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2 hours ago, immanentfields said:

This might have been asked in the thread already, but how do you go about asking for additional travel funding? One program is giving me $300 for the flight and putting me up with current students, but flights to the east coast from Nevada are easily $500....

That seems low! And given the schools you were accepted to, a little surprising. I would definitely email for more, and stress that you are coming from 2000 miles away (or whatever) and so that amount really isn't feasible. I've had to negotiate for a few things for the visits, and overall each school has been really understanding.

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haha!  It would definitely be okay for you to post the questions list, but here it is.  Also, I'd just be honest with the programs, especially since the money they're giving you won't be enough to cov

This is a great list! It's somewhat geared toward single, childfree grad students, so here are a few questions I'd add:    -What is the department's parental leave policy? -What form of health care

@tinymica: Remain calm--it's going to be okay. They are not going to pull your acceptance. All you have to do is be professional--as in, show up showered and don't tell bawdy jokes. They already think

2 hours ago, immanentfields said:

This might have been asked in the thread already, but how do you go about asking for additional travel funding? One program is giving me $300 for the flight and putting me up with current students, but flights to the east coast from Nevada are easily $500....

I think requests work best when you give a clear reason and back it up with information. Usually the person you are writing to isn't the one that makes the decision / holds the purse strings. The person you are writing to is likely happy/willing to help you but you need to help them help you by providing the right information. So, I would write back with something like this,

"Dear X,

Thank you again for the invitation to visit your program. I am grateful for the $300 in travel assistance. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be enough to cover most of the cost of a flight from (your town) to (their town). The least expensive flights I could find were:

(give flight info and cost).

Given the distance that I need to travel and the flight costs, is there any possibility of additional funding for travel costs? I am very interested in this program and would really like to visit.

Thanks,

XYZ"

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11 minutes ago, TakeruK said:

I think requests work best when you give a clear reason and back it up with information. Usually the person you are writing to isn't the one that makes the decision / holds the purse strings. The person you are writing to is likely happy/willing to help you but you need to help them help you by providing the right information. So, I would write back with something like this,

"Dear X,

Thank you again for the invitation to visit your program. I am grateful for the $300 in travel assistance. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be enough to cover most of the cost of a flight from (your town) to (their town). The least expensive flights I could find were:

(give flight info and cost).

Given the distance that I need to travel and the flight costs, is there any possibility of additional funding for travel costs? I am very interested in this program and would really like to visit.

Thanks,

XYZ"

Good call--specific details rather than "gimme more money!" is probably the right idea.

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3 hours ago, seattle.english said:

Could anyone help me out with appropriate dress code for campus visits? How formal should I go? 

Thanks in advance! 

There are other threads you can search for if you want to find other opinions and maybe hear about differences between fields etc. But it seems like for academic PhD campus visits, "business casual" is a safe bet.

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5 hours ago, seattle.english said:

Could anyone help me out with appropriate dress code for campus visits? How formal should I go? 

Thanks in advance! 

I agree with @TakeruK about the business casual. Most people wore a nice pair of pants/skirt/even jeans with a nice shirt/blouse of some kind. I also recommend walking shoes, which is something I forgot about last year. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have paged through some of the replies on this thread, and I apologize if this question has been answered and I missed it, but  I would like to know about the etiquette of bringing a significant other along to the campus visit:   Is this OK?  For this particular accepted students’ open house, I’m not asking for travel reimbursement, as we don’t live terribly far away.  Hubby asked if he could come along, and I would enjoy his company and input, but my concern is it might seem unprofessional if I ask to bring him.   What do you think? Is that too weird? 

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5 hours ago, Daenerys said:

I have paged through some of the replies on this thread, and I apologize if this question has been answered and I missed it, but  I would like to know about the etiquette of bringing a significant other along to the campus visit:   Is this OK?  For this particular accepted students’ open house, I’m not asking for travel reimbursement, as we don’t live terribly far away.  Hubby asked if he could come along, and I would enjoy his company and input, but my concern is it might seem unprofessional if I ask to bring him.   What do you think? Is that too weird? 

