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About thelionking

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  1. I can give you one extra point in favour of attending Lakehead. If your GA position is a Research Assistant position (not sure if you mean RA or TA when you say GA), then this will help you develop stronger research skills, thus making you more marketable in the workforce. Most people who get an MSW do not do a thesis, so you would be at an advantage later on for having that extra skill set. I was not aware of Laurentian's unconventional time table. That definitely is an asset for people who live driving distance away. So I guess that would mean everyone else would need to stay at a hotel during those days. I guess if you're able to keep your job, the high travel and accommodation costs accrued would be compensated by the fact that you could keep your job while attending school. This is a nice perk because if you had to quit your job for school, it might take you a few months to find a new one after you graduate. Do you know if your employer will be able to give you the time off that you need to complete your practicum? Do you see yourself remaining at your current place of employment for a long time? A tough decision indeed....
  2. That may be true in certain fields that are less lucrative, but I don't believe one needs to be a martyr for science when most scientific disciplines are quite lucrative and there should be money available to give back to those who conduct research. It is quite rare to hear of a PhD student in the sciences who does not receive funding. IMO, martyrdom is best left for those donating their bodies to science.
  3. hornet15: I also wanted to add that if you want to take some courses in the daytime due to your shift work, you are likely to be able to do so by asking school administration and getting a course override so that you are able to register. Of course, the course you are looking for needs to be offered in the right semester for your schedule (and the full time students in the daytime follow a different timeline). But if things line up properly, you will likely be able to register. If this is an important consideration for you, I'd call the school to double check this and find out if you would only be able to register if anything is left over after the full time students have registered or if you'd have equal opportunity to take those classes.
  4. I have some information about these questions. The classes begin at 4:15pm I'm pretty sure (I might be off by 15 minutes). You alternative between taking 2 and 3 courses per semester if you follow the recommended 3 year schedule. So you need to be on campus 2-3 evenings per week. You are welcome to take fewer courses and graduate later, but you will pay the same tuition fees per semester no matter how many courses you take - 1, 2 or 3 courses maximum - or even if you decide to take a semester off. You can complete your practicum in another city. For part time students, it is the equivalent of 2 full work days per week (you can also do 4 half days or other combinations if you wish). A good number of people choose to do their first practicum at their place of employment (but keep in mind you are not allowed to receive a salary for practicum work). You are also free to pick your top 10 choices from Laurier's practicum list and the school will assign one to you. This route is popular too. I want to caution you that if your intention is to keep the same job throughout your studies, it's important to have an employer that is flexible with your work schedule. I have heard that a good number of students ask their employers about this kind of work arrangement before they begin the program and they agree to offer a flexible work schedule. Some of these students also tell their employer that they would like to complete their first practicum at their place of employment and that this work would be be done for free (because you are not allowed to be paid for practicum work). Of course, their employers are happy with this arrangement. Some students are happy with it because they are able to maintain a full time (or near full time) work load at their job by having some of their work hours count towards the practicum. Then, towards the end of the MSW program, when it comes time to request time off or a reduced work load so that they can complete their second practicum elsewhere (because you cannot do it at the same place twice), many students discover that their employer no longer agrees to give the staff member the time off that they need. At that point, these students are close to completing their degrees and they are forced to decide between keeping their job and completing their degree. From what I've been told, generally everyone in this situation decides to quit their job so that they can complete their degree. Then they either need to find a new job or take out a student loan, which they did not originally intend to do. So if working full time for the entire degree is a necessity for you, my advice it to try to get your work arrangement in writing (perhaps by email or in a clause in your contract) so that this doesn't happen to you. All of this information was shared with me by a friend who completed the program a couple of years ago.
  5. I also can't provide more insight into those 2 schools. What is it that you are looking for in a program exactly and what are your goals post graduation? If you were accepted into both programs, that means they believe you are a good fit otherwise you wouldn't have been offered admission. I believe that both schools will be a good fit for you. Consider calling or emailing both schools to inquire about how they will help you fulfill your career goals. Here are some things you could inquire about: practicum options (and the odds of getting the one you want - this can be a big challenge at some schools), find out if some practicums in Ottawa require fluency in French (particularly the kinds you are most interested in), options for course electives, background of potential thesis advisors (if you plan to do a thesis), opportunities to be a TA or RA (if academia, research or teaching interest you), program layout and course load, whether or not you have to write exams (at Laurier, for instance, there are no tests or exams, only papers and group presentations), etc. After that, also consider if you prefer to live in a larger city vs a smaller city (half the size of Ottawa and 1/10th the size of Toronto), housing costs (rent in London is much cheaper than Ottawa), geographic proximity to family/friends/significant other if you want to travel frequently on weekends and holidays, etc.... I don't know your particular set of circumstances, but if one school doesn't stand out as being a significantly better fit that the other, I'd personally follow the money and go to Ottawa. Not only does a generous scholarship look impressive on a resume, but the financial savings will be significant. I'm sure you know that social work isn't as well paying as many other professions out there and having to pay extra for tuition fees will not go unnoticed when you have to pay it back after graduation (if you get OSAP).
