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Everything posted by Eno_R

  1. This might sound like a really stupid question, but I don't know when the deadline to accept my UWO offer is. There is nothing about this on the departmental website OR on the graduate admissions website as far as I can tell. I emailed the grad admissions office, who told me to contact my department about the deadlines. The department contact person in turn told me that I can find all the information in the admission letter. But the deadline is not there! I checked the letter three times now: all it says in terms of dates is I need to complete any outstanding requirements (i.e. send official transcripts) a month before commencing my studies and get a study permit. I am a little afraid I'll annoy the program coordinator if I email them again. I also don't want to just poke around on the portal because the system UWO uses is not the most user-friendly, what if I accidentally reply to my offer before I am ready? So what do I do now? Wait a while before asking again? The programs I have not heard from yet release the decisions very late, in early May, so I really need to know if I can wait this long before deciding. Western folk out there, when was/is your deadline to accept? Is it universal across the university? I am not sure: is April 15th a thing in Canada? Does it matter if your offer is funded/unfunded?
  2. Some background: I received an offer from a mid-tier Canadian school for their MA program. I am an international student, which means higher tuition fees, so the way my funding package (in the form of TAships) works out is it basically covers only tuition and other random fees (health insurance, campus fees etc.), with maybe 1,000-2,000 CAD a year to spare, depending. No summer support unless I secure a part-time job or a research assistantship myself. It is a five-term program, so I'll only need to figure out one summer, between first and second year. There is potentially more money from external scholarships (e.g. Vanier Canada, OGS) but it is very competitive so no guarantee. I heard very good things about the department: it is small, with individualized approach to graduate students, and there are multiple people who are pursuing research in my area of interest. Obviously, given it's an MA program, research fit is less of a concern, but it does mean good things for my MA thesis in terms of advisors and such. I can definitely see myself going there. Before you ask why pursue MA degree at all: my eventual goal is to do a PhD, and I really need to boost my credentials. My undergrad is in another field, from an international institution no one knows or cares about, so I really need those relevant LORs and more research experience. A better writing sample wouldn't hurt, either. Also, I am excited about the prospect of moving to Canada as this is my opening to international job market if my PhD plan doesn't work out. The big question: Should I risk it? The cost of living is decent (1000$ a month on average), so I am looking at about 10,000 CAD a year in living expenses. I might be able to raise the money myself (from family and savings), but it is rather a lot to spend for a degree. So, this program is really financially feasible only if I manage to get one of those external scholarships once I'm there. I am not allowed to work for extra income (by default, my allotted 10 hours a week are eaten up by the TAship). My other options so far are top-ranked unfunded MA in Europe (that'll cost me 25,000 euro/year), and one-year MA in UK (I'll find out about the scholarship outcome way too late, only in June/July). I haven't heard back from two other places, so for now these are my choices. I've been stewing over this for two weeks now, and desperately need a fresh perspective. Please help?
  3. @fuzzylogician thank you for your advice, Skype conversation sounds like an excellent idea! Are there any particular questions I should be asking, beyond the basics? Now that I have some admits, all of a sudden I feel very unprepared.
  4. Is anyone heading to Western this fall?
  5. Anyone going to Western for Fall 2017? I am thinking about accepting their offer, and would love to get to know fellow grad students Does anyone know what the housing situation is like now?
  6. There is one professor I would love to work with. I mentioned her in my SoP, but I didn't make contact before applying. She directs a research lab at Western, and her work is well-cited. (I assume that's one of the indicators for how respected someone is in the field? I am still very new to this whole thing.) Would it be acceptable to email her at this point and say: "I am so-and-so, very interested in your research, could you tell me more about the program, your research lab, and future career prospects/placement?" In a very round-about way, through past thesis titles I found two former MA students that she supervised; one of them currently works at Western as a graduate research assistant. I am thinking about emailing them as well, to get more info from a student's perspective, and also ask about potential avenues for additional funding.
  7. That's what makes this such a difficult decision: this much funding for an MA is definitely an attractive offer, I am just not sure if spending all of my savings and then some will pay off in the end. I have no idea what the department placement record for PhD programs in the US looks like, there is nothing available on the website. I do plan to ask the department about their placement record soon, though, just to have a general idea of what my options are after graduating. As for you second question, I definitely want a US school for my PhD because that's where the relevant research is happening. In the interests of full disclosure, I have applied this cycle to three US MA/PhD programs, and was rejected by all of them. This degree gives me more chances in Canadian schools compared to US schools though, I know that much.