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Why are there so many Internationals on GradCafe


skyentist
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I have noticed (from checking results page every 5 mins) that it is dominated by international students, and most of them have really good stats. Do you think this accurately reflects the amount of internationals applying to grad school as compared to domestic students? Or is it just that that gradcafe is more popular among international applicants. 

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I would not be surprised if the proportion of internationals on the Grad Cafe was significantly larger than in the general applicant pool. Many internationals fully depend on information from sources like the Grad Cafe as we simply have nowhere else to turn for information on US grad school applications.

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I would not be surprised if the proportion of internationals on the Grad Cafe was significantly larger than in the general applicant pool. Many internationals fully depend on information from sources like the Grad Cafe as we simply have nowhere else to turn for information on US grad school applications.

As an international applying for US schools I agree with this. If I was applying for schools in my own country, I wouldn't even go looking for something like GradCafe, because it's not going to add much to what I can find out from talking to people I know. But I hardly know anyone who's been to grad school in the US, and all of those went to one of two well-known programs.

 

These boards are a really useful source of info for the unoffical take on what schools are like and their comparative strengths and weaknesses, as well as all kinds of hints about US academic culture.  And once you've found them, it's a great source of community for people who don't have others around them who understand what the application process is like and can empathise with you as you go through it (again, because it's relatively unusual for people to go to US grad schools, most people have no idea how it works).

 

Even writing this message I've realised something I've picked up from here: calling the place you do your study a 'school'.  I'm from an English-speaking country, but we would never talk about 'going to grad school' - most people wouldn't understand what that meant.  You'd say you were applying to universities; 'school' here means K-12.

Edited by samiam
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When we discussed applying to grad school at my REU this summer, the people who led the talk (we are involved in admissions at the school) said they get way more international applicants than they do domestic ones... Something like 4-to-1. They said it might be because international applicants will apply to way more schools in order to increase their chances of getting in somewhere, but I'm not sure if they were just exaggerating this effect? I've also heard that's why international applicant fees usually can't be waived.

 

This is what one computer science department had to say, for what it's worth!

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I just want to say that the title of your thread is a bit misleading. I thought it was gonna be some xenophobic sentiments expressed publicly :D Anyway I don't track the Results board closely but it seems that the IHOG page is relatively quiet compared to other subforums.

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I hear 10 is pretty common. I went with 5, since I can't afford more.

 

Same here. I heard 8-12 a lot, depending on your confidence. :P Usually around 4 if you have a back-up plan.

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I have noticed (from checking results page every 5 mins) that it is dominated by international students, and most of them have really good stats. Do you think this accurately reflects the amount of internationals applying to grad school as compared to domestic students? Or is it just that that gradcafe is more popular among international applicants. 

Well, I dont think more internationals apply for grad school than domestic students. But as someone else pointed out, Gradcafe helped me understand the application issues, assess my chances etc... maybe even learn about more options and programs... Domestic students may not need a forum to understand this.

 

As for the "really good stats", considering that for most applicants grad school is uber expensive in the US (esp for students for developing countries), it is a necessity to have great scores to have a look in for schols, fellowships and such...

 

That said, I wouldnt really post bad scores I have on grad cafe... so maybe that also shows in the good stats spike...

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Well, I dont think more internationals apply for grad school than domestic students. But as someone else pointed out, Gradcafe helped me understand the application issues, assess my chances etc... maybe even learn about more options and programs... Domestic students may not need a forum to understand this.

 

As for the "really good stats", considering that for most applicants grad school is uber expensive in the US (esp for students for developing countries), it is a necessity to have great scores to have a look in for schols, fellowships and such...

 

That said, I wouldnt really post bad scores I have on grad cafe... so maybe that also shows in the good stats spike...

Ahh yes of course. But its somewhat anonymous on the results page so I don't get the big deal, but I guess I am pretty open about stats (I have average to below average stats). My point about good stats was that they have good stats, but so many rejections and it makes me worry like crazy! But from others posts it sounds like it is way more competitive for international students.

 

I just want to say that the title of your thread is a bit misleading. I thought it was gonna be some xenophobic sentiments expressed publicly :D Anyway I don't track the Results board closely but it seems that the IHOG page is relatively quiet compared to other subforums.

