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About AnUglyBoringNerd

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  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
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  1. EALC 2018

    Thanks for the suggestion! I've checked out their program and it's indeed intriguing! (i Like it that they list gender&sexuality as one of the specializations). Unfortunately, I have also found this piece of info on the website: ...generally between 30-50% of the incoming group receive some kind of funding. Only a few top-ranked candidates can be nominated for central fellowships (which include merit-based fellowships and merit-with-diversity fellowships) from the Graduate Division. Others might receive departmental funding if it is available. International Applicants: Unfortunately it is very seldom that international students are awarded funding through our department, as the costs of supporting their non-resident fees and tuition each term are quite high. (URL: I am an international applicant and all things considered, I really need to get in a program with definite full funding so I guess UCSB is not working for me. :'(
  2. EALC 2018

    Thanks for the advice! I will definitely check out UC Santa Barbara! (oops I haven't, I intended to save the UC schools for later bc I think some of them ask for transcripts to be sent to them also by mail so I need to figure out how many hard copy transcripts I need to order. :P) I've spent one year in Tokyo. Great experience. Undoubtedly fell in love with the National Diet Library. *dreamy face* Speaking of master's, I think the MAPSS of U Chicago is a very good option for me, and MAPH for you maybe? It offers scholarship and we can work with academics who could be future PhD advisers. I think I'm gonna apply to both MAPSS (history track) and U Chicago's East Asia study PhD program. I was also suggested to look at prestigious programs "everywhere" to find a good intellectual match. So you may wanna consider schools in Europe as well? Oxford, Cambridge, Leiden etc and schools in Canada. (I already did a search of programs in UK and didn't find one I feel like to apply for, I'll try Canadian schools later)
  3. EALC 2018

    Yesss! Modern Japan here. Interests are the process of modern nation-building, the formation of war memory and collective identities, and gender in the context of international relations. Will indeed apply to Harvard, Columbia and UChicago. (too similar to your target schools? :P) Still searching for other programs at the moment and definitely will apply for PhD and master programs in history as well. I think UPenn's History Department is also quite strong in East Asia history, but not sure about the period you are interested in. UPenn also has East Asia studies PhD programs if I remember it correctly. This is my second round. For the first I only applied for Harvard and UPenn and only the history PhD programs. But I once contacted Helen Hardacre via email bc my master thesis has a lot to do with State Shinto. She's very kind and nice. btw, nice profile name! xD
  4. Fall 2018 Applicants

    I think am in a similar situation. Second time applying here, focus is modern Japan (nation-building, war memory, collective identities and gender in the context of international relations). But given that I don't have a degree in History (BA International Politics, MA International Politics- Asia-Pacific study with a focus on Japan), I will definitely apply for both EALC and History programs for PhD and a few funded MA programs in History. (that would be my third Master's though, ugh) I have been doing some research work (participating in some oral history projects as well) for an LGBT NGO in the past few years while I was doing my masters. So a second idea is to also look for programs strong in gender history then narrow the area to East Asia. It's been not so easy for me to find POIs as well. This year I have broadened my search to European institutions too, but I do feel the training system (and archives!) is better for me in the U.S. Any suggestions would be deeply appreciated.
  5. Welcome to the 2016-17 cycle!

    Oh thanks! I don't plan to take it at all since I already have one MA. Also, I am changing field from Politics to History so I won't apply for programs in Political Science anymore. I was just wondering if I am leaving the field due to pure incompetence or (more or less) free will. By "evaluate" I mean "if Columbia MA is competitive and I got an offer maybe I am not that bad as a politics major " I's kinda pathetic.... thanks for the advice anyway. I don't think it's worth the investment either.
  6. Welcome to the 2016-17 cycle!

    Got MA offer from Columbia Univ. today after being rejected from PhD program. MA is without fellowship. I am changing field and reapplying for PhD programs in another discipline this year but still, out of curiosity, does anyone know how prestigious is Columbia's terminal MA? O_O Is it difficult to get in? I didn't get in any of the 4 PhD programs in political science I applied (Berkeley, Columbia, UVA, GWU), I assume it is bc I couldn't find a POI doing what I want to do + lack of quantitative training. I was kind of hoping this MA offer can help me evaluate how....poor/not so poor my application was. =_=
  7. Fall 2017 applicants

    Congrats!!!!!!!! So happy for you!!!
  8. Some Words of Caution

    haha, yeah I admit that my thought about corporate work life is immature. Last year most of my friends started to work in big companies so I made some more or less biased observation. Didn't mean to offend anyone who's working in industry, but in China it kind of feels like that way-"a small replaceable part"-because we are, even when we graduate from top universities.
  9. Welcome to the 2016-17 cycle!

