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  1. To avoid false info floating around, I'll state my experience with a UPenn interview. During mine I was basically told I was accepted ("hopefully the next time we see you will be in person" - scared the cr@p out of me to hear that), and the interview was so chill it was fairly obvious from the beginning that it was a procedure rather than a test. At other institutions the interview process seemed like a key part of their decision making process. This reflects the fact that institutions may be more or less certain about candidates, may use interviews for different purposes for different candida
  2. Well, are you in the same time zone as them? I remember I had 3 or 4 faculty in my interview - scheduling to get them all in a room at the same time for however long can't be easy, and is probably near impossible during regular office hours.
  3. Mine (Ethno 2014) was a very friendly convo, asked some qs which seemed to be a check up that I'd read recent scholarship, had some verbal competency and was who I said I was/was not insane. Really low pressure and no trick/difficult qs. It was by far the most chill interview I did and it really did last 10 mins.
  4. UCLA have funding issues for international students because they're a public university so they don't/can't offer identical aid packages for everyone, like the bigger private universities can. Musicology has an easier time than Ethnomusicology though since they're funded from different divisions, from what I remember when I thought about applying (ended up not bothering because of lack of funding guarantees). UPenn interviews. Apparently some schools interview only the "maybe" list and admit other applicants without interview, some schools interview the whole shortlist, others don't inte
  5. As well as classes, try to go to social events and workshops. Workshops are especially useful because you'll have a chance to see students interacting independently on the spot, not just responding to a book/article. Often there will be more advanced students presenting their work, again, a useful indicator of program quality.
  6. Won a prize in my discipline outside of the university, which is the first external validation I've had since joining this discipline for my PhD. Kind of bowled over and oh so happy! Starting to prepare for the national conference in December where the prize will be awarded, and where I'm presenting the same paper. Coursework is chugging fine, although it's frustrating having to fulfil certain requirements which stop me being able to take the most relevant courses to my dissertation, at times. I'm really worried about learning two languages from scratch, neither of which use the Latin alphabet
  7. My experience has been that most often, I have to go through a more long-winded and frustrating process to do things like set up utilities, rent apartments, get internet service, because companies request extra proof of identity to be presented in person. With a phone, I had to purchase a handset outright and then get a pay monthly plan. The real sticking point for me was that even though I did have an SSN early on during my studies, it was worthless for any credit-related purpose because I had no credit history. And in the US, it seems nigh on impossible to start building credit without a cre
  8. If your acceptance letter covers health insurance then your tuition bill will show USHIP at full price, with a 100% reduction. You never end up out of pocket, but it's worth logging on to check you have been automatically enrolled (follow email links).
  9. Can you push the internship back to next summer? That kind of thing is what summers are made for. You've done well to find work that is either relevant to your discipline or allows you to study on the job. However, working full-time hours on top of grad school would likely detract from your ability to get the most out of your program. It's not much different to working two full-time jobs, and surely you wouldn't try to do that without expecting some negative consequences for your stress levels, physical health, sleep quantity/quality, and work quality. Start with the minimum additional workloa
  10. I realised today that I'm really excited to get back to classes and spend time in the library. Another month left until classes kick off but got a few side-projects (internship and other exams not related to coursework) that I'm undertaking to keep me busy.
  11. My experience: I got accepted from a performance undergraduate, without Masters, to Cambridge, Kings London, Chicago, Penn and NYU, waitlisted at Stanford, rejected from Brown. In my app, I was upfront about my academic training, supplying extra info about what my competencies and course content had been during undergrad, and let my writing samples do the talking. My writing samples were one ethno paper and one theory paper. The former I wrote of my own accord, the latter for a class. My research interests were relatively solid, but I was also told at prospie days that one thing they liked abo
  12. Within my department just by first name (it's a policy). Outside of the department, Prof X unless they suggest they prefer first name. Even then, I'd always err on the side of caution. If I switch from "Prof X" to "FirstName" in an email based on their sign off, I'll generally start the email "Dear FirstName (if I may)".
  13. Try and find something that benefits your degree. Tutoring is a good option - it pays a high hourly rate and develops your teaching skills. I teach 2.5 hours/week and that brings in $100. Means that my stipend plus that pocket money is enough for me to rent a big 2 bedroom apartment in a major city, and support my +1. Btw, don't discount big cities just because of rent. Some (often private) institutions offer more than others, and some (overlapping) institutions are based in the suburbs of big cities, which are very affordable but also bring more work opportunities downtown.
  14. I always reply with a thank you and maybe "see you at x" or "have a great summer". Never a bad thing to show appreciation for faculty taking time out for you. Reading that kind of brief note and hitting delete takes them like 5 seconds, so I would rather waste their 5 seconds than risk appearing rude or ungrateful.
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