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About Kava

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  • Application Season
    2013 Fall
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  1. Your scores are pretty good and you will have over two years of research before application time, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. Those scores shouldn't limit you on at least half of those schools, especially if your letter of recommendations are strong. However, if you have time and money to spare, retake the exam. I found the ETS official GRE guide to be most helpful in significantly increasing my scores - I answered and read all the review questions in addition to the practice exam questions.
  2. Kava

    San Diego, CA

    I'm from the San Diego area, and I really like Hillcrest. It's small, but the culture/food/walkability is great. Little Italy is also a good area for the same reasons, but I personally would like living in Hillcrest especially if you are going to SDSU. Also, I feel safer in Hillcrest at night (admittedly I haven't been to Little Italy at night in a while) because there are still a lot of people on the streets and restaurants are open pretty late. As far as cars, it depends on where you'll be living. I don't remember Little Italy having a lot of houses for rent, so I'm assuming you guys are loo
  3. I am also having a hard time making my decision. I'll be waiting until the deadline too. Which schools are you torn between?
  4. Deferment is typically for students that are completely putting their graduate studies on hold for personal/medical reasons, not for someone that wants to try out one school first. I'd be shocked if they would allow you to do that. If you don't like the private school, you can reapply the next application cycle - that's usually how it's done.
  5. I'm thinking about cancelling my next one or two visitation weekends. I visited three programs already; I would be happy at any of them and two have very strong chemistry programs. Have any of you cancelled a visitation weekend after making arrangements? If so, what did you say? Both schools already paid for my plane tickets, so I feel bad about bailing out at the last moment.
  6. I agree with what everyone is saying, don't stress about it. I'm surprised your friend said it would be construed as weird, I've received similar emails and I don't really pay attention to them. Also, I think a lot of people in the US (especially students) are used to different cultures. For example, in my ~17 person lab we have at least 6 people from different countries (where English isn't their first language) and at least another 5 people with parents that did not grow up in the US. Don't be afraid to be you, I think it is wonderful!
  7. Kava

    Seattle, WA

    How is the public transportation from Capitol Hill? Are the buses reliable/on time? I don't want to have a car, so taking the bus will be the way I'd like to go. I would also be putting late hours (until midnight maybe later) on campus. Are there buses that run this late? If not, does the university provide other options. For example, another school I'm considering has free or really cheap car service to drive you home if it is past when the buses are available - like a safe ride program.
  8. It would be nice for a little more information because I am also a bit surprised that you are not getting any acceptances your third time around. What have you done to improve your application each round? Did you do more research, get a job in your field, ask professors and other people in your field to review your CV and SOP (not just friends - sometimes they don't know how to give constructive criticism). Getting your masters first might be the best way to go, for some programs it isn't. You've had a couple years, were you able to publish? Are you only applying to "top tier" programs and
  9. As zapster mentioned, it depends on the program. For example, for the physical sciences it is very rare that interviews are conducted (all of my acceptances were without interviews). However, in the life sciences, humanities, and social sciences it seems to be common.
  10. I've spoken to a couple professors who told me that option was available to me if I decided to move in the summer. It seems that a lot of professors will take in one or two incoming graduate students if they have funding. Also, some schools have summer programs for incoming graduate students. I am strongly considering starting in the summer, it'll help me get my foot in early and get comfortable in a new environment when I don't have to teach. Part of me would love taking the summer off, but I don't think it is financially possible.
  11. Does anyone know about Vanderbilt? I saw the stream of rejections, but I still haven't heard anything. Even if I'm accepted, I'm sure it would make a difference at this point since my visitation schedule is already full. I just want to know their decision since I put a lot of work into my applications. I think most of us already have a good idea of which school we are going to attend, but I hate having outstanding applications at this point. Does anyone else feel this way??
  12. I loved reading this entry. During this whole process I was constantly battling myself in my head. I also hated contacting professors that I had never met or barely knew. I had to keep telling myself, "you want this, just do it, just do it!" I know it paid off, I never thought I would get into some of these programs, and especially a top program since I too had a poor chemistry GRE score.
  13. Will any of you guys decide on a graduate school without visiting? I plan to visit all/most of the schools, even some of the "lower tier" programs because I can't imagine making such a big decision without meeting the faculty/students and checking out the facilities.
  14. I agree, that's what I am planning to do even though I was accepted into a couple of my top programs. Since I like all of the programs I applied to, I am going to try to be open-minded during my visits and not focus on rank or "prestige". Ultimately, I am going to pick what feels the best for me...I don't want to be miserable for the next 5+ years. But it all depends on what YOU want and what you can handle.
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