Sunday, February 08, 2009

I have 11 days to decide where I want to spend the next three years of my life.

UWS is a primarily undergraduate university without the big international reputation of mcgill or eastman. the psychology department is located in a suburban city that's an hour from central sydney and, apparently, known for its airport and shopping center. research students at UWS don't have formal lectures or classes, while mcgill and the uni. of rochester have long lists of courses to choose from - seminars in music cognition, audition, perception & action, the neurochemical basis of behaviour, sensory & motor neuroscience, brain imaging.

on the other hand, the lab where I'd be working is a great fit. it's big and active, churning out lots of publications, and there are ongoing projects that are closely tied to what I'd like to study. everyone I've communicated with, from potential supervisors to administration staff, has been very friendly and helpful. they even read over my application before I formally submitted it and gave me detailed suggestions for how to improve it. and also? it's australia.

either I accept the offer and a month from now I'll be down under, or I reject it and risk not being accepted to either of mcgill or UR. which is possible. people are always saying "of course you'll get in", but the truth is, those schools only accept a small fraction of applicants and I could easily be rejected from both.

took those photos on wednesday. I like the last one. she looks frozen. I was frozen too because it was really cold in buffalo that day and I was tramping around in knee-deep snow wearing sneakers. that was before I had less than two weeks to plan my future.

you know how painfully indecisive I am when I have to pick out a movie or a place to go to eat or a chocolate bar? this is so much worse.

1 comment:

kt said...

i'll tell ya this, bish... what australian universities may lack in international reputation or coursework they do make up for with individual attention, friendliness, and research capabilities. but you're right, especially when you've come out of a school like u of t which is all rep, right? i had the same problem. i decided not to turn down a guaranteed scholarship on the off-chance of getting something better. i guess you could say i settled, but it's still a damn good deal to get a full-ride phd, no matter where it is.

and while i had some insanely bad culture shock when i first arrived, i've come to have a great deal of affection for this strange country. it's pretty good down here.

let me know if you need any advice / help / backup, i'm always around.

(great photos btw.)