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Early visits?


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Long story short, I am sans housing from September 6-23.  My summer research internship ends September 1 and I have just about nothing to do this summer after that point (well, there's certainly my applications--but nothing I can't do from anywhere).  The original plan was to couchsurf, but given that I'll be starting off the school year abroad, there is literally no financial benefit to remaining in California in the interim (all of the costs of travel will be incurred regardless: I have to Airbnb either way, here or there; and I have to spend the airfare to get to/through the East Coast en route to Paris by September 23 anyway).  Weird predicament, I know :rolleyes:

My question is, given the opportunity to do so at virtually no cost, does it make sense to visit some of the departments I'm planning to apply to?  I've never been to Boston, but a whole bunch of schools I'm looking at are in that area.  I know College Road TripsTM are a big part of the undergraduate application process for those fortunate enough to have the means, but do graduate applicants ever visit schools before being accepted?  If so--should I try to arrange to chat with professors or current grads (most schools will probably already be in session), or would that be seen as weirdly presumptuous and premature?  And would it be more important to visit the departments I'm not 100% sure I want to apply to (i.e. where a visit might inform whether I can see myself as a good fit), or the ones I'm most interested in (where I'm totally in love with the school already and absolutely plan to apply)?

I'm in Philosophy, if it makes a difference :)

Edited by évariste
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