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About Eshtah

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  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
  • Program
    Religion/Religious Studies

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  1. Congratulations!!!! I am so happy for you!
  2. Although I have accepted an offer from Georgetown more than two weeks ago and have all the information I am looking for, I am still lurking around in this forum, just because I want to find out if you made it. I just wanna let you know that I feel with you (and anyone else who is in the same position) and am sending all my good wishes your way. :-)
  3. I am an international student and will be attending Georgetown as well. I was wondering on what websites people usually search for an apartment and if there are any offline resources. Anything would be helpful! And how early will you start looking?
  4. I am still waiting for UPenn. I wrote them an email last Thursday, but no reply....
  5. I gotta step in here and speak out for our OP. If you're not an international applicant, you have no idea how hard it can be getting LoRs that measure up to the American enthusiastic tone. You might think that every serious academic all over the world is probably comfortable with writing an English LoR, but that's simply not true. It's a sh*t show to apply as an international student and while there is tons of support and expertise available for undergrad students within the US, nobody has given me any piece of advice and my first application failed mainly because of lack of advice and support from my home university. And I come from a German top university. Give him a break. This forum is the exact right place for asking what went wrong. Whom else is an international student supposed to ask? So, itwlhf: Do not give up! Reapply next year and in the meantime work on: 1) Your Quantitative score in the GRE 2) Your TOEFL score 3) Your Letters of Recommendation. Visit theprofessorisin.com and read everything on it. Ask for help. Let colleagues take a look at your application and appreciate critical feedback. And use this forum and all the expertise that is on here.
  6. Since I started this topic, my situation has changed quite a bit. I learned a lot from all the replies and the still ongoing discussion and have a much better insight into the diversity of the academic landscape in the US, especially regarding Religious and specifically Islamic Studies. I applied to 5 programs in the US and got accepted very early at UC Davis. Since their program is new, I couldn't find much information on their program and on their reputation online and was rather unsure about the quality of their program. A lot of research and interviewing people has changed that. The funding they provide is very fair and equal to what I have been offered at Georgetown (it's a bit less, but Davis is a lot cheaper than Washington D.C.). The program they run is solid and provides excellent training. Of course, nobody can say anything about their placement record, because the program is very new. But after a lot of researching, I think it is fair to say that they are a very good choice for whoever got in. By now, I have received more offers most namely from Georgetown and I will most likely accept this offer. It is a very competitive program and I look forward to working with Jonathan Brown and Felicitas Opwis. However, as has been pointed out many times before, nobody can guarantee at all that this will eventually land me a job in academia. I don't remember who it was, but I quite liked his/her approach to his/her career and I share this attitude: I will do my best and invest what I can and see how far I come. When I stop receiving good offers, I will know that it is time to leave academia. And that will be hard to accept, but it is part of the game. As an international student, it is all the more difficult for me to gain insight into "the game" and how it all works in the US. That's why I am very grateful for all the insight that has been provided here. This whole forum has rather saved my life and my nerves in the last weeks. ;-) I have one question though: Where do you rank UPenn?
  7. I am also an international applicant and have successfully applied to PhD programs in the US. Your GRE scores aren't actually that important as long as you have a high TOEFL score and aren't too bad in the Quantitative part (you should work on this). However, I suspect that you didn't have much of a chance based on your TOEFL scores. All programs I know require a minimum score of 100, mostly with a minimum score of 20 or 25 in the speaking and writing sections. That's the first problem. The second problem is your letters of recommendation. I know how hard it can be to get letters of recommendation especially for an international applicant. Writing the letters yourself can be acceptable if your adviser does not know English. He should definitely understand, however, what he is signing and support it! If asked, he should always confirm that he stands behind this letter of recommendation. I suggest asking him how he would describe you in his own words, take note and then write it in English. American letters of recommendation can be very emotional and almost a bit exaggerated in their tone. This can easily be an issue (believe me, I know what I am talking about). Make sure that your advisers know that this enthusiastic tone is really very normal in the US and that they should really account for this cultural difference if they want to support you. I cannot stress enough how important your letters of recommendations are. Your advisers probably don't have much of a network in the US and might not be very well-known in the US. I had this problem. Your letters of recommendation are the only chance you have to be introduced and to give your POIs an idea of who you are. They have to make up for you not having the network and the "names" on your side. If you want to reapply next year, I recommend preparing early. Study for the GRE (especially the Quantitative part), improve your TOEFL score by a lot, contact faculty members in the US and tell them about your topic and interest to work with them and work on three strong letters of recommendation. If you need help, there is a very recommendable service from theprofessorisin.com (I did not use this service myself, but a friend did). There you can read all about applying to the US and if you are willing to pay some money, you can get customized advise on your paperwork including your Statement of Purpose etc. Good luck!
  8. Eshtah

