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Summer schools?

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Ok, since it looks like I'm out this cycle, I was thinking that maybe a summer school at one of the unis would improve my chances the next cycle. However, this doesn't seem as easy as I thought because of the following:


1) I am no longer affiliated with any universities, and can not go as a student.

2) The only way I could attend is as a working professional, BUT...

3) By US standards, I'm broke.


Basically, I am a freelance translator, but there is no way I could pay the living costs and tuition in the US with my salary because I live and work in a war devastated country with HORRIBLE economy. Horrible as in I earn about 900 dollars a month (give or take), and that is, over here, considered a solid paycheck.


So, do you know of any universities which offer tuitions for summer schools, or at least offer internships to pay off the tuition costs?


I feel like I need to get my ass in the US, see how all this works, and find someone willing to proofread my writing sample, otherwise my next application cycle is going to end up being as shitty as this one.

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Not to sound overly pessimistic, but it will likely be extremely difficult to find many universities that offer summer courses with financial aid to international students who aren't seeking a degree from that university (which I assume you wouldn't be). Financial aid for international students is generally available at most major schools here, but the catch is that they are generally only willing to provide it to degree-seeking, matriculated students. If you plan on only taking some summer courses, it's unlikely that they'd be willing to give you much aid. 


I know this isn't nearly the equivalent, but you could take some summer courses via a distance learning program. The University of Georgia used to have a terrific one, but unfortunately it recently closed. There are many other US schools that offer distance learning, however. It obviously won't have anywhere near the same benefits as coming over to the US and taking classroom style courses would, but it could allow you to study another language (many people, including myself, use distance learning courses to study a classical language) which could boost your application. And you don't need to be a matriculated student to attend. 


Sorry, I know this isn't the most helpful of posts. Perhaps someone else here with more knowledge of summer school options for international students can be more helpful. But in all honesty, I see funding opportunities being few and far between

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Thanks for the answer. I was afraid it would be like that. To be honest, if I was a university, I wouldn't pay for my summer school tuition either. :P


I was searching for internships at universities, but those are also mostly for attending students. I might try distance learning then. I have to see if there are any writing classes or something similar, because I'm particuralry unconfident about that area, since I have no idea if I even measure up to American students.

Edited by The Whistler
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There are a couple of options for someone in your position, depending on the specific motivation behind your taking courses, whether it be for something to add to your CV or for to pursue (little Chaucer grammar, forgive me) a subject or skill that interests you.


If you want to take summer courses solely to boast of them on your CV or with a transcript, it's going to be difficult. American universities are  insatiable monsters fueled by consuming large amounts of capital and the dreams of students in the humanities. It is regrettable, but many universities here are run more like businesses than bastions of intellectual cultivation.


However, if you wanted to come here and AUDIT courses, that would not be totally out of the realm of possibility. I have had luck doing just this at both Yale and NYU: I send a very, very friendly letter to the professor teaching the course I want to attend, describing my situation and my interest in his/her work, and have thus far never received a negative response. My experience, I realize, does not a universal law create, but it's worth a shot.


There are also a ton of great courses available through iTunes (iTunesU, I think it's called), which sounds lame, but I've personally been really enjoying a lot of them. There is a Yale OpenCourse that provides a great overview of schools of literary criticism, a University of Oxford lecture series on Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, a great radio show out of Stanford called "Entitled Opinions," and lots more. This option would require more personal discipline, but I find myself almost always compelled to write SOMETHING in response to whatever I listen to. It's also nice to have on in the background while working out :P (cheating!)

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Lewisthesamteenth, I wouldn't say that summer schools would be that beneficial to my CV. My primary intentions were experiencing classes outside my country, networking, and improving my writing.


I love the idea of auditing classes, and I would be extremely happy if that was possible. However, the financial constraints are an issue. I couldn't cover even the rent in the US, let alone anything else, with my current pay.


However, you guys have opened a whole new world to me with informing me of these online courses. I can't thank you enough. I just enrolled in an online course on English Composition I, held by a Duke professor. I had no idea this type of free education exists. WOW.


I'll check out iTunesU as well, for some literature classes. Thank you, thank you, thank you. :D

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Yes, of course: the evil Rent ! It's another one of those American monsters that requires constant feeding; an ugly m-er-f-er if I may be so bold.


I would also suggest, to improve your writing skills, the simplest method of all: READ, widely and voraciously ! Proper English grammar is something acquired by careful and considered study, and I wouldn't necessarily count you out of the game if English is not your native language: I am convinced that for 95-98% of Americans, English is not their native language, neither.


I find that 19th-century British novelists demonstrate the best, and most accessible, commands of English grammar. Thackeray, Trollope, and Henry James are all great teachers. Look to the masters for your cues, always.


Hope this helps !

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Others have mentioned Cornell's summer program, I think. Also, UVA's summer language program and Birkbeck's critical theory summer camp are fantastic places to be. None of these provide substantial funding automatically, but I think getting in is priority #1, finding funding is #2! I hope that this helps somehow.

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Thanks a lot for all the advice, people. I'm out of upvotes, but you've really been helpful. :)


Stephanie - I'll check out Cornell and UVA.

Birkbeck's states that you have to be a graduate student, unfortunately, so that's a no go for me. Shame, it seems really interesting.

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