  6. Big decision to make. Let us what you end up deciding. Good luck.
  7. While Hartford is hardly a large city (125,000), it might have enough variety and amenities to keep you satisfied until you complete your degree. Keep in mind that you will be so busy that you probably won't have much time to spend on leisure and recreation. But if Hartford can offer you some of those "must haves" you need to be comfortable (ex: movie theatres, live music, good variety of restaurants, clubs, etc) then if might be doable for the duration of your program. You also have the option of driving out to Boston on the weekend as it's 1.5 hrs away, which is very feasible for day and weekend trips. After you've completed your coursework, you might have the option of working on your thesis from home and could potentially move to Boston in the last year or so of your studies. (I know people who've done this while completing PhDs in psychology. They stayed in town for the first 3 years until all of their course work was completed and lived a few hours away during the last 2 years, while making occasional trips back and forth as needed). I think it's definitely worth inquiring about this and visiting the school and surrounding areas, especially considering that this program is well ranked, offers a strong funding package, and it's a great fit for you.
  8. In the past, this is how it worked. It's possible that things have changed though. Offers are sent out to a certain number of people based on the number of spots available. As people decline their offers, more offers are sent out. People have 2 weeks to make a decision. Considering that it's an MSW program, there is a lot of movement on the wait list. My guess is that because Windsor is far from all the majors centres in Ontario such as Toronto and Hamilton, and it's also far away from other mid-sized cities like London, it ends up being low on people's list of preferred schools. It's not uncommon for people to get off the wait list as late as June, so there's still hope for you. Good luck!
  9. I don't want to be the "Negative Nellie" here, but I think you still need to verify some scholarship information. While it may be true that all the students in this program who come from your country have received a scholarship, you do not know if any others have been accepted in the past and were declined a scholarship from your country. If the tuition is so expensive, it is possible other applicants could not enroll because they could not afford to cover the difference and they had to take other offers or try again the following year. Therefore, I think it could be useful to find out what has happened in past years in terms of the number of applicants for such scholarships and the number of people who end up receiving one. As the others have mentioned above, I think it will come down to what is more important to you: attending grad school next year (in which case choosing the 2nd school would make the most sense because it is a sure thing) or attending a better program (while it is not guaranteed and there is a chance you'd have to reapply again, if you won't be happy at the 2nd school because you know you can get into a better institution, then it will be worth the risk).
  10. I think it means by the end of the day on the 15th, but why take my word for it? Call the school first thing in the morning on the 15th and ask. They wouldn't have had any time to contact the next person on the wait list since 11:59pm on the 14th so you'll be ok.
  11. It's likely that they are still waiting on final decisions from one or more applicants. This might be a sign you are high on the waiting list. If you don't hear anything by the 15th then I'd given them a call first thing next week and follow up on the situation. Good luck! The wait is almost over now so you can find out the answer and plan your next steps..
  12. I think your post needs to be clearer. Are you comparing Columbia's clinical psychology MA to Hunter's?
  13. I know you don't want to base your decision on cost, but I actually think that's an important consideration to make. Social workers typically do not earn a lot of money. Unless you got a scholarship to NYU to make the tuition costs similar or better, or you are currently in a very strong financial position, then I would absolutely make my decision based on cost. Social work is not a prestige based field and you should be able to find work afterwards no matter which school you attend.
  14. I also agree with the others' comments. Your concerns are very legitimate. Unless you plan to enter a field that will give you an excellent salary upwards of $100,000 annually, then it will take a really long time to pay off your loans. In 5-10 years time, you might have other life goals such as buying a new car, getting a mortgage or starting a family and all of these plans could be involuntarily delayed due to your heavy debt load. In my opinion, studying part time (or possibly doing an online program, if it exists) sounds like a great idea, if you could attend class outside of your working hours. It might take longer but at least you could either graduate debt-free or graduate with a light debt load that you could comfortably pay off afterwards. You could also explore paying off your first loan before taking on another one. But you didn't mention how long this could take, and by that time you might not want to wait that long to recontact your references.
  15. I should have been clearer in my last post... When I first read this from the OP it sounded off, like it was a mistake, because I'd never heard of a school holding a spot for so long. So this is why I responded as I did in my last post and was writing under the assumption that they would likely not offer it back to you. Instead, I should have told you to double check that this fact is correct. Perhaps they will still be able to offer you a spot but will no longer have the funding. I think it would be wise to check again and to get the answer in writing (such as by email) to keep for your records just in case you need it later on.