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Switching programs, withdrawing, some questions


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I'm a first year grad student and after some consultation with my department, I've decided to withdraw from my department.  I would like to switch to a different field (in this case, from Slavic to Comparative Literature).  There is a potential for me to switch to the comp lit program at my university, but it's a low possibility.  So I will likely be withdrawing at the end of this semester and starting over.  I'm considering going to the UK for a 1-year MA/MLitt/MPhil (or what have you) to get a jump start on my new field and keep me in school while reapplying for PhD programs stateside.  But I'm having a hard time with all of this, especially since I'm leaving my field – due to my own issues with the field (I found out that I don't really enjoy it as much as I thought I did and that my interests are more in line with what a comparative literature or media program offers) and because of my shortcomings in the field (my active Russian language skills are likely too weak to make me employable).  My department fully supports me in this and I know that I will have good references from my professors.

But I'm left wondering how this will seem to other programs and how much my withdrawal from this program will negatively impact my future applications.  And, of course, I wonder if pursuing a one-year degree abroad before applying to more US programs is just a waste of time, money, and effort and if there's something better for me to do in this upcoming year than that.  I could just use some advice, even if it's harsh.

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