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How to get scholarship from a leading university?

  1. Sep 24, 2014 #1

    ShayanJ

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    I'm thinking about going abroad for my graduate school. I'm not sure about this and just trying to see whether it is a plausible plan for me or not. So I need some help.
    I'm pretty good in English. But that's the only foreign language I know. So can I say only England and US are my options?
    I'm finishing my undergrad in physics in a year and have a firm understanding in all the courses I passed. Also I know English pretty well. So I think I can do good in GRE. But what else is needed? Do I still need TOEFL or IELTS?
    Do I have a chance to get accepted in universities like MIT, Stanford, Caltech, etc. ?
    There is also another point. We're not a rich family and also US dollars are very expensive in terms of Iran's currency, so my family can't afford a life in US for me. So how can I get a scholarship that affords all that is needed for a living?(Of course I expect only enough food and a small room and can work too.)
    Any other ideas and suggestions are welcome too.
    Thanks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 24, 2014 #2

    jtbell

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    In the US, physics graduate students normally receive enough funding to maintain a basic no-frills lifestyle. See for example the U of Michigan:

    http://www.lsa.umich.edu/physics/academics/graduateprogram/funding [Broken]

    Research and teaching assistantships are available to both US and international students. Note the reference to language training for international students who are GSIs (teaching assistants). Some fellowships are available only to US citizens and permanent residents (green card).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  4. Sep 24, 2014 #3

    Choppy

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    A lot of other countries speak English than just the US and England and even in those that don't officially, I suspect there are a lot that have univeristies that operate with English as the working language. You may want to consider universities in Canada, Australia, or New Zealand was well, for example.

    Generally speaking, unless you can claim that English is your first language, most universities will require scores on an exam like the TOEFL.
     
  5. Sep 24, 2014 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    Unfortunately for your plans, the US considers Iran a state sponsor of terrorism, and that limits the sources of support available to you. There are other issues as well: for example, all student visas for Iranians are single entry. Which means you need a brand new visa every time you go home. And since there's no US embassy in Iran, that means another trip out of the country.
     
  6. Sep 25, 2014 #5

    ShayanJ

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    Yeah, that was a concern to me too which I forgot to ask about. Does that mean Iranian students can't have RA, TA or fellowship positions for funding? or its just harder for them to get those positions? What are other limitations? Is there any chance of being deported?Or maybe getting arrested for being an Iranian????:confused:
    What about US people? Is it true that most of them also consider Iranians to be terrorists? People who think there is a million kilo-meters squared hide-out for a terrorist group with 80 million members!!!!!!oo)
    Wait a minute...Do you PF guys think I'm a terrorist???o_O
    Anyway, does anyone here know an Iranian graduate student in US? If yes, is s/he OK right now?

    Also, US is just of one of the options. If I can go to a top ranked university (I mean one among the first 100 in the world), then European or Asian universities are OK too. I mean Germany, Swiss, England, France, Italy, Japan, Korea, China. I just require them to do two things, 1) That they offer English courses, enough courses for a graduate program in physics and of course an Enlgish-speaking advisor.(Or at least a self-contained and fast program for learning their language). 2) That they offer funding systems like the one in US universities.
    Is there a chance to find such a university in those countries?
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014
  7. Sep 25, 2014 #6
    Iranian students can have funding. There is one in my department who gets paid as a TA. He's a first year student and I doubt he would be denied an RA if a professor wanted to fund him.
     
  8. Sep 25, 2014 #7

    Vanadium 50

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    When a professor gets a research grant, it comes with conditions. Depending on the grant, those conditions might preclude it being used to support citizens of countries on the state sponsors of terrorism list. So the pool of available RA positions is smaller. How much smaller depends on the nature of one's research. There are also secondary effects - for example, suppose you were working on the LSST telescope. Clearly non-defense, so you might think that you are fine. Except that the data is stored at a US national lab, and getting an account there is much more difficult.

    I'm not saying this is impossible. I am saying that there are elements in place that make things more difficult for Iranians than Italians.
     
  9. Sep 25, 2014 #8

    ZapperZ

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    Please note that all Vanadium said was about the entry visa requirement for the US. He said NOTHING about your ability to obtain assistantships or how people in the US considers Iranian nationals. So do not jump to such conclusions because you are doing the same generalizations that you are afraid people are doing towards Iranians.

    There are Iranians nationals going to school in the US. In fact, until the imprisonment of Omid Kokabee in Iran, he was a graduate student here in the US. Other than the immigration issues, US educational institutions do not differentiate between different nationalities. So I would say that, from my point of view, you should worry more about your own government's view of you if you received any form of assistantships here! That was what Kokabee was charged with!

    Zz.
     
  10. Sep 25, 2014 #9

    ShayanJ

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    My post wasn't based on only imaginations. I've talked with other Americans too. Some of them have strange reactions when I say I'm from Iran. But from several friendly reactions, one of them said "I'm not like most people here who think Iranians are terrorists"! Also notice I asked questions, didn't make statements!

    And about Omid Kokabee. I don't reject the fact that there may be a mistake which is of course an unforgiven mistake.(If its actually a mistake!!!). But we have security issues here. Several Iranian scientists that were killed in recent years, were killed by Iranian people(I think that's not a proper label for them!!!) who were abroad for some years. So I think we need to be careful. Unfortunately the American dream is so much tempting for some Iranians that they may betray their own country for that. That's something we have experienced and of course that's very sad.

    Anyway, I don't want to insult anyone or make this thread an Iran-US war. I apologize if I weren't careful in what I was saying.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014
  11. Sep 25, 2014 #10

    ZapperZ

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    I did not make this an Iran-US war. I pointed out the FACT that receiving any form of assistantship outside of your own country could make you also susceptible to be arrested for the same "illegal earnings" crime that Kokabee was imprisoned for!

    Zz.
     
  12. Sep 25, 2014 #11

    Vanadium 50

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    And while there are Iranian students in the US, for various reasons (some of which have been described above) there are not all that many. Per capita, Iran's rate is 4% of the rate of, say, Saudi Arabia.
     
  13. Sep 25, 2014 #12
    Student visas are part of a country's foreign policy. They tend to be handed out to friendly countries to reward them for their support. That is why there are so many more students from Saudi Arabia.
     
  14. Sep 26, 2014 #13

    ZapperZ

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    Sorry, but that can't be right. The country with the highest number of international students in the US is China! This is not exactly a "friendly" country as far as being a US ally. This is followed next by India, again, not really considered as a typical US ally.

    Zz.
     
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