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    Funding for China

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  1. That sounds about the same as UCSC. After taxes the TA stipend is about $1500-1700 /month, depending on the year. Research stipends are lower - $1300-1500. It's also difficult to live on that anywhere in the area because they've also been de-funding family student housing AND graduate student housing. This past year they had the audacity to send around an e-mail informing students that they still had plenty of spaces in grad student housing - well, no wonder when you charge $999/ month for a single bedroom in a 4bedroom/2 bathroom (on-campus housing) deal! A decent off-campus bedroom can be found for the ~$700-800 range; 1 bedroom apartments/studios are $1K and up. Groceries in Santa Cruz - even if you shop cheap - around $200-300 USD per month. You can't afford to eat at dining halls on campus; lunch is $8.25 and dinner more than that. Some of the smaller cafes are more affordable but lack in variety.... Then there are costs to cover any books, supplies, computer equipment, clothing, i.e. other necessities one needs to actually live. You do get a bus pass - but even the gym fees are covered by student fees not always covered by your department (a sum of ~$330 per quarter paid for out of your pocket). I don't know who they're kidding, but the stipends just don't cut it in the UC system. I love the Santa Cruz campus and people, but sure am glad to not be there anymore; if I hadn't moved there with savings from a previous job I wouldn't have made it so easily.
  2. I lived in SC for 3 years. It's more like $800-900 per month for a bedroom in a small 3-bedroom house... on campus grad housing was $830 per month for one bedroom in a 4 bedroom/2 bath shared situation. Family student housing was slightly cheaper, with a 2 bedroom at $1200-1300/month (master + small room for a kid), although they were cracking down on the problem with students who lived there illegally (claiming they had a partner or kids when they did not, etc). Utilities run another $90-100 per person for a 3-person rental situation. You might be able to pay less ($700-750) to live in a larger house with more roommates or to live further away from campus (the east side of town, away from campus, is cheaper). In all cases you'll be sharing the bathroom and other common rooms, of course. Last time I lived there, two years ago, a really crap two-bedroom apartment in Santa Cruz ago went for $1450, so I'm sure it's more than that now. Groceries can be very expensive there because your choices are Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Safeway, Costco (you must have a membership - roommates, in fact, often split this cost), or smaller organic/local stores $$$ (great options when you have the money, though). In case it helps anyone make a decision between UCs, I highly recommend asking around with current grad students. UCSD actually has a good deal for student housing. Torrey Pines and La Jolla are ridiculously overpriced but they rent 2 bedroom/1 bath apartments for $1000 *total* and provide a shuttle to campus. In short, $15,000 isn't going to get you very far. When I lived there here is what I paid for 1 BR in 3 BR place downtown (for one of the two smaller rooms in the house): $780/month + $80-90 utilities + $200-300 per month in groceries = $1060-1170. The stipend is roughly $1500 per month (after taxes, working 10 months). Most leases require 12 months, so for two months you won't have that $1500 unless you find a TA position or reader position on campus (that's more like $1300 per month).
  3. I apologize if this has already been asked - I searched the forum and could not find an answer. How do I go about paying the IRS for the FBH taxes? Do you get something in the mail (a 1098 or something from your university) that will indicate roughly how much you owe? Must I submit a form from somewhere online? How much will I owe (what % of the grant amount)? Thanks to anyone who can provide links or other information... as I'm still living abroad I worry they might be sending things to an outdated address...
  4. Has anyone had any luck trying to figure out what they mean by "research clearance" for the country? I presume the visa relates to paperwork from the university or institutional affiliation, but is this the same thing as "research clearance"???
  5. So, it turns out that while I was waiting in limbo over alternate status for China, I received notification that I received a Fulbright-Hays award instead (which actually in my case makes more sense! I'm a PhD student several years into my program). This happened to at least one other person I know (didn't receive Fulbright, rec'd FB Hays). I have to wonder - do these agencies talk to one another while making decisions? ;-)
  6. Well, after tracking down the admins at my campus who received the list earlier in the week but did not e-mail anyone yet for no specific reason, I found out I got it!!! YAY! I HAVE MONEY TO DO MY RESEARCH! I hope everyone else finds out or has found out by now.
