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I figured that there's no thread for the East Asian Languages and Cultures 2019-2020 cycle. I hope everyone's doing well, and feel free to post anything related to the EALC application cycle under this thread!

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Well, I'm still confusing about locating myself. I have a GPA score which seems to be ridiculous (4 in the first year, 3 overall average), but that's because I have set up an EdTech startup in China since my sophomore year. My major is Chinese from Beijing Normal University (#2 in Chinese in China), and I can get some recommendation letters from my professors. Yet I'm worried about how to solve the GPA.

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On 10/25/2018 at 6:25 AM, civitas said:

Well, I'm still confusing about locating myself. I have a GPA score which seems to be ridiculous (4 in the first year, 3 overall average), but that's because I have set up an EdTech startup in China since my sophomore year. My major is Chinese from Beijing Normal University (#2 in Chinese in China), and I can get some recommendation letters from my professors. Yet I'm worried about how to solve the GPA.

The thing about GPA is that you can't do anything about it once a semester is over. The only thing one can do is to get a better GPA (if you're still in school) and/or strengthen other parts of the application. So if I were you, I wouldn't be too worried about the past GPA and try my best on SoP and WS. Of course, it's easier said than done since the application season can stress you out in many different ways... But still.

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1 hour ago, EAstudies said:

The thing about GPA is that you can't do anything about it once a semester is over. The only thing one can do is to get a better GPA (if you're still in school) and/or strengthen other parts of the application. So if I were you, I wouldn't be too worried about the past GPA and try my best on SoP and WS. Of course, it's easier said than done since the application season can stress you out in many different ways... But still.

Surely you are right. I spent the last 2 years in setting up a business in China, and since I have graduated from college there is no chance for me to improve GPA anymore. I think I am going to examine some political things in China for my EAS concentration, and by running a company here I have some first-hand experience in local politics. Is that a positive thing which I may argue for my GPA?

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On 11/2/2018 at 11:29 AM, lordtiandao said:

Your GPA is arguably the least important part of your application. Focus on your SOPs and getting good LORs.

Any reasons? In China most students are relying upon their GPA, GRE and language exam scores to justify their ability for programs..

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13 hours ago, civitas said:

Any reasons? In China most students are relying upon their GPA, GRE and language exam scores to justify their ability for programs..

The US is not China. GPA and scores mean very little (unless your scores are absolutely terrible...) to the admissions committee. They are mainly used to weed out the unqualified applicants, so as long as your scores are over a certain threshold you are fine. There is nothing you can do about your GPA anymore, instead trying to explain why your GPA is low you should instead be pointing out your achievements and your qualifications.

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22 hours ago, lordtiandao said:

The US is not China. GPA and scores mean very little (unless your scores are absolutely terrible...) to the admissions committee. They are mainly used to weed out the unqualified applicants, so as long as your scores are over a certain threshold you are fine. There is nothing you can do about your GPA anymore, instead trying to explain why your GPA is low you should instead be pointing out your achievements and your qualifications.

How about.. some 81/100? I had 90 in first 2 years, while downgraded to 70+ in last 2 years, mainly due to my startup business. Yet, most of my essential courses were taken in first half of my undergraduate. So, how can I decently explain my GPA in SoP? Shall I directly address this or to indicate my other achievement during the low-GPA period?

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On 10/6/2018 at 6:44 AM, EAstudies said:

I figured that there's no thread for the East Asian Languages and Cultures 2019-2020 cycle. I hope everyone's doing well, and feel free to post anything related to the EALC application cycle under this thread!

I just started a very similar topic without noticing yours (application season...what a stress) XD Although I have some knowledge of Chinese, I'm applying in Japanese History ;) 

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3 hours ago, FedeHikari said:

I just started a very similar topic without noticing yours (application season...what a stress) XD Although I have some knowledge of Chinese, I'm applying in Japanese History ;) 

Well my interest lie in modern and contemporary Chinese political history (Late Qing to Republic times) while also have vast knowledge in ancient (pre-Han) China. Personally I hold some titles in the institution (United Front) system, yet I use this advantage as a window to look into the institution. I want to figure out what's happening now and why it's going in this way, but that's pretty complex.

Meanwhile, I'm also applying for another field, largely due to my experience in private sector. I prefer to EAS a lot, while it seems that I need to take a graduate program as soon as possible, so I can't take the risk and wait for another year.