    Germany PhD

    Since I am German and currently doing my PhD in Germany (Islamic Studies at TĂĽbingen University), I can shed some light on our programs. However, I have no clue what the requirements for foreigners are and how the Visa process or anything like that works. Also, I am transferring to the US this summer. Yayyy for me! Send me a PM, if you're interested in my insight!
  9. In my Writing Sample, I have included a short paragraph on "Notes on this Writing Sample" right before my Abstract, in order to specify some things. It provides a context to the Writing Sample itself (it is am abridged version of a larger piece of writing), notes on the primary sources, translations and the transliteration system. I have received very appreciative feedback from two faculty members, so I think it is a good way to clarify whatever needs clarification. Here is how I did it: Notes on this Writing Sample This Writing Sample presents an abridged overview of the first results of my current PhD project, "Title". The paper at hand concentrates on the analysis of "Primary Source 1" (Title in Arabic with year of publication), "Primary Source 2" (Title in Arabic with year of publication) and "Primary Source 3" (Title in Arabic with year of publication) by this Syrian author. Translations into English, and in the case of Primary Source 2 also into French, are available, but have to be treated with caution, as the translations often differ considerably from the Arabic original, sometimes including completely new paragraphs and excluding whole chapters. This study therefore exclusively works with the Arabic originals; all translations are my own. The transliteration system adopted throughout this paper relies on the style and rules explicated by the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft (German Oriental Society).
  10. Hey guys, I am an international student who will be coming to the US this fall for a PhD in the Humanities and I need help understanding the offers I am receiving. Most of all: How much money will I actually have after taxes etc.? If Georgetown offers me 28000 for 8 months, what is the net value that I will have in my bank account? I will speak to the director of my program again next week. Do you think I can ask about that? Thanks a bunch for any insight!
  11. Hey guys! I am an international student and I just received an offer for a PhD program at Georgetown University. However, I have other choices and am now looking into factors like cost and quality of living in order to make my choice. I have a few questions and would be really happy if you could give me some hints! I would like to rent a 2 bedroom apartment together with my partner in a good enough area, from where I can either bike to Georgetown (up to 30 minutes) or take public transportation (also up to 30 minutes). How much do we have to expect to pay per month for an apartment like this? Which areas do you recommend? How hard is it to find a place and when should we start looking? What are the pro's and con's about living in Washington D.C. compared to - let's say - California/San Francisco? Thanks so much for your insight!
  12. Also received that rejection from Harvard, but wtf does it mean that I haven't heard anything from UPenn???
  13. I am honestly assuming that I was rejected although all posts concerning Harvard didn't even concern my field (Islamic Studies). I will wait to hear from them and I wouldn't accept anything prematurely, but at this point I feel it's best for my well being if I let go of the idea that I might get in. From what I have understood, not only did the POIs sent out unofficial emails but so did the Chair of the department and I see no reason why the chair would contact some but not others. I therefore assume that everyone who got in already received an email.
  14. I know exactly how you feel. I got into UCDavis, but we don't know how to make that work for my partner...
  15. But they did interview the ones they shortlisted, right?
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