  7. Colleague at UCSD heard late this afternoon--accepted. I haven't heard (UCSC) and therefore I'm expecting the worst. :-(
  8. I'm also on the West Coast and have not heard. I'm expecting the worst and preparing myself for it... but I'll let you all know when I hear. Alternate status and/or rejection seems to be more popular this year than usual. I wonder if there are financial hold-ups on the federal budget side of things?
  9. Also, if you were in my situation: named an alternate for China, and received a notice that I am an alternate for the CLEA award. Seeing as how I don't know if I will even get the regular award at this point, I don't see how they can expect me to pay the non-refundable deposit for the Harbin program. So if I received the Fulbright regular award in, say, June, it would be too late to pay the deposit on my program. As such, I would necessarily need to decline the award as no other program allows you to apply and pay a deposit as late as June. But since I don't even know if I will get a regular award for Fulbright, and I can't afford to send myself to China and pay for a language program that costs $7,000 on my own dime, I have no other choice. I'm sure you wish you were in my shoes *sarcasm*
  10. I got one of these e-mails as well, but if I don't get the award I'm not going to the program. I can't afford it. The cruel joke is that the non-refundable deposits are due in a few weeks (in addition to the application fee). So you risk losing a few hundred dollars. I had that happen to me once with IUP-Beijing. It was a nightmare, and I never got my $500 back.
  11. I study the cultural and social history of the People's Republic of China (which, by the way, is almost non-existent in the period 1949-1980). A large part of my specific project involves anthropological or ethnographic research, including interviews with people who have memories from the 1950s-1980s. I'm not exactly sure what they didn't like, but perhaps they felt it was uninteresting or too political. It's hard to tell.
  12. Yes and no. I've spent years abroad on my dime. I need to finish my PhD program. The Fulbright is not just another "year abroad" or "study abroad" for me. I fall into that whole "pure research" and must finish my dissertation deal. Funding is slim this year; worse than in the previous years by far (not like this surprises you, I'm sure). But I took loans out to study Chinese and live abroad before. Without money to do my research, I'm likely moving abroad and/or indefinitely taking a leave of absence from my PhD program and will re-apply in the following years while I work another job. I'm too old for this nonsense, I want my PhD and I want to teach. But I refuse to take out loans and fund my own dissertation research when the job market is worse than it's been in at least 20-30 years and I'm likely to not pay those loans off for a long time. Also, having lived abroad and worked while learning Chinese, I don't think it's feasible to hold more than a minor part-time job and do research. I learned my lesson before tutoring English on the side and China is no longer as cheap as it used to be (as my adviser lamented earlier)--at least, not in Beijing where ALL of my primary source material is located. Sorry, needed to vent...
  13. Two UC PhD students, with full dissertation proposals, fluent in Chinese, and verified affiliations in Beijing both marked as "alternates" to China. Can someone who does get one please let us know your backgrounds and status? Our advisers are baffled. Thanks.
  14. As one of the older applicants to Fulbright, I also agree. I may not have a family or a spouse who's coming with me (he has a job and he's going to stay behind... it's not going to be easy to do that), but I think that many PhD students like myself have spent years (YEARS!) working in a profession and/or in a field or on a project that is very worth of a Fulbright. I don't know if I got a Fulbright, but I have poured years of my time and money (and loans for studying abroad and language classes in China and Taiwan) to get to this point.
  15. Me three. I'm putting off doing the required essay until I hear back on the CLEA. Yeah, I know it's due soon, but I think it's unfair to ask for all this paperwork and a non-refundable application fee AND deposit for an expensive program, when we don't even have a clue if we got a Fulbright or not. Dawn from CET Harbin called me earlier this week about my "unfinished application" on their website. I can't afford going to Harbin if I don't get a Fulbright CLEA. If I am lucky enough to be one of the award winners, but not get a CLEA, my back-up plan at this point is to attend one of the TLI-affiliated schools in Beijing or hire an IUP teacher to tutor me on the side (some will 'unofficially' do this for pocket money). Either way, I would like the Fulbright as much as anyone else on this board, CLEA or not!!!
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