My boyfriend came with me to a welcome day, and since I was staying in a hotel that the school had paid for / arranged, I emailed them to make sure that I wasn’t going to be rooming with any prospective students. They were really nice about it and told me I should def bring him! A few other people had brought their significant others as well. However, he didn’t meet any of the people I did, but instead did his own thing while I was on campus / hearing presentations. I think it’s pretty typical for people to bring people if they have the means to do so, so then the SOs can get a feel for the town, etc

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5 hours ago, Daenerys said:

I have paged through some of the replies on this thread, and I apologize if this question has been answered and I missed it, but  I would like to know about the etiquette of bringing a significant other along to the campus visit:   Is this OK?  For this particular accepted students’ open house, I’m not asking for travel reimbursement, as we don’t live terribly far away.  Hubby asked if he could come along, and I would enjoy his company and input, but my concern is it might seem unprofessional if I ask to bring him.   What do you think? Is that too weird? 

If it is SLU, and if the agenda is the same as what mine was for last month’s visit, I bet it would be okay. Most of the events were tours (campus, library) and social gatherings (dinner, happy hour). 

Several current students told me significant others are a big part of the grad students’ collective social life. One current student’s spouse dropped in to the welcome day and fielded some questions while she was waiting for her s.o. to arrive. 

 

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37 minutes ago, la_mod said:

My boyfriend came with me to a welcome day, and since I was staying in a hotel that the school had paid for / arranged, I emailed them to make sure that I wasn’t going to be rooming with any prospective students. They were really nice about it and told me I should def bring him! A few other people had brought their significant others as well. However, he didn’t meet any of the people I did, but instead did his own thing while I was on campus / hearing presentations. I think it’s pretty typical for people to bring people if they have the means to do so, so then the SOs can get a feel for the town, etc

And @Daenerys, too... I wanted my husband to travel with me since we’re both relocating. If he’d been able to arrange time off, I wouldn’t have hesitated to inquire!

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I'm curious, about how long do programs usually take to reimburse for your travel costs? Has anyone already received their reimbursement for a recent visit? Combined my husband and I are waiting on about $1000 of reimbursement. Most programs told me it'll take about 2 weeks, but so far I haven't received anything in the mail and I don't want to pester secretaries about it. Also, and this is going to sound bad, but I feel awkward declining an offer and then asking about a reimbursement. 

 

Does anyone have experience with this? Have you ever heard of a department not reimbursing a prospective student after the visit?

Edited by renea
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46 minutes ago, renea said:

I'm curious, about how long do programs usually take to reimburse for your travel costs? Has anyone already received their reimbursement for a recent visit? Combined my husband and I are waiting on about $1000 of reimbursement. Most programs told me it'll take about 2 weeks, but so far I haven't received anything in the mail and I don't want to pester secretaries about it. Also, and this is going to sound bad, but I feel awkward declining an offer and then asking about a reimbursement. 

 

Does anyone have experience with this? Have you ever heard of a department not reimbursing a prospective student after the visit?

Some schools are very fast and do it within 2-3 weeks. Some schools are very very slow, especially for people who aren't their students and employees, or for international visitors (like I was). But even for schools that were in my country, a good fraction of them reimbursed me in May for a visit done in February.

This slow reimbursement "culture" is a huge problem across almost all of academia. It is especially tough for students but also for postdocs and new faculty. Most academics I know often have to float several thousands of dollars while waiting for reimbursements. My advisor was very good about this and offered to put my expenses on their card whenever possible in order to lighten the burden on me. I will try to do the same for my future students if I end up in that position.

Anyways, knowing that this is a common problem isn't going to make your own cheque come faster or reduce the financial burden. But hope to give some context.

 

For your particular situation, have you already submitted all of your receipts and paperwork for reimbursement? Have the school acknowledged receipt of these items? If not, then it's a good time to check in with the school. You can ask it as something like wanting to confirm they got everything they needed and whether they need anything else. If they have already confirmed receipt and said "expect it in X weeks", then wait for 1-2 weeks after that to check (give time for the mail to get to you, wait longer if you are in a part of the country/world where mail takes longer).

