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About cyborg213

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  1. Love the Legally Blonde advice!! I'm glad to hear about your experience and how it is actually an issue that can take a lot of energy, work, and extra caution. It is annoying, especially when you're arriving to a place and you want to make friends and feel supported, but I'm also sure it will become less of an issue as time goes by and I'm no longer the new girl in town. And yes, I should leave earlier, before things start getting awkward, though I still think this is truly unfair!
  2. Thanks @Sigaba, this is wonderful advice. I will trust my instincts and take action accordingly. It's interesting how I've never thought of educating others on how they should treat me... although it does feel like extra labor, I guess it's necessary in order to protect myself. I will focus on coursework in the meanwhile, take some distance from all the social turbulence, and gain perspective. I'm sure this will help a lot.
  3. Ok guys. I don't mean to be arrogant or self-indulgent with this, but I just want to share some off-putting experiences and feelings I've had to deal with due to something I never imagined would be an issue. I'm on my first year on a PhD program in a fairly small city, at a top-10 school. My program is rather small (6-7 people per cohort). I am a woman, and most people would say I'm attractive, pretty, desirable. Plus, I would fit into the category of an easily fetishizable, exotic foreign person with an accent. Although this is usually considered a privilege rather than a problem, it has been a problem in many occasions, and grad school doesn't seem to be the exception. I get a lot of attention from both men and women. I've had to deal with men in my cohort who have asked me out - more than once. When I go out for drinks with people in my program, I usually have to deal with one of them trying to make a move, and even kiss me, hug me, or invite me to their places. At the beginning this was fun and exciting, I have to admit, but it now feels overwhelming and confusing. On the one hand, it takes a lot of energy to set these boundaries constantly, with people who are at the same time my colleagues, which often creates an awkward situation I didn't even intend to provoke in the first place. On the other hand, it prevents me from building meaningful relationships because whenever I get too social, talkative, or close (especially with men), they misinterpret my intentions. So I've decided to be extra careful with what I do or say and to whom, which has progressively isolated me from social interactions. Am I being subject of sexual and gender micro-aggression? Is anybody experiencing or has experienced a similar situation? What would you do in my place?
  4. Thank you @Meraki and @Bird Vision for your replies!!
  5. Hi all! I'm an international student moving to the US to start my program and I'm desperately looking for an apartment. These are the two issues I'm dealing with: 1. I'm getting ghosted by the people in my program who offered me to help me with housing when I visited. They were so nice, attentive and helpful. They offered me to help me find a place, to visit it before my arrival, etc. Now that I'm actually asking them for their help, they suddenly disappear. Am I getting something wrong (maybe cultural?)? Did they actually mean they were willing to help me? Or it is just something you offer out of politeness? And if this were the case, am I being rude for actually requesting them to do what they've offered without really meaning to do so? 2. How safe is it to submit a security deposit without having visited the apartment? I've had a Skype tour and I've talked with the landlord. Everything seems to be alright. But I'm still afraid to submit a security deposit... How common are rental scams in the US? Are there any red flags I should worry about?
  6. If you check the USnews general ranking Cornell is listed #16 and Rochester #33. I know the Art History program at Cornell has a good reputation for East Asian art, so if this is what you want to focus on, I would say it is a good place for you - at a prestigious, Ivy league school (regardless of the fact that the program itself is not as well reputed as the school as a whole). However, they're not offering you any extra funding, which could be problematic... I don't know about the cost of living in Ithaca, but I imagine it tends to be low.. and if you manage to live on a budget, with roommates, I would say it's doable. On the other hand, Rochester's program would take you on a very different path... as you said, it would allow you to focus on a different range of topics, and develop a type of work that fits your interests better. However, you would be earning a degree in “visual studies”, as opposed to a more traditional Art History degree, which is something you would want to consider - whether it is for good or bad. If your country doesn't have many scholars who are specialized in “visual and cultural studies”, maybe this could work on your favor - you will have a sort of strange, specific degree that could make schools want to have you. However, this could have the opposite effect: schools in your country are more conventional, more traditional, and would only hire Art History PhDs. So this would require you to think of the academic situation in your country and envision which type of degree and education will be most wanted in the next decade... are there departments in the humanities or art schools, who are starting to build strong visual and media studies? In which university / department do you see yourself working after you complete your PhD? What type of contribution would you like to make, and in which area of study? I think these are questions that would help you clarify your goals and be as strategic as possible. I would also recommend you to search on this forum for more information about these programs. There are many posts and comments on both schools, and you could learn a lot about what people think about them after a quick search.
  7. Congratulations on both acceptances! I know it's hard to make a decision, especially when you are an international student and don't have as many references as people in the US have in regards to schools, prestige, etc. Have you been invited to visit any of these schools? Have you visited yet? How's that been? I think visiting would give you the chance to gather relevant information about each program in order to make a decision. As to whether the school is famous or not in your country... it's hard to say something without knowing how much importance this has when it comes to hire someone in your country... but generally speaking, I think it's far more important to choose a program in which you feel you can thrive and do your best work...
  8. If the person was obviously not being an asshole, and there was a kind tone in their comment, then I would think that the very fact that you were more open and vocal made this person approach and try to start a conversation with you at a more personal level. This might have been unconsciously, of course, but regardless of the content of their message, I'd say that this could be taken as evidence of you overcoming your social anxiety.
  9. Thank you so much! Very funny and helpful article (I do wanna be like Ross), and great advice. I will definitely insist with my school to get as much information as possible... If anyone else have experiences / advice on this issue I'd be happy to hear!
  10. Hi everyone! I will be joining a PhD program (fully funded + stipend) next fall and I have a question about health insurance... My offer doesn't cover health insurance but the school requires me to have one once I start the program. How much do international students typically pay for health insurance in the US? Do schools usually have specific health programs for graduate students which are cheaper? I've been trying to search for this information online but got even more confused about how this whole thing works... I also wrote to my university and they gave me a (surprisingly) vague answer. If I have to pay more that $2,000 a year for health insurance, well, that makes my stipend almost unlivable... any suggestions?
  11. Thank you! It's very reassuring to read you
  12. After submitting my application materials, I've continued to work on my project by reading, researching and expanding my knowledge on my proposed field of study. This has led me to slightly reframe the focus of my initial project, particularly in terms of methodology. I have a campus visit next week and expect to interview with POIs and faculty members and I'm not exactly sure about how to address this change. I know the project I presented will most probably end up being a completely different thing, if not completely dismissed, and I know POIs know this. But still, for some reason I'm worried that I might sound unprofessional or not committed enough with the proposal that got me accepted into the program in the first place. I might be overanalyzing this out of anxiety, but any advice will be appreciated!
  13. Can anyone give examples of things going not-so-good during campus visits? I'm curious.
  14. I wouldn't recommend anyone, unless you're rich or have external funding, to pursue an unfunded MA program... Especially if there are some amazing fully-funded MA programs available out there. If your ultimate goal is to pursue a PhD, take a year off, read, improve your application materials, take graduate-level courses at a nearby institution, work on your language skills... There are so many people I know that benefit from such a decision, and are accepted to fully funded PhDs next season. Given the precarious job situation, we shouldn't fall into years debt for a graduate program in the humanities.
  15. Is this funding a partial tuition remission, or is it a stipend?
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