Hi, I'm going to apply for grad school this fall. I'm an international student from Pakistan. Although I don't have extraordinary credentials, but I think I satisfy the minimum - top 10% of my class. I'm also confident of scoring high on GRE Physics as some trials have went unexpectedly well. However, I'm faced with a dilemma: In my country, (or to be more precise), in my university (#1 of my country!), there is no concept of research at undergrad level (no thesis, no term paper, nothing!). There are hardly any institutes where you can work as an intern - even the ones which are involved in research are 'classified'. Industry doesn't exist. So how was I supposed to get research experience? There is, however, one way to do so. If I get enrolled in M. Phil., I'll have to write up thesis in the second year of study. But I think I'll be just wasting my time because the faculty is not good. I don't think it's a good idea since I've already completed 16 years of education, why should I study for two more years when I can get admitted into Ph.D. directly! I would be happy getting admitted in non-top tiers, but I've heard it's hard getting TA/RA jobs in such universities for international students, and fellowships are limited to locals only.