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My Q&A About Applying UMN

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Hey Everyone, this time I am going to write some words about the tips and important information about applying University of Minnesota Twincities for future graduate students.
Ok~ Here we go!

1.What is the APPLICATION DEADLINE ?
The graduate school highly recommend that students submit the application at least two weeks before the deadline, most of the programs will end application on December 15, and some programs will end a little earlier or later around December. Check each programs' own websites to get correct deadlines and those are the most reliable resources.
The link: Choosing Program Website

The picture below shows the webpage of choosing different program's own site to get information of the deadline and application instruction.
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### If some urgent issue happen and you miss the deadline by lately submitting some materials, you could contact the specific department office by phone or email to ask if you could still hand in your application. The Officers will be very friendly to answer you. ###

2. What should you prepare for application?
Usually,your application should include your GRE score, your resume, your unofficial transcript (electric version needed), your official transcript (closure in an envelope), recommendation letters ( at least 2-3, depends on different programs), your personal statement, your research or work experience report, some programs need extra writing sample or other credentials. Also you need your Credit card (Visa, Discover, American Express and MasterCar) ready to pay the application fee.(International student:$95.00)
The detailed instruction link: Application Instructions

3. How to apply?
Our school use the online application system which is very easy to use. You need to create an account, then login the system to begin your application!
The link is below: Online Application!
The picture of the login webpage is below :
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After login, just follow the instruction to continue your application process.You will fill in your information in Personal Information, Application Information,Educational Background,Test Information-Self Reported,Languages,Awards and Activities, Employment / Residence Information,Financial Support,Legal agent/privacy statement, Applicant Statements, Program Supplementary Information.
For the recommendation letter, you could download the form on the website and ask provider to complete it or to give the providers' email address to let them finish and hand in online which is much efficiency.

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4. After applying
After finishing the applying process you should be very patient of waiting the decision made by the school. Actually, I really suggest you that the good applying work is to contact a specific professor whom you would like to work with and the dean of the department to know you are going to apply if you want them to pay more attention to you.
If you are eager for the decision news, you could search and check in the grade cafe forum to know if the decision has worked out!
The link : Grad Cafe Forum

Good Luck everyone!! I hope you all will get good news from UMN, we really welcome you!

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A click was my key to Minnesota!

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It had been over a year since I thought about pursuing graduate education in the U.S. I was contemplating about where to go for a graduate school in Plant Sciences. I had a couple of schools in mind that were sought-after by everyone. However, I did not make any effort for that long period of time to define my destination. When the time was right, I got the courage to "look for" what I want. It was a quite and beautiful day back in Davis, California. I could have rather sat back and 'chilled-out' but I decided to take a step to make my dream come true. I turned a computer on, went to the internet and typed "University of Minnesota plant pathology department" in Google, and clicked the search button. Remember, University of Minnesota was one of the schools in my 'top list' to go to for a graduate education. The webpage of the department was the first hit of course. I read relevant information on the website, and dropped an email to the Director of Graduate Studies right away. With in a few minutes, a response came back. The gracious response was for me to come to Minnesota for an annual graduate student recruitment event. I attended the event and went back with all information I needed to apply to the graduate school and the graduate program. I followed up on that and finally ended up getting admitted to my favorite graduate program. So joining your favorite graduate program at the University of Minnesota is just a click away. If I make it, so you can too. Happy clicking!

Managing your budget!

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Hello Everybody!

I hope all of you are doing great?How are you coping with the changing weather?Some people say,the winters are here to stay,while others believe it is just a random spell!I hope it is a random spell because I haven't had enough of fall yet!:)

I was really busy last week.My sponsors invited me to UT Austin,where they organized a gateway orientation for the incoming Fulbrighters from Pakistan.They wanted me to talk about my experience and pass on any tips that I had from my experience to make their transition and survival easy.I guess I can talk about a lot of that in my blog too.The question that i got asked the most was to manage budget.Being a student,you sometimes have to live the bohemian way!This is not a compromise,this is the fun of being a student.Anyways,since most of us come with limited budget,here is what I suggest to all of you:

1."Live like a student"

2.Eat at home.Food cooked at home is healthy,economical and delicious.To tell you a secret,cooking is my stress buster.

3.Take advantage of free entertainment opportunities,like free fairs and festivals(we had a whole bunch of them in summer),free concerts and movies(in parks and in the coffman movie theater).

4.Minnesotans take pride in outdoor activities and unlike many other things to do,a hike across the state park in summer would not cost you anything.

5.Instead of having cars and worrying about insurance,maintenance,gas and parking bill,use Public transit.Minneapolis is one of the transit-ally blessed city.With the new light rail in place,the situation will even get better.The bus pass is really cheap and saves you a a lot of money.The cabs here are not very expensive and I sometimes share them with my friends when we go grocery shopping.

6.Buying in bulk is the best strategy to save money.I buy all the non-perishables in bulk and in the value packs.I dont have to buy them every month plus I get a good value of my money.

7.However,watch out for the consumer coupons.They are good if you are buying for a family of four,but if you are just shopping for yourself,you don't have to shop BOGO style,and at least I ended up over spending on stuff I didn't really need.

8.Dont compromise your quality of life.The place where you are living should be clean,well lit and ventilated.It is important for your physical and emotional well being.your rent should take most of your monthly budget,everything else can be managed.I recommend living close to campus so you spend less time commuting and stressing out.

9.To buy clothes and shoes,I would recommend waiting for sales and big events like the black Friday(I cant wait for the next:D).Stores like Marshalls and Nordstrom rack offers branded stuff from last season at affordable prices.

Did I miss anything?Please feel free to ask any questions that you might have regarding budgeting and I will try my best to help you.

Until the next blog,take care:)
best

Decision time or waiting time?

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Hello everyone and happy Wednesday!!

It is almost the end of February. This month has been a busy one for me. I have written four quizzes, submitted four short papers, and gave a presentation all in the past five weeks of school. I am currently getting ready to submit a poster for presentation at a conference in Washington, DC early next week. It may be an anxious time for you too as you wait for the admission letter from the schools you applied to last fall or if you are lucky are deciding which school/program to go to (congratulation on your admission!), or you are still waiting. If I remember correctly this time last year I had received about three letters of admissions and I was waiting on others (I applied to 10 schools!)

So how I did I make the decision to attend the University of Minnesota?

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