My application season can be broadly divided into two-applications sent between November and December (including those sent to the States) and applications sent January onwards. Nothing really came of any of my applications before January so I drastically changed my approach to applying (and the continent on which the schools I was applying to are on!) Anyway, since January I've had more success with getting to interview stage which was encouraging-at least I was doing something right now! BUT, and there's always this but, I am still an international student and fuding is difficult to come by easpecially now.
In my experience I had PIs who wanted me but needed to go back and check if they could hire me because of my international status-no funding body is going to change their funding eligibility criteria for one candidate so that was a definite dead end but it's nice to feel wanted. There was one PI who put me forward for another source of funding and I made the list of 10 students to be funded but then the funding body cut the number of studentships to 5 so I was outcompeted by people with masses more research experience and publications.
Anyway, that's all behind me now because I've now secured a place in the UK-fully funded with a stipend which is ideal. Really excited about it all especially because I'm going to be living in an amazingly exciting city. I still have an interview at another place-if I get offered this one too I might change my mind but at the moment the first one is winning in my head!
I was really keen on moving to the States for Grad School but I'm really excited about what I've got now. I don't know if I would feel differently or what I would choose to do if I had both an offer from the US and one from the UK but I guess I'll never know.
I may be back to rant about Grad School in the future but for now, thanks for reading, good luck to those still applying/waiting and thanks to everyone who offered advice and support!