Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I've been accepted into two schools and I'll be attending both their visit/recruitment weekends next month. 

I'm also currently in an LDR with my boyfriend of one year, and both schools are within a few hours drive from where he is attending college.

I was hoping to bring my boyfriend along to both visit weekends, but am worried about a few things:

  1. I won't be bringing him to any school events unless explicitly told I can bring family/friends/partners. In this case, is it worth him even coming along? Will I be attending event after event such that I won't even get to spend time with him? I definitely don't want to be rude so will attend every scheduled event!
  2. Both schools will be housing students in pairs. Will it be rude to ask if my boyfriend can share a room with me instead? Of course, we will offer to pay for his share of expenses! 
  3. Overall, will this leave a poor first impression on the school? I feel like it might be more acceptable to bring a spouse, but not so much a bf/gf? Am I wrong?

Thanks! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

No, it's not ok. In fact, it is the opposite of ok. 

Recruitment weekend is for you to evaluate the school. Unless you were told otherwise, family is not expected to attend, but you are welcome to ask questions. You mention it would be more acceptable if people brought spouses instead of bf/gf. I never heard of anyone bringing their family, but I think it would be acceptable if they are helping with the decision making. In this case, you just want to see your bf, which means this is going to keep you from interacting with your possible cohort since you want a room with him, and taking all the events seriously (remember you start early in the morning and finish late, it is not a vacation). 

You can however arrange for him to stay in the same hotel, or rent an Airbnb with him and pay it yourself. Moreover, you can stay a couple of days later and enjoy his company. We had a former undergrad from our department who was accepted and invited to the recruitment weekend. He spent all weekend hanging out with his friends and declined the offer. He used the department money to come here and party. It was so incredibly rude that his former advisor declined from writing any more LORs. 

This is a business trip and you should take it like that. Plan ahead if you want to see your bf, but do not overlap his visits with the recruitment weekend. Be professional from day 1. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, AP said:

No, it's not ok. In fact, it is the opposite of ok. 

Recruitment weekend is for you to evaluate the school. Unless you were told otherwise, family is not expected to attend, but you are welcome to ask questions. You mention it would be more acceptable if people brought spouses instead of bf/gf. I never heard of anyone bringing their family, but I think it would be acceptable if they are helping with the decision making. In this case, you just want to see your bf, which means this is going to keep you from interacting with your possible cohort since you want a room with him, and taking all the events seriously (remember you start early in the morning and finish late, it is not a vacation). 

You can however arrange for him to stay in the same hotel, or rent an Airbnb with him and pay it yourself. Moreover, you can stay a couple of days later and enjoy his company. We had a former undergrad from our department who was accepted and invited to the recruitment weekend. He spent all weekend hanging out with his friends and declined the offer. He used the department money to come here and party. It was so incredibly rude that his former advisor declined from writing any more LORs. 

This is a business trip and you should take it like that. Plan ahead if you want to see your bf, but do not overlap his visits with the recruitment weekend. Be professional from day 1. 

This is overly dramatic, but the basic point is right. If folks get the feeling you are using recruitment funds primarily as a way to see your boyfriend, it will leave a bad impression.

FWIW, my SO joined me on my recruitment visits. None of the visits involved bunking up with someone else, so we did not have to deal with paying for the other half of the room. My recruitment visits were not jam-packed with events and there were always a couple of blocks of "free time." However, the expectation was that students would setup individual appointments with professors when there were no official events. I ended up meeting with professors during any open block of time. So  my SO and I never spent much time together, except later in the evenings. However, the point of the visits wasn't pleasure. My SO checked out potential housing options and job opportunities during the day and never joined me at any recruitment event.

Keep it professional and you will be fine.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In my opinion, it doesn't matter if the partner is a bf/gf of one year or a spouse of many years or anything in between. The school doesn't need to know about the length or seriousness of your relationship. 

The bottom line is that if this is a decision that you and your partner are making together, then that's all the school needs to know and it's appropriate to include your partner on these visits, to a certain extent. For many of my grad school visits, my partner visited with me and the school made efforts to convince my partner that their city/program is the best fit for both of us. I made it clear from the beginning that the final decision is 50% me and 50% my partner's. Normally, during the day, I would do all the normal visit things and meet with professors and students while my partner explored the city etc. on their own. All the schools included my partner in evening meals and social events. One school was memorable because they even included my partner during the visit day itself too. They arranged for my partner to have a visitor's office/desk while I was in meetings so that they could do their work, check email, research apartments, etc. 

In my PhD program and almost all the programs I visited, partners of current students joined in the social events in the evening too. This was a great time for my partner to learn about the other aspects of living in the town from other non-students. And my partner was happy to do this for others who visited our program in future years. It was important for us to find a program where the culture is that the partners and families of students, staff, and faculty are all welcome at social events (not just during the visit weekend, but throughout the year). I was very happy in my PhD program because we were very much like a large family and there would be events with everyone's family invited every 2-3 months throughout the year. 

However, it is not appropriate to use a visit weekend as an excuse to see your friends/partners. As @AP says, this is a work trip and the school is paying for your trip for work/business reasons. It's not a trip for pleasure. That said, if you do want to attach a personal trip to the work trip, that should be perfectly fine. It's very normal for academics to do things like stay a little longer at a fun conference destination for a personal trip attached to the end of a work trip. Just keep the two separate, pay for your personal expenses yourself and be sure to give your full attention to the school while on the "work" part of the trip. So, if you want to take advantage of the fact that you're already close to your bf's city when you are visiting the schools, the best thing to do is to book your return flight for a few days later and meet up with your bf during that time. Ask the school to ensure that it will be okay for you to have a later return date (especially if they are booking your flight for you). You don't have to say exactly why, just note that you want to stay a little longer to see the city and for personal reasons and that you'll of course pay for all expenses on the extra days (and be prepared to pay the difference between the later return date and the original date if the flights cost more). I had a bunch of friends in one area so I stayed an extra weekend (the visit was Thurs/Fri) to spend time with them and to scope out the city. Flew home Sunday night instead of Saturday morning.

I'm not here to judge you on what you do, but I'll end with one more piece of practical advice. The visit days are quite long, usually going from breakfast to events after dinner. For the students visiting my program, they are bussed from their hotel to campus at 7am and the expected attendance events go to 8pm, with optional social activities often going to 11pm on the first night and could go past midnight on the second (and final) night. So, to me, it makes sense to involve your partner when you want them to be in the same city so that they can determine if they would like to live there, maybe scope out areas that they might work or live, etc. But with these super long days, it's not really a good setup for catching up with your partner and spending time with them. If your partner is going to visit you mostly for the sake of spending time with you, you might end up both frustrated and distracted. It would be far better to arrange to meet up with your partner after the visit. Maybe they can meet up with you the day after the visit and they can accompany you while you explore your potential new town, or if there's a nearby city you always wanted to visit, you can do touristy things there together after! If you're booking your own flights, the normal procedure is that you should get a quote for a flight there and back on the regular days and get reimbursed for your alternative arrangements up to the cost of the original itinerary. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.