ta assistantship/foreign language for grad school

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chewbacca
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:26 pm

ta assistantship/foreign language for grad school

Postby chewbacca » Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:45 pm

Hello,
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.
Thank you.

Lavabug
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:19 pm

Re: ta assistantship/foreign language for grad school

Postby Lavabug » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:34 am

3) Being an international student pursuing a B.S. in an American university, how do I stand in the applicants pool?

Better than an international student pursuing a BS in a non-American university, if you go by the results here and at gradcafe.

bfollinprm
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: ta assistantship/foreign language for grad school

Postby bfollinprm » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:45 am

1) Research >> coursework >> extracurriculars. Teaching is an extracurricular.

2) Probably not much, unless you go to Germany. It used to matter, but it doesn't anymore, since global science is in English nowadays. Again, it's an extracurricular you can list.

3) If you have a green card, you'll be considered a domestic applicant at most schools. If you're on a student visa, you have a leg up on other international applicants since they're more likely to know your undergrad institution, and might know some of your recommenders professionally




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