Finally, keep in mind that once the department admin staff send off your request to the University's finance office, it's out of their hands and they have no idea when you (or anyone else they submit expenses on behalf of) actually get the money. So the finance office might be telling all these admins that it will "only take 2 weeks" to sound good but in reality, the University itself might be very slow. Just letting you know because it's not the fault of the department admins at all! But if you are polite and ask nicely, they might be able to follow up with the financial office at the University level.

And I have never heard of a school refusing to reimburse a student because they did not attend (never a problem in my case, as some schools didn't send me the money until well after I declined them).

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23 hours ago, la_mod said:

My boyfriend came with me to a welcome day, and since I was staying in a hotel that the school had paid for / arranged, I emailed them to make sure that I wasn’t going to be rooming with any prospective students. They were really nice about it and told me I should def bring him! A few other people had brought their significant others as well. However, he didn’t meet any of the people I did, but instead did his own thing while I was on campus / hearing presentations. I think it’s pretty typical for people to bring people if they have the means to do so, so then the SOs can get a feel for the town, etc

 

23 hours ago, maengret said:

And @Daenerys, too... I wanted my husband to travel with me since we’re both relocating. If he’d been able to arrange time off, I wouldn’t have hesitated to inquire!

THANK YOU!!  Yes, it’s SLU.  We live 90 (ish) minutes from StL and hubbys job will have him in the Metro East (Illinois) area that day so he was talking about coming by for part of the day.

 When he knows his schedule a  little bit better, I’ll shoot them an email.  If nothing else, he and I can go out for nice dinner in the Central West End after! I’ve already confirmed that I will be attending the open house early next month. 

Thanks again. 

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On 3/19/2018 at 9:05 AM, renea said:

I'm curious, about how long do programs usually take to reimburse for your travel costs? Has anyone already received their reimbursement for a recent visit? Combined my husband and I are waiting on about $1000 of reimbursement. Most programs told me it'll take about 2 weeks, but so far I haven't received anything in the mail and I don't want to pester secretaries about it. Also, and this is going to sound bad, but I feel awkward declining an offer and then asking about a reimbursement. 

 

Does anyone have experience with this? Have you ever heard of a department not reimbursing a prospective student after the visit?

I only have one to go on,  th they reimbursed me within a week of submitting the receipts. In that case, the department had its own accountant and didn’t have to send it through a larger bureaucracy for processing.

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@Daenerys I didn’t get my SLU schedule until shortly before my trip. The morning was Q&A with students and DGS. Lunch was provided and we got info from the department director and more current students. An hour to tour campus, and hour tour of the library, then time why faculty. The last part was (hosted) dinner, followed by an optional poetry event. They had us scheduled 9am to 7pm plus the reading. 

I don’t know if they’ll change it up but wanted to share in case it helps you in your planning. The school covers food so you might want to offer to pay your husband’s way for the dinner if you opt to attend. I’m going to PM you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Looking forward to seeing whichever ones of you are coming to see us at OSU on Monday :D

My advice?:

Take it easy. Have fun. Ask questions. There'll be a bunch of us around to answer the questions (Also to eat free food. But **mostly** to answer the questions haha).

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  • 9 months later...
4 hours ago, kendalldinniene said:

@Warelin At first I thought I'd be bummed to be stuck in Oregon (was in Ashland for undergrad) but at this point I would pop about 1000 bottles of champagne if I got in ?

If you have any questions about Oregon State's program, let me know! I completed the M.A. program in June. Happy to help however I can!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello! I was invited to visit UT Austin as a prospective student, and as someone who's currently living in Asia, I'm not sure how it'll work. Does anyone have any experience with campus visits as an international student? Thanks in advance!

Edited by purrfectpals
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@purrfectpals Was it just a mass email invitation, or an email from a professor? If from a professor, go ahead and email and ask if there might be a travel stipend available, in which case they would reimburse you for the flight. Or, you could email their Grad Student Services Adviser and ask the same question, or ask what alternatives they offer for international students. Good luck, and congratulations on your acceptance (assuming you were invited as an accepted student)

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