Reading the title it does seem a little misleading... But I don't really care who applies to grad school! I got in to one of my top choices so I can't complain. Seeing all the internationals makes me feel good about the US's research/education as well, so I take it as a good thing. 

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Ahh yes of course. But its somewhat anonymous on the results page so I don't get the big deal, but I guess I am pretty open about stats (I have average to below average stats). My point about good stats was that they have good stats, but so many rejections and it makes me worry like crazy! But from others posts it sounds like it is way more competitive for international students.

 

Reading the title it does seem a little misleading... But I don't really care who applies to grad school! I got in to one of my top choices so I can't complain. Seeing all the internationals makes me feel good about the US's research/education as well, so I take it as a good thing. 

 

True, it is indeed more competitive for International students. Ideally for the same stats and identical background, a domestic student will be preferred over international student. Atleast thats what I am told. And honestly, that IS the RIGHT thing to do. After all, US universities should primarily be focused on their population... not others.

 

Still, almost every international student I knew had a lot of good to say about the unis and its students - apart from the nightmare of visas ofc ;) You guys have a good education system going. Expensive and not perfect, but still very very good.

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Maybe it is just me, but the only complaints I hear regarding American education system is from American themselves :D

As an American student I find a lot of other americans complain a lot. I catch myself complaining as well sometimes, but then I just think at least its not Pyongyang University in North Korea. Although it probably be cheaper!

 

Note: No offense to any students in Pyongyang University (if it exists). 

Edited by skyentist
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As an American student I find a lot of other americans complain a lot. I catch myself complaining as well sometimes, but then I just think at least its not Pyongyang University in North Korea. Although it probably be cheaper!

 

Note: No offense to any students in Pyongyang University (if it exists). 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyongyang_University_of_Science_and_Technology

 

:D

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I would not be surprised if the proportion of internationals on the Grad Cafe was significantly larger than in the general applicant pool. Many internationals fully depend on information from sources like the Grad Cafe as we simply have nowhere else to turn for information on US grad school applications.

I can't speak for others but know I am here for exactly this reason. Sitting here thousands of miles away I have little option but to depend on places like Gradcafe for information. At least it takes away some of my 'fear of the unknown'.

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I actually know the answer to the initial query put forth, and it's pretty simple.

 

Graduate school is largely an American creation. It exists elsewhere, but not quite like it does in America and certainly not to the same extent.

 

Combine this with the fact that most of the world's population lives outside of the US and BINGO. I would venture the demographics would be roughly proportional to general worldwide population demographics, augmented a bit by attendant educational infrastructures and opportunities.

 

(I wanted badly to find an MFA program in the UK, and while they exist, they're not quite the same thing--like WTF Oxford??--and funding is an issue. Springing from this, one of my advisors treated me to a history lesson on the development of Graduate School as an institution.)

Edited by MoJuiced
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I would venture the demographics would be roughly proportional to general worldwide population demographics, augmented a bit by attendant educational infrastructures and opportunities.

 

I can see what you're saying overall, but 313.9 million / 7 billion ~= .045, so that's 4.5% of the world. I don't think it's even roughly proportional. But again, I get what you're saying overall!

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I can see what you're saying overall, but 313.9 million / 7 billion ~= .045, so that's 4.5% of the world. I don't think it's even roughly proportional. But again, I get what you're saying overall!

 

You're correct, absolutely, but you'd be surprised. There are EE and Computer Science programs with more 90% international students.

Edited by MoJuiced
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I'm an international for my uni but I'm an American citizen. I don't know how many of us there are, but that might skew it too because not everyone on grad cafe is only applying to US schools. 

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You're correct, absolutely, but you'd be surprised. There are EE and Computer Science programs with more 90% international students.

That's still more than twice as many Americans as you'd expect to scale, and the comment earlier didn't specify! XD

I'm going to the school that allegedly has either the highest percentage of, or maybe it's just most overall, international students in America. Not sure if this boast holds for the graduate program... I'll ask. If it does, I'll post back with a cited source! ;)

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That's still more than twice as many Americans as you'd expect to scale, and the comment earlier didn't specify! XD

I'm going to the school that allegedly has either the highest percentage of, or maybe it's just most overall, international students in America. Not sure if this boast holds for the graduate program... I'll ask. If it does, I'll post back with a cited source! ;)

 

I was only guestimating :-) 

 

Let me know what you find out -- I find this an interesting topic

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