open house visits

SPat
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open house visits

Postby SPat » Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:20 pm

Everyone seems to say they're the single most important factor while deciding.

I'd like to know how international students should look at this. Some of the places I've been accepted to are paying up to $500 as travel allowance (which covers ~1/2 the round trip cost to new york from my country). Is it really worth (half) the money, visa hassles and missing > 1 week of classes to attend these visits? I guess this will be even more complicated if I get into somewhere on the west coast.

What do international students usually do?

Thanks

cryingsun
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Re: open house visits

Postby cryingsun » Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:35 pm

Since visiting only one school is not likely to help with your decision making, I guess it's not worth the trouble unless you can visit two or more places (which is possible by visiting a few places in one week, as I believe they allow you to visit on non-open house days). The best alternative is probably emailing the grad students and potential advisers and ask them questions.

bck2school
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Re: open house visits

Postby bck2school » Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:56 pm

SPat wrote: What do international students usually do?


I doubt that too many International students actually visit the departments during the open house.

ashowmega
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Re: open house visits

Postby ashowmega » Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:19 pm

SPat wrote:What do international students usually do?

Thanks


Some international students like myself are lucky enough to be studying in the US and hence can take advantage of the open house. But, I assume students outside the country will have to extract as much info as they can about the perspective schools through internet and pick up one just like we did while coming for undergraduate studies.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: open house visits

Postby WhoaNonstop » Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:17 am

SPat wrote:Some of the places I've been accepted to are paying up to $500 as travel allowance


Just tell the admission committees that I'll be going to the open houses as a representative for you! I'll gladly visit some schools and tell you how they are.

-Riley

Jackadsa
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Re: open house visits

Postby Jackadsa » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:04 am

SPat wrote:Is it really worth (half) the money, visa hassles and missing > 1 week of classes to attend these visits?


I would say yes! I'm a UK student, and as soon as I finish hearing back from places, I'm going to book flights from coast to coast to visit my top choices in an awesome 1-2 week adventure (on open days or not depending on how things fit). One can always catch up on lectures, but you only get one chance to pick a graduate school and it is a good opportunity to try and meet some of the big name professors in your field and see some new places.

bfollinprm
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Re: open house visits

Postby bfollinprm » Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:40 am

Did you talk to the places you've been accepted and explain the situation? It might be possible to make one trip to the US to visit all schools, and have them cover the whole cost collectively. Just email the grad admissions support staff at the universities you've been accepted to; they'll work something out.

ashowmega
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Re: open house visits

Postby ashowmega » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:28 am

Let me add something here. Waiting period for US visa is very subjective for the people in our part of the region. (I checked your profile and we come from the same region). When I got US visa for the first time, I had interview on Friday and was asked to get my visa on Monday. On the other hand, I have a friend from Bangladesh who completed his undergraduate last year here at the college I am at and went back to home for summer before returning for graduate studies. He had to wait apx. 70 days to get his visa. Now, that 70 days of wait will be completely useless to you since you want to visit school within a month or so, and also maybe it will not apply to you since you will be filling visa application under different category. So, what I suggest you is that if you want to do something like bfollinprm said, you should speed up the process maybe by calling departments which is quite cheap anyway from there, as far as I know. That will help you to reach the US consulate ASAP and hear about their decision quick enough to let you decide whether you will be able to come over for the open house.

SPat
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Re: open house visits

Postby SPat » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:46 am

bfollinprm wrote:It might be possible to make one trip to the US to visit all schools, and have them cover the whole cost collectively.

Yes that is something like what I was thinking about. In fact, one of them (Yale) suggested sharing expenses with other institutes.
But as of now, I've got into only two places that I'm seriously considering.
Jackadsa wrote:I'm going to book flights from coast to coast to visit my top choices in an awesome 1-2 week adventure

How much time do you plan to spend and how many places are you planning to cover on either coast? I'll actually be doing a round-the-world trip if I have to cover both east and west coasts :|
WhoaNonstop wrote:Just tell the admission committees that I'll be going to the open houses as a representative for you! I'll gladly visit some schools and tell you how they are.

