I am a rising junior in college considering applying to grad school in astrophysics or photonics/solid state physics by the end of my senior year.
I have a few questions regarding some points that diverge from the usual (GPA/GRE, research, letters of recommendation) triad and that are usually not covered by grad school applications help forums:
1) TA assistantship: how does a TA appointment in an introductory physics class sound in a grad school application? Specifically, should I favor it in regards to taking more advanced/graduate physics classes?
2) Foreign language: does an advanced level at a foreign language have any impact in a physics grad school application at all? I ask this because I have been learning German from zero knowledge for the past year (alongside my classes, i.e. out of college), and it has been somewhat time-consuming (~ a full-year research project on its own). I really enjoy it (it is one of the few activities I can list besides classes+research), but I don't want it to jeopardize my grad school application chances.
3) Being an international student pursuing a B.S. in an American university, how do I stand in the applicants pool? I often read the expectations (level of English, amount of research etc) can vary a lot depending on whether I am from an international university. But in my case, what should I expect?
Any insight on any of these unusual topics would be very much appreciated.