Cover Story

You have two great internship choices, one in Topeka, Kansas, and the other in San Francisco. Which to pick?

As delightful as San Francisco is, sites are hard to come by in popular cities like San Francisco, and living there will undoubtedly raise your debt. Consider the cost when deciding on a site, advises Doug Carpenter, PsyD, training director at the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri.

Look honestly at your debt load, the internship salary and the cost of living in the sites you're considering, and make realistic calculations about where that will leave you at the end of your internship year. Factor in costs such as rent, child care, groceries, insurance and transportation.


If you're dying to accept an internship at a particular site but can't afford it, cautiously consider taking out another loan. But be realistic about what that will mean for you after graduation-and especially during your postdoc, when many new psychologists are still strapped for cash.

"If you already have $100,000 in loan debt, you don't necessarily need to be taking out another $20,000" to live in New York City, for example, Carpenter says.