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  1. The problem is that international students are only allowed to take up to 3-4 credits of online classes (the rest has to be in-person) to be in accordance with visa requirements. Hence, if the instruction is online they would think you don't even need to enter the US. I know this requirement was waived for Spring semester as everything happened quickly and in the middle of the semester, but I haven't heard of similar news regarding Fall semester.
  2. Aren't student visas considered non-immigrant? I am pretty sure it won't affect student visas given that international students are a big source of revenue for US higher education institutions. Trump has been eager to close the borders for immigrants for a while and the pandemic has given him a chance, but it's likely to be challenged.
  3. Just to add to this response. Schools are legally required to update your SEVIS profile on a regular basis and if/when any changes to your student status occur. That's why I am pretty sure you don't have to show funding beyond the first year. I imagine schools update funding info on your SEVIS profile on a year-by-year basis even if you are guaranteed funding for 5 years, mainly because funding amount might change a year later based on your assistantship/fellowship.
  4. Hi, I am an international currently in the US under J-1 visa which practically expired (but my status is valid based on DS-2019 form) and I will need to obtain an F-1 visa for my PhD program that starts in August. US Embassy and consulates in my home country are closed until further notice. As of now, my options are as follows: 1. Wait until mid-May (beginning of June at the latest) to see if the situation improves and Embassies/consulates start operating again. If that happens, then I would fly back to get my new visa. 2. If there are no improvements by June, I would consider applying for the change of status within the U.S. through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which is a long process. I also think it's not an option in my specific case, but I would need to do more research on this. 3. Defer the program start date by a semester, leave the US when my current status expires in August and come back with an F-1 visa in December-January. I was told by the University International Office that if Fall semester is moved to online instruction and I am just about to start my program, then I would not be able to enter the US anyway. It's a different story for those who are in the middle of their programs because they should be allowed to enter the US to finish their degrees. Hoping to get more info regarding the Fall semester being online/in-person by June and decide then.
  5. Can't speak for all schools, but usually tuition waivers and other support is tied to FTE%. At UW, for example, they wouldn't give you all that support unless you are at 50% FTE, i.e. 20 hrs per week. Your department should be able to answer this question with certainty.
  6. I am pretty sure your package includes a tuition waiver, insurance and stipend, but you can always email the program coordinator/faculty adviser to double check on that. I believe it's pretty common for US schools to guarantee funding for 9 months and then summer funding is dependent on availability of RA/TA positions, your faculty adviser and, of course, your progress during the academic year. Not a lot of PH schools guarantee funding for 4-5 years, but there should always be RA/TA opportunities - you would just have to look for those and apply. I know extra hassle, but that's the way it is. If you want to know more about UW (Seattle), feel free to message me - I graduated from their Health Services Department.
  7. It must be so hard to make this decision with a kid. Good luck and whatever decision you make, I am sure it's going to be the right one - life just works out. At least, that's what I am thinking right now about our own decision.
  8. Received my Harvard rejection about an hour ago. Expected.
  9. Thanks for sharing this! That's what I am planing to find out when visiting the campus later this month. Hers is a lab science and will probably be hard to do out of campus, so I am hoping it will be an option for me.
  10. Got accepted to UNC HPM and waiting to hear about the exact funding scheme (it's guaranteed for 2 years). Likely to accept, but the problem is that my wife got accepted to a different university. It's either we go together and one of is PhD-less, or we go to two different schools and spend years in a distance relationship... So if you have been in this situation or know someone with the same experience, would love to hear from you. Even if you haven't, still welcome your opinion. :)
  11. Another international student here. I totally second your concerns, especially if you are applying without any prior US education or research/work experience. One suggestion would be to apply for programs with global focus because it's much harder to get into Health Services programs which are more tailored to the US healthcare system. Also, my understanding is that at the end of the day it's all about fit (your previous experience/specific interests -> faculty projects). Look for faculty members who are doing similar (if not the exact) work you have experience in and tailor your application to that. This way those faculty members will be able to fund you. Also, I believe some schools like Northwestern provide fellowships for the first and sometimes second year regardless of your status. Try applying to those ones. Good luck to everyone!
  12. Anyone went to UNC or Northwestern visit/recruitment days? Would love to hear your feedback.
  13. Still waiting for a decision from Cornell. It's radio silence - they don't even reply to emails.
  14. Thanks for a reply! Is that in-person on campus interview for everyone? I did email the coordinator and the reply was that very few acceptances were sent out and we gotta wait patiently for a decision.
  15. Congrats to all of you who got acceptances! And good luck to those who are still waiting... it seems endless. Did you guys reach out to your interviewer(s) after the the actual interview to say 'thank you'/provide more info/etc? DO you think it's a good idea to do so?
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