Itís useful for comparing between offers, since you can talk to current students.
One of the department who offered me a place is inviting the admitted students to their visit day, with reimbursement allowance.
However, as an international student, it's still ocstly. I estimated that the trip would cost fourth-fold of the allowance. That's huge to me right now.
I am in a hard struggle of going or not. I really don't know if the visit is supposed to sell the department, or it contains something crucial for my academic career.
Appreciate for any experience shared.
Here's my perspective as a faculty member who works on graduate admissions. We invite all prospective students to visit (either on a organized visit day or another day). Most people don't visit for the reasons you suggested. International students never visit. Domestic students do, but usually only if they are somewhat local. The visit is useful, but you can get many of the benefits from speaking with faculty and students on the phone/Skype. I make sure that all prospective students have contact information for a selection of our students who are at different points in the program, ideally working in a similar field (sometimes from same country, if international). I strongly encourage prospective students to reach out to our current students and ask them about their experiences in our program. Are they happy? What do they like, not like, was different than their expectations, etc. Students tell me this is incredibly useful. There is only so much "hard" information about stipends, placement, courses that I can provide and is genuinely useful. Understanding whether the department supports or ignores graduate students, or they mentor students, is critically important.
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