Paris-Sud

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Sats
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Paris-Sud

Postby Sats » Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:07 am

Hey guys. So I've been thinking the past couple of days about my grad school choices. I have an acceptance from GWU, and a waitlist from UMass Amherst and UIndiana Bloomington. I was also accepted into Paris-Sud this past week.

Now, given my options, I think that Paris-Sud's the best choice, but I was wondering if anyone had any opinions one way or another? I am to believe the program is reputable, but is it still better to stay in-states, even if it is a lower ranked school?

Any ideas one way or another would be really appreciated.

irezumidragon
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Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2015 6:24 pm

Re: Paris-Sud

Postby irezumidragon » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:05 am

Sats wrote:Hey guys. So I've been thinking the past couple of days about my grad school choices. I have an acceptance from GWU, and a waitlist from UMass Amherst and UIndiana Bloomington. I was also accepted into Paris-Sud this past week.

Now, given my options, I think that Paris-Sud's the best choice, but I was wondering if anyone had any opinions one way or another? I am to believe the program is reputable, but is it still better to stay in-states, even if it is a lower ranked school?

Any ideas one way or another would be really appreciated.


Disclaimer: I don't know anything about Paris-Sud itself, or its reputation. I'm a fellow applicant, so likely still pretty ignorant about these things, but it's also my second app cycle so I've spent A LOT of time doing research and talking to all sorts of people. I also don't know if you're pursuing academia...if not, you can probably disregard this.

I can, however, tell you what I gleaned from a variety of faculty and postdocs in my very large department about pros and cons of leaving the US. I ultimately did not apply to any European schools because I was told it can be very difficult to come back to the US and continue advancing your career. They said as a grad student who wanted to end up at a US institution, it was very important to go to as many US conferences and give talks to as many US people as possible to network for postdocs and beyond. If you want to continue in academia in the US, those connections are very hard to make if you're based out of Europe and unable to afford frequent travel to the states. Not impossible, just harder. But, if you're comfortable with the idea of establishing a more permanent career in Europe, I'm sure Paris would be a great option.

I feel you on the waitlist pain. :| Best of luck though!

Catria
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Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:14 pm

Re: Paris-Sud

Postby Catria » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:34 am

You got into Paris-Sud for a MSc. You will get limited additional research experience at Paris-Sud: 2 months during the first year, and 2-6 months during the second year (depending on your subfield choice) and, from there, you may try your hand for PhD programs in the US afterward, if you want nothing to do with European PhD programs (and don't mind retaking coursework, in whole or in part). Hopefully you will have learned additional material that will help on the PGRE.

At Paris-Sud you do not choose the subfield before the actual research begins... At best you may have an idea of what the coursework at US graduate schools is like.

macmat
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Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:10 pm

Re: Paris-Sud

Postby macmat » Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:34 pm

Paris-Sud (Orsay) is one of the best school in France and in Europe for what they call "physique fondamentale" (hep, nuclear, ...).
4 physicists I had the chance to work with, went to Orsay, and 3 of them are currently working in the US and 2 in Europe. The huge advantage of Orsay is its proximity with CERN, a European school is way more implicated with CERN than any other US institutions.
Orsay also built a lot of detector and is very active with Jefferson Lab research. You will have a lot of different opportunities to chose from.
That been said, do not expect to do a lot of research the first year (only during the summer) , but it will be the same at a US institution. And living in Paris is a lifetime experience.

Worst case scenario, get your Master at Paris-Sud and if you don't want to continue come back in the US. The valuable experience you will have learned in Europe will be a great advantage for a US school.

Gook luck :D

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Sats
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2014 8:51 pm

Re: Paris-Sud

Postby Sats » Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:08 am

Sorry for late response all you guys, I keep forgetting to double check this part of the forums :P

irezumidragon wrote:Disclaimer: I don't know anything about Paris-Sud itself, or its reputation. I'm a fellow applicant, so likely still pretty ignorant about these things, but it's also my second app cycle so I've spent A LOT of time doing research and talking to all sorts of people. I also don't know if you're pursuing academia...if not, you can probably disregard this.

