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About melissaam

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  • Birthday October 13

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  • Gender
  • Location
    NJ, USA
  • Application Season
    2013 Fall
  • Program
    Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering

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  1. It happens, unfortunately. I have probably a 10 minute rant on the subject, because it think its a terribly abhorrent practice. For these sake of EVERYONE involved, I'll keep quiet.
  2. ISN'T THAT THE TRUTH! I recently got some feedback on a PhD application I submitted to the University of Minnesota where the actual quote was "The admissions committee noted that there was a lot to like in your application, including an evidently strong performance at UCL (although admittedly they were less clear on how to evaluate that transcript as compared to a transcript from the U.S.) and good research experience." It's a transcript with a number grade as opposed to a letter where 70+ is considered excellent. I really don't see the issue.
  3. I wish i was back in the UK studying! The hardest part about finishing my course and my student visa expiring is knowing that I can't go back there on a work visa until I'm more specialized in work or my field. I have so many great friends there and really connected with London as a city. IT sounds illy, but my one year living and studying there made it feel more like home than the place I lived for almost my entire life. It also helps that I had a social life and a great relationship with my supervisor. The suburbs just don't compare.
  4. I'm an American citizen with a BS from the US and an MSc from the UK, ideally looking for a PhD position. After three unsuccessful application seasons in the US (and requesting feedback which basically said "you have a lot of great things but those pesky undergraduate grades you can't do anything about are hindering you, maybe the applicant pool will be weaker next year") I've decided that next season I likely won't apply in the US but instead look outside of the country. I've considered an international PhD for a while now, and even had a PI in the UK who would be willing to take me on as a PhD student but we have been unable to find me funding to do so, and I am not in a situation where I could pay my own fees. There are a few groups in Germany that I've followed, and from what I understand the associated tuition fees are lower for everyone. I've already reached out to two groups and got one response which basically said we don't have funding but if you can find your own stipend then we will definitely read your application. It seems like funding for Americans in Germany is MUCH easier to come by than funding for Americans in the UK. Has anyone else looked into PhD programs abroad/in Germany as an American? If you've done one, what were your experiences? Did you have to provide your own stipend? And especially, has anyone applied to any through DAAD.de? I'm really curious!
  5. I made a blog! Check it out and leave me feedback? http://ascientificmethod.wix.com/a-scientific-method

    1. Jay's Brain

      Jay's Brain

      Great stuff! I've been meaning to do something like this and you've given me the motivation to do it! Everyone has a story to share :)

    2. Catria


      My own blog is full of ramblings over more or less random topics now that the season is over...

  6. So, this time around I had a Prof who decided he no longer wanted to write my LORs because I wasn't "selective enough" in my university section and he thought my masters and bachelors PI's would provide better LORs… one week AFTER all of my apps were due. Oh, and did I mention that both of those individuals were already writing references for my applications? You have to love the differences between UK and US applications, with the UK needing 2 LORs and the US needing 3, sometimes the Professors just don't understand. After 90 minutes of uncontrollable sobbing, those were fun phone calls to make. I'm glad my anxiety ridden thread from 2 years ago is still living.
  7. Totally minorly spamming this topic, but I finished my MSc in September (at University College London) and I have to say it was one of the best choices I could have ever made. You'll love it and Imperial is amazing.
  8. I got US loans for my masters in the UK. There was a list of places both in and out of the US on the FAFSA website that accept US Federal Aid (only the Direct Loans). A lot more places accept federal aid than you think, and a few are even listed under different names. IT sometimes helps to look at your institutions financial aid webpage, they might list if they accept US Direct Loans or not.
  9. In an effort of full disclosure, I accepted an offer to one of the schools I have not listed above but my second choice was School A. Also, to respond Tuck, a broader set of courses is actually counterproductive at this stage in the game. The point of my graduate degree is to develop a specialized skill set/knowledge base, not to repeat my Senior year of undergrad with slightly more knowledge.
  10. Thanks guys! I'll see if I can get in touch with Alumni while I made this decision. I plan on continuing on to a PhD within the US after this degree and want to make sure I am setting myself up for success.
  11. I could use some opinions regarding selecting a school. Right now I have three wonderful options but each has its advantages and disadvantages. As I would be considered an "international candidate" at these institutions, I also want to make sure I am setting myself up for good things in the future. Unfortunately I am unable to physically visit the campus' so this is purely based off of things I have read and communication with the department. These are all for one year taught Masters. School A Pro: Located in what they say is a "rural" environment but has easy access to two major cities via train. There are two smaller towns directly around the university, which is a lifestyle I am more comfortable with/have experienced previously. The degree program is much more focused on my interests, so all of my coursework will directly relate and benefit my future goals. This is also the least expensive of the three, and I have the opportunity to obtain a partial scholarship and there is a partial tuition remission (10%) for people from the US. Con: The research here isn't 100% what I want, but there are some strong POI's. The university was also established in the mid 1900's (I BELIEVE in the 50's but I am not 100%) and does not have much of a reputation in the US, from what I can tell. School B Pro: Located in a major city I feel comfortable enough to live in. Faculty are very good with communicating via email (quick responses) and there are at least three faculty members whose research very closely related to what I want to do. I was already offered a partial scholarship and have the opportunity to apply for additional scholarships. Con:The course requirements are very general so I would need to take courses unrelated to my specific interests. Even though it is the #1 school in this nation for my program, it doesn't have much of a reputation in the US. School C Pro: The coursework associated with my degree is almost exactly what I want. I will come out with knowledge that will directly aid my future goals. This school also has a relatively strong reputation within the US. There are a few faculty members doing work that interests me, but it is not exactly what I want to do. The department is relatively good with communication, they did take several months to get back to me at one point but since then they responded quickly. They also created a FB group for offer holders, so we can get to know one another. Con: I am wary about the city this institution resides in. I cannot exactly pinpoint what the concern is, but I do not have the same feeling as I do with the other two. This is the most expensive of the three and I do not qualify for any of the scholarships so I will have to pay out of pocket. Living expenses will also be slightly increased due to city life. I would appreciate any opinions or feedback. I want to try and see things from as many different POV's as possible.
  12. You HAVE to tell them. This is totally going to become this POI's favorite email, or least favorite email. EIther way, I think you should let them know, just very politely. Also, this completely beats my situation. I say this wins as of right now. (Not like its a competition)
  13. ... you go to look into POI's research for the first time after submitting your application and find out that they are no longer at the institution. (or at least listed on the program's website) I also specifically mentioned how interested and excited I am by their work in my Personal Statement. OOPS! Anyone else have something?
  14. So, am I ridiculous to be and American student pursuing a MSc in the UK? I spoke with a few people (professors) and they didn't seem to see anything wrong with a MSc from the UK and then coming back to the US for a PhD. This thread seems very focused on Cambridge and Oxford, neither of which I applied to.
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