Edited by civitas

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On 11/5/2018 at 11:38 PM, civitas said:

China most students are relying upon their GPA, GRE and language exam scores to justify their ability for programs

I wouldn't say this is very true for those who are applying to PhD programs. I'm Chinese and when I was applying all of my senpai kept reminding me that SOP and writing sample are the most important material which one uses to demonstrate credentials and potential. Like lordtiandao said, there is nothing you can do about your GPA. And although I didn't have a GPA issue that warrants an explanation, I've seen more advanced graduate students on this forum advise against using the limited space of your SOP to "justify" GPA, which may actually ends up bringing negative attention to it.

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On 11/8/2018 at 10:17 AM, FedeHikari said:

I just started a very similar topic without noticing yours (application season...what a stress) XD Although I have some knowledge of Chinese, I'm applying in Japanese History ;) 

No worries! :) 

And I'll try to comment more once I submit all the applications. It's kinda funny that I started the thread and haven't posted in a while.

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4 hours ago, AnUglyBoringNerd said:

I wouldn't say this is very true for those who are applying to PhD programs. I'm Chinese and when I was applying all of my senpai kept reminding me that SOP and writing sample are the most important material which one uses to demonstrate credentials and potential. Like lordtiandao said, there is nothing you can do about your GPA. And although I didn't have a GPA issue that warrants an explanation, I've seen more advanced graduate students on this forum advise against using the limited space of your SOP to "justify" GPA, which may actually ends up bringing negative attention to it.

Thanks. I have always pursued some 'interesting' affairs which influenced my GPA a lot. Back to undergraduate days, I never imagined that one day I would have to apply for another graduate program. 

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On 11/9/2018 at 11:51 PM, AnUglyBoringNerd said:

I wouldn't say this is very true for those who are applying to PhD programs. I'm Chinese and when I was applying all of my senpai kept reminding me that SOP and writing sample are the most important material which one uses to demonstrate credentials and potential. Like lordtiandao said, there is nothing you can do about your GPA. And although I didn't have a GPA issue that warrants an explanation, I've seen more advanced graduate students on this forum advise against using the limited space of your SOP to "justify" GPA, which may actually ends up bringing negative attention to it.

All of my senpai and professors keep telling me the same thing ;) Although I don't have low GPA nor bad GRE & TOEFL scores I was really obsessed with them, until everybody told me that it is more a holistic approach, in which SOP and writing sample are way more important :) So I really REALLY hope they're gonna love my research proposal XD

 

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On 11/8/2018 at 7:22 PM, civitas said:

Well my interest lie in modern and contemporary Chinese political history (Late Qing to Republic times) while also have vast knowledge in ancient (pre-Han) China. Personally I hold some titles in the institution (United Front) system, yet I use this advantage as a window to look into the institution. I want to figure out what's happening now and why it's going in this way, but that's pretty complex.

Meanwhile, I'm also applying for another field, largely due to my experience in private sector. I prefer to EAS a lot, while it seems that I need to take a graduate program as soon as possible, so I can't take the risk and wait for another year.

I'm very interested in contemporary Chinese history, mainly because my research proposal is about Japanese colonialism, so I have to know some Manchurian/Taiwanese/Korean history as well (that's basically the reason why I attended Chinese and Korean classes back in my bachelor's and master's degree). Like you, in some places I'm gonna apply in EAS/EALC PhD Program, while in others it's gonna be History (even though my major is not exactly History). I was so curious about other prospective Japanese historians but it seems like I'm the only one for 2019 Fall Season in the forum XD

 

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On 11/7/2018 at 9:17 AM, civitas said:

How about.. some 81/100? I had 90 in first 2 years, while downgraded to 70+ in last 2 years, mainly due to my startup business. Yet, most of my essential courses were taken in first half of my undergraduate. So, how can I decently explain my GPA in SoP? Shall I directly address this or to indicate my other achievement during the low-GPA period?

Agree with what @AnUglyBoringNerd said. Your SOP space is very limited. Most schools will give you 1,000 words (which might seem like a lot but you will often find you have a lot to talk about) some others will give you really, really little. UCLA, for example, gave me only two pages, double-spaced to write an SOP. In that kind of a situation, you don't even want to devote a single sentence to explaining your GPA since that means you won't have space for anything else.

