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Other interests in grad school

AC Missias acm at pharmdec.wustl.edu
Mon Aug 15 12:51:17 EST 1994

In article <CuJx3z.D43 at world.std.com>
megna at world.std.com (Lisa A. Megna) writes:

> One of my undergrad majors was Russian and I spent the
> last year studying in Russia and I have a strong desire to continue
> my study of Russian while in graduate school.  How responsive are
> graduate schools to students taking courses outside of their disciplines?
> Has anyone spent part of their graduate training abroad?  Someday in the
> future I would like to combine both my scientific and language interests
> and I am interested in learning how difficult this will be.

Where I am, there is tolerance for pursuit of other courses -- they let
me register for German on the undergraduate campus.  However, I find
that it's quite hard to really devote the level of time and energy you
need/want to put into lab and still have time for intensive study of
anything else.  (As might not surprise readers of my previous posting
about time squeezes -- it's easy to lose a lot of the breadth you value
in yourself when you need to pursue narrow topics so extensively...)  I
have undertaken some community college classes (Sign Language once per
week) that feel ok, but you may find as I did that anything more just
makes you realize that you don't want to be an undergraduate anymore
(esp. once your grad classes are over -- papers and quizzes?!).

Something somewhat more common to think about is the option of doing a
post doc abroad.  One often must do a second postdoc to get back into
the loop, as well as to be here for interviews, etc., but I think the
cultural immersion can be really worth it.  Am considering this myself.
 However, any such work abroad (in a good scientific lab) may be a bit
tougher in Russia....

Good luck!

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