I've been procrastinating heavily today and realizing that maybe I should consider applying to grad schools in the US indeed. (Currently, I'm a Masters student at ETH Zurich in Switzerland.) Although I've probably been watching too many skateboard and surfing videos during the last few weeks, I think I'm truly interested in spending at least a few years abroad, while maintaining the standard of education I've been lucky enough to experience until now (my plan or dream is to become a researcher/professor). So the first question would be: Would I learn something? Of course there are always new things to learn, but the courses should match my level of knowledge, skills and my interests. I've taken a look at an actual GRE test (this stuff seems to be a standard requirement?)... and now I have some concerns that I might be a bit overqualified at this stage, since I've already taken some courses that were quite advanced. For example: Quantum Optics, Quantum Field Theory (and also used this for a research project), Open Quantum Systems, Solid State Theory, Quantum Information etc. (the courses were based on lecture notes, papers and/or well-known books). For my PhD, I'd like to continue doing research in condensed matter physics. The next thing would be: What are my chances of getting in? (I guess I would apply to 4 or 5 unis in California and to MIT, Harvard, Princeton.) By the end of my masters, I will have done 3 research projects (3 months during my bachelors, 2 months and 4 months during my masters) and I will have published at least one paper, probably two. I suppose I could get 3 to 5 very good recommendations. My grades are not perfect, but still very good. And I suppose I could pull a nearly perfect score on this GRE. I didn't win any prizes (which I think is also not common at all for students in Switzerland, Germany,...) One other thing is the funding... would this be a problem? I don't want to become 'rich' or anything, but I'd really like to cover all my costs. Especially since I can get paid something like 60k a year if I stay here in Switzerland. What do you think?