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Curriculum building advice?


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Hello all!

I'm currently a college sophomore in Universidade de Brasilia, not very known outside of Brazil but considered the best anthropology department in the country. I have one year experience as a TA and have done one independent research project, which I will hopefully present on at least two undergrad conferences, and plan on doing another one this semester. My current GPA is 3.4 on a 4.0 scale. I'm mostly focused on urban anthropology and migration studies and really want to be able to continue my education abroad where I can best explore those areas of interest.

That said, I plan to apply to MA programs in the US and UK as soon as I earn my BA. As I still have two years to go before I graduate, my question is: what should I do to strengthen my curriculum and stand out, considering I'm foreign? Where are my weak spots and what should I work upon while I'm still an undergrad so my credentials are competitive enough for a funded master's in notable anthro departments?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Among anthropologists who are familiar with or conduct research in Latin America, Universidade de Brasilia is known to have a very strong anthropology program. And, Brazilian anthropology is well respected in general around the world.

My main advice would be to get as much field research experience as possible, preferably in your area of interest (migration / urban anthro). If you have the option to write a senior thesis, do it! It's great that you are getting experience presenting at conferences. If possible, you could try to present at a conference in the U.S. or U.K. -- maybe do a poster presentation? I did poster presentations at conferences as an undergraduate, and it was much less intimidating forum to share my research. You could look at the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) meetings, which are in Lima Peru in 2017, or the American Anthropological Association meetings (AAA).

You could also consider reaching out to anthropologists who are doing work that interests you at potential graduate programs. Do any of your current professors have connections in the UK/US that they could set you up with? (I imagine many of your professors have also studied in the US/UK so might have some leads on potential professors or programs to contact).

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