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Hello,

 

I’m hoping you all can offer me some advice. I was accepted into 4 MA in English programs, 2 of which I am deciding between. I am currently drafting an e-mail to both Graduate Program Directors to inquire about funding opportunities, nail down the actual tuition prices, and gather additional information on the programs. I do have one concern though – I have an international trip planned and paid for in September. This all has been planned for over a year and a half, before I was accepted or even applying for these programs. I will be out of the country for a week and half, and this falls during the academic school year.

 

How should I go about telling this absence to the school I accept? Would you recommend bringing this up now or later? I want to be upfront about this planned absence. Both schools have not offered me TA-ships, so I wouldn’t be leaving a position unattended, just my classes. Any advice is MUCH appreciated, as this causing me a lot of anxiety.

 

Thank you.

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I wouldn't mention the absence at all until after you've decided where you're going to pursue your degree. You don't want to tell them something which might cause them not to offer you funding, do you?

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Thanks rising_star for the advice. I definitely don’t want that. Do you have any advice on when to tell my school after I make my decision? In your opinion, are schools flexible about this type of thing?

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Why tell them anything?  All they care about is that you get your work done in the 1 or 2 years they are paying you to get you.  I would just tell your supervisor and your profs that are leading your classes in September.  Your supervisor likely would not care at all, unless for some reason they booked you to present at a conference or lead your lab in some sort of research immediately.  I highly doubt that is the case though since usually humanities MA's are primarily literature reviews and I would be very surprised if you had some research project lined up and due immediately.  However, be prepared for some backlash from your class teachers.  In grad school you usually have to be actively participating in discussions, lectures, and may even have presentations to do the second week of classes.  Hopefully the teachers can accommodate and schedule around your absence but be prepared to lose out on marks for classes missed. They are usually more harsh than undergrad profs in this regard because they treat grad school like a job instead of an education.

Edited by ChrisTOEFert
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That is a great point. I guess I was looking at it from the perspective similar to notifying an employer about taking time off, and working around that time. I guess as long as I can get my work done, and my professors are willing to work with my absence - then it will be fine. Thank you!!

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