That's very kind of you! Though you'll have to convince them if you want my TA as well... :)

EDIT: @ashowmega: Good point, but I'm waiting to hear from atleast a couple more schools (Berkeley in particular)

bfollinprm
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Re: open house visits

Postby bfollinprm » Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:22 pm

SPat wrote:
bfollinprm wrote:It might be possible to make one trip to the US to visit all schools, and have them cover the whole cost collectively.

Yes that is something like what I was thinking about. In fact, one of them (Yale) suggested sharing expenses with other institutes.
But as of now, I've got into only two places that I'm seriously considering.


What really matters is how many schools you've gotten into. Go visit them all, and they'll gladly pay some money to get the chance to sell you on their school, even if it's a long shot.x

larry burns
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Re: open house visits

Postby larry burns » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:45 pm

cryingsun wrote:Since visiting only one school is not likely to help with your decision making, I guess it's not worth the trouble unless you can visit two or more places (which is possible by visiting a few places in one week, as I believe they allow you to visit on non-open house days). The best alternative is probably emailing the grad students and potential advisers and ask them questions.


I've only gotten invited to 1 open house so far, as I still need to hear back from about 5 other grad programs that I would rather go to. Since this open house is in 3 weeks, and I don't know if I may find an engineering job soon (I'm currently out-of-school and unemployed), I'd rather not attend this open house. Is there really a benefit in attending an open house for a school thats not your top choice and you still have to hear back from a few others?

negru
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Re: open house visits

Postby negru » Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:38 pm

Anybody going to the berkeley open house who wants to do good old negru a favor? ;;)

I need someone to ask if it's possible to complete a PhD thesis in Loop Quantum Gravity there.

bfollinprm
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Re: open house visits

Postby bfollinprm » Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:55 pm

larry burns wrote:
cryingsun wrote:Since visiting only one school is not likely to help with your decision making, I guess it's not worth the trouble unless you can visit two or more places (which is possible by visiting a few places in one week, as I believe they allow you to visit on non-open house days). The best alternative is probably emailing the grad students and potential advisers and ask them questions.


I've only gotten invited to 1 open house so far, as I still need to hear back from about 5 other grad programs that I would rather go to. Since this open house is in 3 weeks, and I don't know if I may find an engineering job soon (I'm currently out-of-school and unemployed), I'd rather not attend this open house. Is there really a benefit in attending an open house for a school thats not your top choice and you still have to hear back from a few others?


Have you called the schools you're waiting on? I had to do that for schools to send out the vast majority of my rejections. The benefit to going exists in several scenarios:

1. if there's a non-zero chance that visiting this school could cause you to pick it over another on your list you haven't heard back from
2. if you aren't sure you'd pick this school over an engineering job, or vice-versa (a visit could sway you one way or another)
3. If you're afraid that schools you haven't heard back from will admit without funding, and the school you heard back from is funding, and you aren't sure whether you'd take the "better" school without funding or the "worse" school with funding.

et
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Re: open house visits

Postby et » Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:53 pm

Just wanted to say I had a great time at the Caltech and Princeton open houses and I enjoyed meeting all of the other prospectives (most of whom seem to know this site but just lurk!).

If we talked then you should be able to figure out who I am via my profile pretty easily. Send me a message on here if you want to get in touch, I'd be interested to hear where everyone ends up.

tady
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Re: open house visits

Postby tady » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:09 pm

Have all the programs completed their open houses by now? I ask, because I haven't received an invitation or a decision letter yet. Do some schools have a couple of open houses?

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HappyQuark
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Re: open house visits

Postby HappyQuark » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:53 pm

tady wrote:Have all the programs completed their open houses by now? I ask, because I haven't received an invitation or a decision letter yet. Do some schools have a couple of open houses?