I can, however, tell you what I gleaned from a variety of faculty and postdocs in my very large department about pros and cons of leaving the US. I ultimately did not apply to any European schools because I was told it can be very difficult to come back to the US and continue advancing your career. They said as a grad student who wanted to end up at a US institution, it was very important to go to as many US conferences and give talks to as many US people as possible to network for postdocs and beyond. If you want to continue in academia in the US, those connections are very hard to make if you're based out of Europe and unable to afford frequent travel to the states. Not impossible, just harder. But, if you're comfortable with the idea of establishing a more permanent career in Europe, I'm sure Paris would be a great option.

I feel you on the waitlist pain. :| Best of luck though!


I know that it's harder to enter academia back in the states, though it's weird, I have not heard nor seen any examples to substantiate this. I'm wondering how much of this is speculation (I've heard it before as well).


Catria wrote:You got into Paris-Sud for a MSc. You will get limited additional research experience at Paris-Sud: 2 months during the first year, and 2-6 months during the second year (depending on your subfield choice) and, from there, you may try your hand for PhD programs in the US afterward, if you want nothing to do with European PhD programs (and don't mind retaking coursework, in whole or in part). Hopefully you will have learned additional material that will help on the PGRE.

At Paris-Sud you do not choose the subfield before the actual research begins... At best you may have an idea of what the coursework at US graduate schools is like.


Yeah, I know that the research experience might be less than some programs in the US. Also yeah, I realize it's an MSc, though not so much by choice, more so that bureaucratically that's just how it's organised (to be more separate). Part of the reason the offer is attractive is I feel like if I did well, I could come back to the US and "rank up", or try the UK. You seem pretty against the idea, any reason for that?

macmat wrote:Paris-Sud (Orsay) is one of the best school in France and in Europe for what they call "physique fondamentale" (hep, nuclear, ...).
4 physicists I had the chance to work with, went to Orsay, and 3 of them are currently working in the US and 2 in Europe. The huge advantage of Orsay is its proximity with CERN, a European school is way more implicated with CERN than any other US institutions.
Orsay also built a lot of detector and is very active with Jefferson Lab research. You will have a lot of different opportunities to chose from.
That been said, do not expect to do a lot of research the first year (only during the summer) , but it will be the same at a US institution. And living in Paris is a lifetime experience.

Worst case scenario, get your Master at Paris-Sud and if you don't want to continue come back in the US. The valuable experience you will have learned in Europe will be a great advantage for a US school.

Gook luck :D


I'm glad someone else has at least heard of the school! At my current school, (part of the reason I know the program), a nuclear professor spends semesters at the IPN, which is part of Paris-Sud. I know it's rated pretty highly on most lists, especially on ARWU Physics and lists for schools under 50 years old.

-----

The real question before me is whether I should take the financial hit to live in France for that long. I potentially could get a full ride for the masters, though I wouldn't know until summer it seems. It's kinda risky, but I'm really leaning towards PSUD. Anyone have any opinions one way or another?

Catria
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:14 pm

Re: Paris-Sud

Postby Catria » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:00 am

Sats wrote:Yeah, I know that the research experience might be less than some programs in the US. Also yeah, I realize it's an MSc, though not so much by choice, more so that bureaucratically that's just how it's organised (to be more separate). Part of the reason the offer is attractive is I feel like if I did well, I could come back to the US and "rank up", or try the UK. You seem pretty against the idea, any reason for that?


The real question before me is whether I should take the financial hit to live in France for that long. I potentially could get a full ride for the masters, though I wouldn't know until summer it seems. It's kinda risky, but I'm really leaning towards PSUD. Anyone have any opinions one way or another?


If Paris-Sud was funded for both years, (not sure but the second year could be more likely to be funded than the first) then I would have much less reservations.

And UMass Amherst? Have any info for funding?

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Sats
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Re: Paris-Sud

Postby Sats » Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:05 pm

Yeah Amherst set up 18k and TA position, though it seems RA is also optional as well.

At PSUD, the only expenses are living expenses, luckily. Tuition goes like ~200 euros a year, so that's not a big deal. I've applied for fellowships, and I have been told that I will almost certainly get 10k euros, however i'm not 100% certain.

Catria
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:14 pm

Re: Paris-Sud

Postby Catria » Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:25 pm

If you had to choose between UMass Amherst and Paris-Sud, what would you do?

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Sats
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Re: Paris-Sud

Postby Sats » Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:35 am

Catria wrote:If you had to choose between UMass Amherst and Paris-Sud, what would you do?


I think I would certainly choose Paris-Sud.




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