Glad to see more China studies people! I do premodern Chinese history but I'm under the History department

 

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1 hour ago, FedeHikari said:

 I was so curious about other prospective Japanese historians but it seems like I'm the only one for 2019 Fall Season in the forum XD

 

You aren't the only one! I am mostly applying to History programs, though one application is for a joint EALC-History program.

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1 hour ago, lordtiandao said:

Agree with what @AnUglyBoringNerd said. Your SOP space is very limited. Most schools will give you 1,000 words (which might seem like a lot but you will often find you have a lot to talk about) some others will give you really, really little. UCLA, for example, gave me only two pages, double-spaced to write an SOP. In that kind of a situation, you don't even want to devote a single sentence to explaining your GPA since that means you won't have space for anything else.

 Glad to see more China studies people! I do premodern Chinese history but I'm under the History department

 

Thanks for your answer. Therefore, what kind of experience do you think to be most beneficial for me to add to the SoP?

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10 hours ago, civitas said:

Thanks for your answer. Therefore, what kind of experience do you think to be most beneficial for me to add to the SoP?

Anything related to your research, anything that is beneficial to your research.

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24 minutes ago, lordtiandao said:

Anything related to your research, anything that is beneficial to your research.

That's quite true. Yet, as a bachelor without proper research experience and quite a lot of working experience (in China), shall I mention my affairs in the private sector as well as inside the Chinese institution? After all, I'm applying for an MA, not a Ph.D.

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On 11/11/2018 at 1:01 PM, potsupotsu said:

a joint EALC-History program

I did the same with my application. Both Harvard (HEAL) and Columbia (History-East Asia) have this kind of joint program. And I appreciated the opportunity to study at an area study department (which can be more open to interdisciplinary approach and background) and eventually get a PhD in History. :P

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On 11/11/2018 at 11:40 AM, lordtiandao said:

UCLA, for example, gave me only two pages

I remember that U of Toronto asked for a no more than 500-word articulation of "a feasible program of study"... lol I felt like participating in the Three Minute Thesis competition... 

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On 11/11/2018 at 7:01 PM, potsupotsu said:

You aren't the only one! I am mostly applying to History programs, though one application is for a joint EALC-History program.

Yeah, I was thinking of Columbia and Harvard's programs too, like @AnUglyBoringNerdsaid. What is your field? :) I'd like to study Japanese education policies in all its colonies during its Empire phase.

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1 hour ago, FedeHikari said:

Yeah, I was thinking of Columbia and Harvard's programs too, like @AnUglyBoringNerdsaid. What is your field? :) I'd like to study Japanese education policies in all its colonies during its Empire phase.

I wonder.. How is your profile if you are located in top programs? I'm a bit hesitated to apply them lol

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3 hours ago, civitas said:

I wonder.. How is your profile if you are located in top programs? I'm a bit hesitated to apply them lol

I actually hope to enter those programs, because they would be the perfect fit for me, but like anyone else one doesn't really know until the admission/rejection e-mail ;) As for my profile, I'm happy to share it with you without any reservation. I hold a Bachelor's Degree summa cum laude from la Sapienza University (ranked #1 in Italy) in Japanese, a Master's Degree in Japanese from the same institution (not laude this time but still maximum, 110/110). I also have another Master's Degree from another Institution (very famous in Italy and Europe for East Asian Studies) with 110/110 too; this Master focused on International Relations. As for GPAs, I think it is about 3.93 (unweighted) for BA, 3.88 for both my MAs. As you can see I'm strong on titles, but not so much on work experience (this is a country problem, but that's a whole other discussion). I have been an intern in the Oriental Library of La Sapienza for a year, I have worked in a travel agency in Naples, have some  experience in translation. I have been in Japan for 4 months (a Summer session and for personal initiative to improve my Japanese skills). I'm currently studying to take N1 in Japanese (the biggest grade of achievement for foreigners), probably in July; as for Chinese I hold HSK 4 and I have some knowledge of Korean. It is not an impressive resumé, I'm aware; still, apart from a Stanford Professor, every Ivy (and not) POI I contacted encouraged me to apply, showing deep interest for my intended field of study. I really really hope to enter a PhD program next year! (Sorry for the very long answer lol). As for TOEFL, my score is 108; my GRE scores are 162 V, 157 Q, 4.5 AWA (according to Magoosh, they're fairly adequate for what I'm afraid is a long shot).

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