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billy85

Does it hurt to be an international student??

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Probably. First, it's morel likely they haven't heard of your school. Second, your profs/recommenders are likely not well known on those committees. Also it may be easier to trust someone who is closer geographically and lives in a similar environment.

But that shouldn't discourage you. Most of us are international students.

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No, it doesn't hurt. If you are an international applicant, make sure you do your undergraduate from a good national university.

Depends where you are from, and what schools you are shooting for in US. If you are from China or India, and you shoot for top 10, better get your degree from Tsinghua, Beijing univs, or IIT of India. If you are shooting for Top 50, may be an average university with good LORS will suffice. If you are from Canada, your undergrad school does not matter much, research experience is key to getting into top 10.

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not really, but just be aware that you are at least somewhat competition against people from your country. Highly ranked undergrad university might help but it's definitiv not necessary. I have plenty of international friends that graduated from no-name Chinese universities

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It can at state universities. Domestic students can change their residency during their first year to qualify for in-state tuition, whereas international students cannot, making them "more expensive". Especially with the budget crunches most schools have been going through, this makes the standards a little higher for international students.

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There's some funding (specifically a lot of what comes from government initiatives) that only domestic students are eligible for, so it's not just limited to state schools. From what I've heard it seems like there is more competition for spots for international students at American universities than for domestic students. I'm not sure exactly how much the disadvantage is though, since departments still want the best, most promising students they can get, so if you're well qualified but international there's still a big incentive to snatch you up.

Edited by kroner

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So, I am not an international student. I am actually a non-residential alien in the US. I do not have a green card, I AM NOT AN ILLEGAL ALIEN. Currently, I am working as a Research Scientist in a leading Medical device company. I did my high school, undergrad degree in the US. I have decent stats (790Q, 590V, 3.87 GPA, 1 co-authorship in a publication, 2 years of research germane to the polymers in industry). I am applying to MIT, JHU, Cornell, Columbia, Duke, North-Western and Stanford. The only public schools I am applying to are UC, UMich and U Florida. I figure that I might have a tough chance at the public schools because of funding related issues. I obviously have almost had my entire higher schooling in the US and should have no issues competing academically against my fellow peers with similar profiles. What do you think? I guess my issue might be similar to Canadian applications?

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So, I am not an international student. I am actually a non-residential alien in the US. I do not have a green card, I AM NOT AN ILLEGAL ALIEN. Currently, I am working as a Research Scientist in a leading Medical device company. I did my high school, undergrad degree in the US. I have decent stats (790Q, 590V, 3.87 GPA, 1 co-authorship in a publication, 2 years of research germane to the polymers in industry). I am applying to MIT, JHU, Cornell, Columbia, Duke, North-Western and Stanford. The only public schools I am applying to are UC, UMich and U Florida. I figure that I might have a tough chance at the public schools because of funding related issues. I obviously have almost had my entire higher schooling in the US and should have no issues competing academically against my fellow peers with similar profiles. What do you think? I guess my issue might be similar to Canadian applications?

If that's the case, I definitely think you have an advantage over the vast majority of international applicants (and, given your background, over many domestic applicants as well). But whether or not a public institution might still choose a domestic student with similar stats over you is another story. I guess it really depends on the department and their source of funding.

For instance, I applied to two public schools, UCSD and Berkeley. While talking to one of the grad students, he mentioned that the department was not even considering international applicants this year, because they did not have the money to pay for them. I saw a few other people on this forum mention this for other departments, so I assumed it was institution-wide. However, my department at Berkeley has at least one international student in my cohort (I haven't met most of the students, so I can't really give you an exact number), so it's not exactly impossible for international students to get into the UC system. But it's important to note that my particular department receives a lot of private funding (my fellowship, for instance, is privately funded), so that I'm sure plays a big role into whether the department can accept international applicants.

My advice would be to avoid applying to public institutions unless it's a school that you absolutely love, because the chances of you getting in are much lower.

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Yeah it doesn't hurt as an international student if you face competition which normal person fears to face and if you prove something new which will wonder-stuck others who are at your stage. They will respect you and you will feel good as international student if you wont perform something then it will hurt you as international student.

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