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Applying for fellowships - stellar GPA but bad study abroad grades


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I'm double majoring, one major in engineering and the other in applied math. My major GPAs are both basically 4.0 and my cumulative GPA is not far behind. I studied abroad for a semester in my freshman year and my GPA was not good, around a 2.8 or so. My school handles study abroad grades as follows: as long as you get above a C, you get credit for the course but the grade doesn't factor into your home GPA. I think the reasoning behind this is that they don't want study abroad grades inflating your GPA too much, but the opposite seems to have occurred for me...


The honest truth is that I just traveled a lot and didn't devote as much time to the courses as I should have. Anyway, I'm looking at applying for Fulbright, NSF GRFP, etc. and I know I'll need to submit my transcript for study abroad. So how screwed am I? For Fulbright, I have some experience and contacts in the country I want to study in. My rec letters will be fantastic and I have a lot of research experience (have published a paper before). I've also been awarded scholarships where I've served as an ambassador to a foreign country, so I think re: ambassadorship I'm good.


The study abroad GPA though is bad though by anyone's standards. :(

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I know it's not the end of the world, and for grad school admissions I will most likely be fine. Even for NSF and some of the domestic fellowships I don't think it'll be a huge deal.


For Fulbright though, I'm just not sure since being able to adapt to a living situation abroad is a big deal. I guess in my case I could argue that my second educational experience abroad was much more successful

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Honestly, why would Fulbright care unless you're applying for a Fulbright specifically so you can be a full-time student in another country? You might get more advice on the Fulbright specific threads regarding this but, I'm doubtful that they'll care.

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