As a general rule, if you haven't received some sort of notification before the open house has occurred, you've been rejected. There are some instances in which a person was accepted due to some last minute availability but typically universities want to make sure everyone with an offer gets to visit the open house.

tady
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Re: open house visits

Postby tady » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:57 pm

HappyQuark wrote:
tady wrote:Have all the programs completed their open houses by now? I ask, because I haven't received an invitation or a decision letter yet. Do some schools have a couple of open houses?


As a general rule, if you haven't received some sort of notification before the open house has occurred, you've been rejected. There are some instances in which a person was accepted due to some last minute availability but typically universities want to make sure everyone with an offer gets to visit the open house.



:(

But thanks for the post HappyQuark.

bfollinprm
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Re: open house visits

Postby bfollinprm » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:15 pm

HappyQuark wrote:
tady wrote:Have all the programs completed their open houses by now? I ask, because I haven't received an invitation or a decision letter yet. Do some schools have a couple of open houses?


As a general rule, if you haven't received some sort of notification before the open house has occurred, you've been rejected. There are some instances in which a person was accepted due to some last minute availability but typically universities want to make sure everyone with an offer gets to visit the open house.


Well...it's possible you might still hear back if you're international, but I wouldn't put a big percentage on it, and it will almost certainly be after the 15th, and therefore no use if you already have offers. Schools sometimes grab international applicants after the 15th if they suddenly find themselves with a too-small class. But they can't know if they will or not until the 15th, so if you have acceptances already, time to start choosing!

tady
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Re: open house visits

Postby tady » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:19 pm

bfollinprm wrote:
HappyQuark wrote:
tady wrote:Have all the programs completed their open houses by now? I ask, because I haven't received an invitation or a decision letter yet. Do some schools have a couple of open houses?


As a general rule, if you haven't received some sort of notification before the open house has occurred, you've been rejected. There are some instances in which a person was accepted due to some last minute availability but typically universities want to make sure everyone with an offer gets to visit the open house.


Well...it's possible you might still hear back if you're international, but I wouldn't put a big percentage on it, and it will almost certainly be after the 15th, and therefore no use if you already have offers. Schools sometimes grab international applicants after the 15th if they suddenly find themselves with a too-small class. But they can't know if they will or not until the 15th, so if you have acceptances already, time to start choosing!


Ok. Thanks for the updates. How evil of those schools to not send out notifications and wait....grrr.

badphysicist
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Re: open house visits

Postby badphysicist » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:54 pm

tady wrote:
Ok. Thanks for the updates. How evil of those schools to not send out notifications and wait....grrr.


At least they eventually tell us. For most job applications the companies don't say anything. :lol:

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: open house visits

Postby WhoaNonstop » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:57 pm

badphysicist wrote:
tady wrote:
Ok. Thanks for the updates. How evil of those schools to not send out notifications and wait....grrr.


At least they eventually tell us. For most job applications the companies don't say anything. :lol:


I typically don't pay to apply for a job.

-Riley

badphysicist
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Re: open house visits

Postby badphysicist » Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:38 pm

WhoaNonstop wrote:
badphysicist wrote:
tady wrote:
Ok. Thanks for the updates. How evil of those schools to not send out notifications and wait....grrr.


At least they eventually tell us. For most job applications the companies don't say anything. :lol:


I typically don't pay to apply for a job.

-Riley


So we pay to hear a rejection by april 15th. :mrgreen:

SPat
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Re: open house visits

Postby SPat » Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:07 am

et wrote:Just wanted to say I had a great time at the Caltech and Princeton open houses and I enjoyed meeting all of the other prospectives (most of whom seem to know this site but just lurk!).

Anyone who has visited/will be visiting either of Berkeley/Yale/Cornell (Physics depts.), can you post on how it went? - particularly the former two. I'm interested in theory groups (condmat/hep).

(I decided not to visit, for a collection of reasons.)




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