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Choosing an MFA Program (2009) (2010) (2011)
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FreakingOutInBd


Dec 3, 2009, 4:29 AM

Post #726 of 1018 (13315 views)
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     Re: [Pedro Eler] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) - International Applicants [In reply to]  

I don’t know what to tell you on this one…I guess it depends on accessible networks/contacts.

I had a former professor (I can’t believe it’s been a decade since I finished my MA! Am I really that old?!) do one – she’s also a publisher and editor and I’ve worked quite a bit with her. So she seemed the perfect person as she can vouch for me on various fronts, not just as a student.

For my other two LORs, I asked three friends (one had gone AWOL, so I brought in a substitute and long story, but I ended up with an extra recommender) – all writers and editors. All have read my work and have had some working experience with me, whether in person or online. One was of Bangladeshi origin though located in the US; one’s a writer from Botswana and the last one has a press and journal in Wales.
I guess I tried for a mix…of perspective and experience regarding myself as a person and as a writer…


alamana
Jennifer Brown


Dec 3, 2009, 7:26 AM

Post #727 of 1018 (13310 views)
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     Re: [FreakingOutInBd] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) [In reply to]  

You don't find out about the personal history essay thing until you fill out the application.


Be regular and orderly in your life, that you may be violent and original in your work. -- Flaubert

http://www.jenniferkirkpatrickbrown.com


Forum Apps


Dec 3, 2009, 10:31 AM

Post #728 of 1018 (13281 views)
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     Re: [alamana] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) [In reply to]  

I don’t know exactly about Irvine (I’m not applying there) but I think the two essay thing is standard for the graduate programs in the UC system. I could be wrong but I do know that Berkeley requires it. They have a “personal statement” and a “statement of purpose” listed on their site. There is an example of the personal statement online (I would post the link but I can’t find it now for whatever reason and I didn’t bookmark it)—it is decidedly NOT simply an auto-biographical sketch. Maybe Irvine is different. I don’t really know. You don’t want it to be obnoxiously academic, that’s for sure… but yeah…

Eh. The example wasn’t for creative writing it was for history and the two fields are probably as antithetical as one can get while staying in the humanities but I’d definitely suppose that you want the personal statement to relate to your writing and to fit well with your SOP. Also, I would generally advise against the “I’ve wanted to write as long as I could remember” or the “I came to writing just a few years ago” type of statement. Nothing about that will distinguish you whatsoever. There are a few anecdotes from profs. online saying similar things to whatever degree (not from the cali system, but still… probably not bad advice). I suppose you can do it if you want but I would suggest being a bit more “creative” and to somehow relate your statement to your style (or aesthetic… or anti-aesthetic for that matter). Good way to set yourself up. Definitely don’t want to be cold and unattractively pedantic though.

Is this the same feeling you guys got in regards to this essay? Or am I way off base? I'm applying in cultural studies so mine is a whole different bag of chips, I suppose. I did talk about truck driving and such but I also talked about school related things. I'm keeping my statement of purpose more forward directed... like.. this is what I want to study and explore and work with type of stuff.


FreakingOutInBd


Dec 3, 2009, 9:30 PM

Post #729 of 1018 (13191 views)
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     Re: [alamana] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) [In reply to]  

I was about to have a heart attack because I already completed and subbed my UCI application when I realized which one you're talking about...


HarveyK


Dec 3, 2009, 11:55 PM

Post #730 of 1018 (13161 views)
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     Re: [FreakingOutInBd] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) - International Applicants [In reply to]  


In Reply To
Hi! I've already applied to Irvine actually. I don't profess to know exactly how they fund the various categories of students, so have no opinion on that. Although if they don't provide a tuition waiver - I just wasted time, energy, money/

However, could you please elaborate how you know they don't admit international applicants?

They sounded interested when I initially contacted them. If they did have a policy of not admitting internationals, wouldn’t they have responded upfront about it? Also UCI is where (Ngugi’s) International Center for Writing ansd Translation is located – not that the Center is directly related to the MFA program, but it is perhaps indicative of a higher degree of openness towards international literature.

I think it's not a departmental policy but their grad school policy. It's not just the CW program. I think their English Ph.D. program and other arts programs don't give tuition waiver to any international students until their third or fourth year when they become ABD.



FreakingOutInBd


Dec 4, 2009, 2:36 AM

Post #731 of 1018 (13138 views)
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     Re: [HarveyK] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) - International Applicants [In reply to]  

Interesting. And worry-making. I was told that the funding assessment was made in the same way for US and non-US applicants but who knows.


