Home » ASSISTANSHIPS, Electrical Engineering, On campus Jobs » Professor advices for Fall 2012 instead of Spring 2012 for aid. Can I trust?


Hi,I have been a regular reader of your articles and have been following up recently for Spring 2012.I got admission in xxx university, Ohio for Spring 2012 in Electrical Engineering majoring in VLSI. My I-20 didn’t mention any assistantship or funding. However, I have been communicating with one of the professor in the department. He says he will be starting his research on self organizing neural networks by fall 2012.Since my experience and background is close to his expectations he says he likes my profile and can offer assistantship only from fall 2012 .My question is should I wait till fall 2012 instead of spring 2012.My situation is complicated. Iam in confused state. My friends advice me to wait for fall 2012,but my parents are telling me to go for spring 2012.What should I do know? Can you advice me on my situation?– Prateek, INDIA

Dear Prateek,

You have been assigned a decision making task even before you start to US.You will make similar decisions almost everyday once you join your university. By this time you should be able to make this simple decision. Instead of I advising you let me highlight Pro’s of going for each term and finally YOU are going to make your own decision.

Going For Spring 2012

1) You are not wasting your precious time for another 6-8 months in your career just to get funding.

2) You can graduate soon and hopefully get a job soon and earn soon.

3) Number of students going for spring is comparatively less than fall hence probability of getting a part-time job / assistantship job is more. Although there will be more job opportunities in fall you will have equivalent competition.

Going for Fall 2012

1) Most of the classes that are offered in Fall are pre-requisites for courses offered in Spring. Typically, class schedules are planned with a progression of starting in Fall and continuing the course work in Spring. If you apply for spring and come to US, you have a disadvantage in choosing your classes. You may not be following the usual University class schedule plan.

2)  Another important thing is, the students who are in the classes that you take in Spring are one semester ahead of you if you are starting fresh in Spring. You may have the disadvantage of choosing students for group projects because students in fall would already have their group project teams select.

3)  If you like to be part of any student organizations on campus, Fall is when most of the recruiting for the student organizations is done. Many organizations plan their activities for an academic year with events kick off starting in Fall.

4)  Summer internships chances are more favorable for students who come to US in fall because they would have completed half of their coursework and have enough qualifications. You know your professors better and they can give you better recommendations.

5)  Weather if you plan to attend schools in Northern States. but if you are coming from a warm country with 70 – 80 F ( 21 C to 27 Celsius), it would be a challenge to adjust to the cold temperatures in Northern states with Snow and freezing temperatures of -20 F to 20 F ( -29 C to  - 6 Celsius ). This may not  necessarily apply for Southern states.

6) Finally, you will get funding (assuming he is not hiring other than you as per conversation) from the professor.

Just because I have listed more Pro’s for Fall 2012 doesn’t mean you have to go for Fall 2012.The 3 factors mentioned for Spring 2012 may be more important than 6 Pro’s for Fall 2012.Unless funding is mentioned in I-20 by university nothing can be taken as guaranteed.So,what you think? Can you make your own decision now?

 Blog readers what do you think Prateek should do? Wait for fall 2012 or should he go for spring 2012?

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