International student application

  • This has become our largest and most active forum because the physics GRE is just one aspect of getting accepted into a graduate physics program.
  • There are applications, personal statements, letters of recommendation, visiting schools, anxiety of waiting for acceptances, deciding between schools, finding out where others are going, etc.

Tsak
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:05 pm

International student application

Postby Tsak » Fri May 12, 2006 12:29 pm

Hello,
I am studying physics in the university of cyprus. My grades so far have been pretty lousy. My average is 6.4/10 which is 2.6/4. However the standard deviation is pretty high. I have had very high grades in some lessons but I have also had very low grades in some lessons. However I am hoping that my average will increase during this semester and the next. I have also done some research work this year and I am expecting to coauthor an article with my advisor. We are hoping we will send it for publication in the following days (by June). I am also planning to take my GRE's and TOEFL in November and I'm hoping to get a decent score. I am definitely getting a very good reccomendation letter from my advisor who knows me well and has taught me 2 lessons. I also know that my advisor is pretty accredited (he has taught in Stanford). And I'm probably getting another two reccomendation letters from other professors in my department.

I am interested in studying in the USA after I get my degree here. Now I have heard that if I apply for a PhD in the USA, my studies will be funded by TA and RA. Is this true? Do I have a chance of getting in a decent University in the USA?I was also wandering what you would advise me to do. Apply to good schools(top 20) or average schools.

PS I also have the option of staying in this university one more year, to improve my grades and perhaps do a bit more of research, perhaps with another professor in another field (I have done research in Condensed matter physics).

raysum
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2005 4:48 am

HEY BUDDY!

Postby raysum » Sun May 14, 2006 1:03 am

Nice to read your story! Your grades is not the defining factor and need not to worry man! Whatever happened, you can not get back, better do your best in upcoming days!
Why everyone is dreaming on top 10/top 20 universities? If you have the capability other top 50 universities are also do work. It s upon the person, his determination and hard work. Getting admission in Cal Tech/ Chicago/Harvad etc is not all. I know they are doing pretty average work there as well.
And Definitely you get TAand RA since you are international student and you need not to worry about this!
I am also an international student and starting my study from this fall. Gear up and all the best buddy!

bluefire
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:25 am

Postby bluefire » Sun May 14, 2006 9:14 am

Don't worry. You will get into a good graduate school. Just concentrate on doing better.

jormiga
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 6:30 pm

Postby jormiga » Sun May 14, 2006 4:20 pm

I would wait to look at your Physics GRE before making a recommendation with respect to where you should apply. Your research experience will definitely help you, in particular if you publish your results and your professor is known in the US. He should emphasize that, and maybe he can give you a competitive edge at Stanford. I think that the best thing you can do is to apply to a wide spectrum of universities... a few top 20... more top 50... maybe some top 100 :wink: just in case. You have a chance if you do well in your physics GRE.

Good luck!

P.S. Is not as trivial to convert grades with 10 as its basis to 4, is not just a simple ratio. You have to assign 4 points for each A (above 90), 3 points for each B (above 80), 2 points for each C (above 70), and 1 point for each D (above 60). You then multiply your "grade" times the number of credit-hours of the course. Then you divide by the total number of credit-hours. Most probably, 6.4/10 is not equal to 2.6/4.

Tsak
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:05 pm

Converting

Postby Tsak » Sun May 14, 2006 6:00 pm

Thanks a lot everybody for your precious information.

I was wandering if you could clarify something though. I think that the conversion you are talking about is for grades from English universities. I think it might be different for us. In my university any grade above 8.5 is considered to be Excellent, grades between 6.5 and 8.5 are Very Good, 5-6.5 is Good and below 5 is fail. So correct me if I'm wrong but should I convert >8.5->4, >6.5->3, >5->2 and anyhting else to 1? Of course I'm taking the courses where I got less than 5 again. Should I count them?

bluefire
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:25 am

Postby bluefire » Sun May 14, 2006 9:46 pm

I think your safest bet is to ask your school for a conversion table to the 4.0 scale. I would be very cautious about assuming that certain grades on your 10 point scale is just a simple ratio to the 4.0 scale. I tried converting from my 12.0 scale to the 4.0 scale. One would think that you should be able to take a grade in the 12.0 scale and divide by 3. I soon discovered that my assumption was not quite accurate. So, I went to ask one of my school officials for a conversion table from the 12.0 scale to the 4.0 scale.One of my advisors was able to provide me with a conversion table from the 12.0 scale to the 4.0 scale. For example, I thought that a 3.5 on the 4.0 scale is equal to a 10.5 on the 12.0 scale. Actually, I discovered that a 9.5 would be equivalent to a 3.5 on the 4.0 scale.
So, the moral of the story is that you should ask one of your advisors or school officials for a conversion table. If that doesn't work, then hopefully, when you send your official transcript it should explain what certain grades mean. If that doesn't work, feel free to ask another question on this forum. :D

raysum
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2005 4:48 am

Hi Again!

Postby raysum » Mon May 15, 2006 12:36 am

I suggest you that you need not to worry on your grades. As an International student gradaute selection committee will not focus on your grades rather your standarized test score. If they well acquanited with the type of institute one had studyied, then there may be some difference, otherwaise without having good grades on ST it will be really tough! One thing all international aspiring students should realize that it is becoming incresingly difficult for them to get admission into THE SO CALLED top 10 school. Because they feel that we are the world. How shame!!
There is different standards of grading in different place and thus if anyone claims he/she is better soley on grades then he is the idiot number one!
For ex. How they get 3.9 or even 4 out of 4? Is that possible? Does he/she knows everthing and going to beat the nature??????? In my university, if you get above 65% then it is good and really good mark. But one school in US said that my grades are far below than average. I just laughed to read his comment on me. But later he realized his superficial comment.
Do it !!




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