FreakingOutInBd


Dec 4, 2009, 4:02 AM

Post #732 of 1018 (13132 views)
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     UWM anyone? [In reply to]  

Is anyone applying to Wisconsin Madison? I thought I'd completed the application (deadline's Dec 15). The online application says that my application was successfully uploaded, gives me a tracking ID, but also says "In addition, one or more of your program selections require a Supplemental Application". Does this mean the paper application (manuscript, LOR, etc.)? Or is there an additional application component I'm missing?


WanderingTree


Dec 4, 2009, 12:10 PM

Post #733 of 1018 (13075 views)
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     Re: [FreakingOutInBd] UWM anyone? [In reply to]  

There's no "supplemental" application. It's just the online graduate app plus the departmental requirements: manuscript, coversheet, transcripts, sop etc. You can check you materials on:

https://login.wisc.edu/?appurl=my.wisc.edu/portal if you have your net ID and password.


FreakingOutInBd


Dec 5, 2009, 4:01 AM

Post #734 of 1018 (12985 views)
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     Re: [WanderingTree] UWM anyone? [In reply to]  

Phew! Thanks Wandering Tree. I thought so, but then woke up at an ungodly hour and convinced myself there was something I was missing which would render invalid my whole application. :-)


FreakingOutInBd


Dec 5, 2009, 7:23 AM

Post #735 of 1018 (12981 views)
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     Re: [rohsun] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) [In reply to]  

Okay, here's me with another stupid question.

When you ordered the TOEFL scores, I selected Grad school/Humanities/English. Should I have selected the unlisted thing (99)? Are all my scores ending up in places where they're not meant to go?


rohsun


Dec 5, 2009, 8:05 AM

Post #736 of 1018 (12978 views)
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     Re: [FreakingOutInBd] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) [In reply to]  

i've done the same thing, and my scores have reached the admissions office without any hitch. so don't worry on that.

and in other news, all my applications have been sent out. 6 schools, all done. yippee~


FreakingOutInBd


Dec 5, 2009, 9:27 AM

Post #737 of 1018 (12968 views)
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     Re: [rohsun] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) [In reply to]  

Oh wow rohsun!! totally totally jealous! you must be a very organized and efficient person. (i'm so not :-()

i've just sent one out, sending out UWM tomorrow morning and the rest hopefully in the next week or so.

but a huge congrats!!


rohsun


Dec 5, 2009, 9:55 AM

Post #738 of 1018 (12963 views)
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     Re: [FreakingOutInBd] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) [In reply to]  

i had to get them out this week, because it takes a about ten days for regular mail to reach the US from India. and schools will closed for the christmas break, i presume, so wanted my material to reach every college before the 20th.

i'm sure you will be done sooner rather than later yourself. all the best!


FreakingOutInBd


Dec 5, 2009, 2:18 PM

Post #739 of 1018 (12928 views)
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     Re: [rohsun] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) [In reply to]  

It takes about 2 weeks from here ...and our postal service is not at all reliable. This is why I love Virginia Tech - everytihng ('cept the transcripts/test scores) subbed online.


Keeping my fingers crossed for myself and for everyone else here!


rohsun


Dec 8, 2009, 8:36 PM

Post #740 of 1018 (12764 views)
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     Re: [rohsun] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) [In reply to]  

so i got a mail from UVA letting me know that they have recd. my writing sample and my fellowship application.

that's so nice of them!


FreakingOutInBd


Dec 9, 2009, 6:56 PM

Post #741 of 1018 (12667 views)
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     Re: Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) [In reply to]  

Okay, so sent off Irvine, UWM and VTech.

Three down and six to go.


sinceday1


Dec 11, 2009, 1:09 PM

Post #742 of 1018 (12526 views)
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     Re: [aiyamei] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) - International Applicants [In reply to]  


In Reply To
I get that you are trying to be helpful, Forum Apps, I just have to quarrel with the specifics of your conjecture. Re: if you can't get around 600 on the GRE, you might not be intellectually prepared for a top program.

More than once I got an 800 verbal score on the SAT (without studying for it), I speak seven languages, including Chinese and Russian, and I read literature regularly in five of them (i.e. I can easily integrate new lexica). As far as my writing ability, admittedly there is no 'proof' of such a thing, but I will say that several agents offered to represent my first novel (literary fiction), and later several large houses bid on it, and next year it's coming out with Knopf. (Please bear with me, you will see the point of this) -- I went to a great college, I'm extremely widely read, not only in literature, but also in history, philosophy, and anthropology. I can write a mean analytical paper.

