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Unable to Visit Schools Accepted to - How did u make your final decision?


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Hey Everyone,

 

At the moment, I will not be able to visit any of the schools that have accepted me (still waiting to here from two). Many people emphasize visiting the campus and department to ultimately determine the place that's the best fit. I agree that's a wise idea. However, I would like to read different perspectives on how some of you made your ultimate decision - especially if you were not able to visit.

 

Thanks

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Hey Beajae,

 

While visiting definitely helps, especially with getting a vibe for the area you're going to be in, I think there's a few things you can look at remotely.  Caveat: I'm on the academic side of the fence, so some advice might not apply directly to professional schools.  For the suggestions below, I'm assuming all the schools have roughly the same prestige and funding packages, but if they don't those are certainly thins to keep in mind.

 

- What is your relationship to the faculty/POI you've talked to on line?  Do they seem excited about your projects and mentoring you?  Are you excited about their areas of specialization?

 

- Talk to current students in the program.  Even if it's just by email or Skype, they can give you some insight into what things are like back stage.  They're also great people to ask about places to live, good food on campus, what there is to do on a Saturday night (besides prep for next week), etc.

 

- Look at the physical location of the schools.  Look up the weather/daylight in the area.  If you really hate snow, or if short days in the winter zap all your energy, then it will make getting through a program in Michigan a lot harder than one in Florida. 

 

- Finally, consider the pros and cons of living in each of the cities, including amenities and cost of living.  Also how well does the area mesh with you personally and/or politically?

 

Ways to find out about the area the schools are in would be to look up the local news paper online, look at their Craigslist, and try to find blogs by people in the area.  It's also worth googling "[your favorite hobby] in [university city]" and see what comes up.  And, of course, talking to current students.

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