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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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