And YET when I took the GRE several years ago, I don't remember my exact scores, but I think I pretty much bombed it. Admittedly, I didn't study for it, but my recollection was that the test included loads of words that a person would most decidedly not absorb through natural means, not by reading the complete works of Pope, Donne, Shakespeare, Eliot, Joyce, and DeLillo, not by reading the complete works of Kant, Hegel, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Foucault, and Derrida -- indeed, by no other means than by doing GRE practice tests. Also, as I recall, there were countless points where I could see clearly how more than one answer could potentially be correct, and I became quite confused. Or let me put it this way -- the test seems to test two things: your vocabulary AND your GRE test-taking skills (for which, admittedly, a rich vocabulary would be necessary.)

So perhaps you should stop beating this horse, because there seem to be quite a large number of people on these boards who have gotten low scores on that test, some still very touchy and easily bruised, others of us pretty unbruisable because we have many other proofs of our academic ability such that it's very hard to take low GRE scores very seriously, but all of us here to say that the GRE does not test intellectual ability in anything like a reliable manner. I don't think it's a matter of blindly optimistic youth, anti-intellectual can-do-ism, or anything of the kind. The test might simply be less than great.


With an ego as large as yours I doubt an MFA is necessary ;)


lily_lee


Dec 14, 2009, 11:40 AM

Post #743 of 1018 (12368 views)
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     Re: [HarveyK] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) - International Applicants [In reply to]  


In Reply To
You should remove Irvine. They don't admit international students, and even if they do, they can't provide a tuition waiver to insternational students, which makes it almost impossible to attend the program. This has been discussed before somewhere in this forum.



I'm just flagging this - I'm an international applicant too and have sent off my package to Irvine already. I know of at least one international applicant poet in the past who was accepted but had to pay his own tuition fees...other than that, I can't find anything formal to clarify the rumours about Irvine's approach to international applicants.

If anyone could enlighten me or point me to a thread where this is discussed (or maybe elsewhere on this thread), that would be great!


HarveyK


Dec 14, 2009, 3:59 PM

Post #744 of 1018 (12311 views)
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     Re: [lily_lee] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) - International Applicants [In reply to]  

I don't know where I picked this up-there are several internet forums-but it's nothing new. This has been going on for several years, probably for decades. It's not just limited to the MFA program, but it probably applies to the entire grad school, especially the arts programs. If you carefully browse their English Ph.D. program website, especially the financial aid for international students, you'll find something about this.


forthedogs


Dec 14, 2009, 6:56 PM

Post #745 of 1018 (12251 views)
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     Re: [lily_lee] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) - International Applicants [In reply to]  

you should just call. there are int'l students who are fully funded at my mfa program and i know an int'l student who had both an ma and a ph.d funded through taships at another uc, so it is possible. i'd dbl check this, if i were you.


HarveyK


Dec 14, 2009, 7:56 PM

Post #746 of 1018 (12228 views)
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     Re: [forthedogs] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) - International Applicants [In reply to]  

Yes, call them and enlighten everybody here. I know other UC's funding package for international students normally includes a tuition waiver, but Irvine isn't like that. You're not eligible for tuition waiver until you become ABDs, which means you have to pay tuition out of your own pocket for the first two or three years. I'm not an international student, and so please call them or your international friends at Irvine.


forthedogs


Dec 14, 2009, 8:53 PM

Post #747 of 1018 (12194 views)
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     Re: [HarveyK] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) - International Applicants [In reply to]  

if that's true, that's awful!


__________



Dec 14, 2009, 10:17 PM

Post #748 of 1018 (12165 views)
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     Re: [HarveyK] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) - International Applicants [In reply to]  

I get ABCs (American Born Chinese)...but what are ABDs?


six five four three two one 0 ->


bighark


Dec 14, 2009, 10:24 PM

Post #749 of 1018 (12164 views)
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     Re: [Junior Maas] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) - International Applicants [In reply to]  

All but dissertation.


__________



Dec 14, 2009, 10:27 PM

Post #750 of 1018 (12162 views)
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     Re: [bighark] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010) - International Applicants [In reply to]  

Oh, balls. I thought you guys were still talking poor funding for international students.

Now how do I make one of those facepalm things?


six five four three two one 0 ->

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