    I just received rejection via email so I think if you haven't heard anything, it's a good thing~
  10. Fall 2017 applicants

    Thank you two very much for saying that. I hope next year this time I'll get in places that excite me and pass on this positive vibe~
  11. Fall 2017 applicants

    This cycle is now officially over for me. (ugh, too fast!) About me: international applicant, BA and MA in politics & area studies; focus is modern Japan (history of foreign relations, national identity, memory, gender&sexuality) I've studied in Japan for one year as a graduate and I've studied Japanese as my minor as an undergraduate. Results: I only applied to two programs because I was not 100% sure that I want a PhD in History (instead of in Politics) (lesson learned: be sure before apply or there will be serious identity crisis) and I got rejected from: Harvard: rejected. (good fit) reasons: err..because it's Harvard? Joking~ I talked about it with POI and he very kindly pointed it out to me that my main weakness is that my training is as much in political science as in history. (He is just so kind... ) lesson learned: need to demonstrate in my SOP that I am an aspiring historian instead of someone who is capable of transforming herself into a historian... (I talked to POI before I started my application and back then my non-history BA and MA are not a problem, so I assume it is more about how to present myself) (not going to reapply to Harvard because it's unlikely that they will take someone who was once rejected) U Penn: rejected after an interview (not a good fit but not a bad one either) reasons: I was still not seeing myself as an aspiring historian but some timid outcast (I wonder if other area studies people feel the same way?) not belonging to any discipline. So when my POIs asked if I'd prefer to be a historian in X field or in Y field I was even thinking "wow, a historian, me?" =_= You know, like the guy you've been having a secret crush on suddenly asks you out on a date...on Feb 14th, and you are so happy that you totally freak out and give him a three-second silence? lesson learned: I really need to construct an identity as an aspiring historian or it will never work... also, while I did a lot work on/related to my topics of interest, I didn't really have an opportunity (as an Area Studies/Politics major) to think about history as a discipline or historic questions in general. (it's really hard to admit, but I was indeed not ready to pursue a PhD in history, especially not mentally prepared.) (not going to reapply to U Penn because..well...I'm not proud of my performance during the interview and I don't think they'll give me another shot next year. That said, I am grateful that they thought I deserved an interview..) I am going to reapply in this fall to more programs which i didn't even have time to think about last year. One question: what did you do during the gap year? I'll have a research job at an LGBTI rights organization which is relevant to my interest in identity, gender and sexuality but not in history...will that be Ok on my CV? Also....I know this is too early and too much to ask, but if anyone is interested in having a look at my future SOP in a few months, please let me know. Thank you all for sharing your story and valuable information!
  12. Fall 2017 applicants

    Thanks for the kind words! I'm international so I definitely won't be visiting anywhere (and they know that). That said, I think I am indeed rejected.
  13. Fall 2017 applicants

    Is there anyone waiting to hear decisions (=rejections) from UPenn? I had my interview on Feb 2 but haven't heard anything from them yet. I assume I've safely landed in the rejected pool. I only applied to UPenn and Harvard (officially rejected from Harvard already) for this cycle and I'm wondering if it is time for me to discuss why I am/will be rejected and how to improve my application in this fall. I kinda need to secure a position at an NGO asap to make sure I have a research job during my gap, is it still a bit too early (and pathetic) to write UPenn that "I believe I am rejected, can you give some advice" email? (I did it to my Harvard POI and received really valuable advice~) Hope I'm the only one here who has to do a second cycle! Thanks in advance!
  14. Fall 2017 applicants

    I already wrote emails to professors who wrote my recommendation letters to apologize to them that I didn't get in Harvard or UPenn though I don't currently have the rejection letter and I'm gonna reapply this year. They already replied with kindness, surprise, and encouragement (mostly surprise) so it may be a problem if by some miracle I was not rejected.... I know, I am just weird.... Ok, 15 min later after this ^ post I got an email to check website and Harvard's released my rejection.
  15. Fall 2017 applicants

    Congrats!! Alas...does this mean that all acceptances were sent out? My sub-field is East Asian history and despite the interview I had in early Feb there is no news yet... (It would be extremely tragic for me since I'd have to reapply in this fall if I didn't get in...Penn is the last school I'm waiting to hear back)