholars – you know, the kind of kids that get such high SAT scores that they get a free college ride. My parents did not pay for my college degree. I put myself through college. I think I owe it to my children to help them become the kind of students that do not need their parents’ money for college. They can put themselves through college by being invited to study for free at this or that college.

I personally know homeschooling families who have achieved this and they insist they are normal human beings. As a normal human being myself, I suppose I can achieve that goal with my children, too.

It’s not just about money, of course. It’s about producing a well-trained mind, in a healthy body, with the right character. But money seems to be a huge obstacle for many who refuse to get into debt while acquiring a diploma.

Now, since I have Romanian citizenship, my children can also have Romanian citizenship. Romania is part of the European Union, so my children would be allowed to work or study in the European Union for the same fees as Europeans. The fees at European universities are a fraction of the fees at American universities. If money were an obstacle for us, or if we never achieved the National Merit Scholarship, for whatever reason, there’s always Europe. Free or low-cost education means $3,000 in tuition per year, in Leiden, Holland, for instance.

Obviously, we need to do more searching around about this topic and they will ultimately decide where they want to go to college. We have about 8-10 years before we begin to wonder which college our children would like to attend. But it’s nice to know we have international options. All the more reasons to keep teaching them three languages and getting them prepared for a multicultural life. All the more reasons to continue homeschooling, which allows me time to pour Romanian and French into them for now and a few other languages later on.

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