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About joysii

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    2020 Fall

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  1. Hi, I've been pretty stressed lately about enrolling for courses and wasn't sure where to go for advice. I just finished my 1st semester in this PhD program and am trying to enroll in courses for the next semester. However, a course in another department I wanted to take overlap in time with requirements for my own department. Because COVID has made a lot of things asynchronous, I figured it would be okay to be enrolled in both at once (I could make it so I'd be 100% present at my department's class). The department head told me no, and that I should try to take that other class next seme
  2. Getting into the country shouldn't be a problem in your case. I've been hearing reports that the attitude towards f1/j1 visas are very indifferent and chill at the moment. The real problem is whether or not your stay once you get into the country is legal. In your case, since you even have a letter from your prof vouching for you, I don't think it should be an issue.
  3. I understand I should write the places I've been employed after undergrad, but should I include when I worked part-time on campus as a student? Or was I technically not "employed" since I was a full-time student?
  4. You have a good point -- I've received those generic emails and even made 1 or 2 of those accounts as well, but I think if you actually try to create the account you'll be able to tell if it's a general admitted student account or an actual student account that can reassure you you're in the system. In my case, when I made the admitted student accounts, I just wanted to see what was available on the websites (like university promo videos) and it had personalized info like the fin aid package they were offering me. But for the actual student account, the email alert was in my inbox the day
  5. I'm not going to say I'm 100% certain, but I'm pretty sure you should write 8 years, and home address means permanent address. Even though your expected time in grad school is 5 years, you never want to take risks as an international student in having a visa that's potentially too short. If the I-20 your school issued you says 8 years, you should just follow what the I-20 says. They probably have the extra 3 years as a buffer for those ppl who end up staying an extra couple of years. Mailing address is the address they're actually going to send your passport back to, so make sure that's a
  6. I never received an official letter giving congratulations, but I did get an email notification with instructions on how to set up my student account. That's why I assume I've been officially entered into their system. If that hasn't happened to you yet, I would recommend you get in contact with your advisor and ask for their help/let them know about your situation since you haven't been able to reach the office.
  7. International students aren't immigrants, but their visas are still issued through the customs/immigrations department. The US has currently frozen the issuing of visas so foreign students are definitely not going to be allowed to enter the US (since they can't get their visas) until this issue is resolved.
  8. If you're looking for a personal opinion and not something objective... for me it would depend whether it's 70k for a MA or PhD. 70k for a MA (which I assume is 1 or 2 years) would be too much for me. While for a PhD (which is average 5~6 years), although 70k is still a lot, I could at least try to mitigate by finding TA/RA positions during my time there.
  9. I don't know much about your field of interest so can't say much about the specifics, but your plan of action sounds solid: boosting your GPA, taking the GRE, maybe trying research. Since you're trying to get into English programs, having an English minor would definitely help. I've heard faculty say Liberal Studies/Interdisciplinary majors seem vaguer on paper (compared to a straight-up English major, in your case). It could also further support that your choice to do another year of undergrad wasn't because of failure to fulfill graduation requirements. Of course, you should still be aw
  10. You mentioned private institutions seem to be getting slammed less than public, so I was making a general statement that Berkeley CoC funding is mostly from their research grants than any other part of the school (which relies on tuition and public funds) so I don't think there would be as much of a difference between Columbia and Berkeley in terms of funding. I don't know the exact funding situation and I'm not saying that Berkeley won't be impacted at all. Just not as much as a typical public school would and (I predict) not that different from Columbia. I used to work for the call center as
  11. Whatever negative vibes you got from the Berkeley neighborhood were somewhat accurate. It does tend to be a bit "grungy" in atmosphere. Based on friends I know who worked in the chem labs at Berkeley, (and the bio ones too for that matter) the work hours are also pretty brutal. Considering Columbia is a smaller program, Columbia probably will feel more chill on the weekends like you said. However, Berkeley's prestige is very real and I wouldn't worry about the world economic situation for Berkeley. Even though Berkeley is public and the rest of its departments are going to be hit HARD, chemist
  12. If you honestly see yourself going back to CA to teach after going to Harvard anyway, I personally think just going to Berkeley would make your life a lot easier because of cost/the technicalities you mentioned. I say this because I don't know how transferrable a teaching credential from another state is, and my understanding of those programs is you usually go to school in the state you want to teach. Regarding Penn, that sounds like a great opportunity but big commitment. Since there isn't much time left you should ask admissions about your concerns and be as specific as possible. They alrea
  13. I had a friend in the same situation and they just went with it and had no visa issues. Just in case, I would print out a copy of you sending your university an email regarding this and their response as proof the university and you have corresponded over this. That way if customs or the embassy asks any questions, you can show them the emails.
  14. I was in the same boat and emailed the faculty I was in contact with that I wanted to talk with current students. In all the instances they were more than happy to connect me. Personally, I just straight up asked the students how they decided on the school (asking what other schools were their options when they were considering). That helped give me perspective since you get the gist of what the students applied to and got into what other programs.
  15. I second the asking for a virtual tour if possible. I've been in a situation where I was sent a "legal document" and it looked legit with a lot of words on it but it was still fake, so just a reminder to read at least half the leasing document to make sure it was written like an actual document (this may sound silly but official documents really do use more "college-level" vocabulary). If they currently live in the apartment and they don't own the place, there must be a lease they signed so ask for that and look up the management company of the location to make sure it's an actual company. The
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