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does this just sound like an excuse?

justapremed

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    So I recently got my permanent residency, ~4 months back.

    But b/c up until 4 months ago I was an international student (and not on a student visa) I couldn't get a job (not even a TA: though the chem dept approved me, I had to say no), couldn't apply for summer programs, internships, scholarships, etc that required at least permanent residency.

    Now of course, yes, I could volunteer at the hospital, volunteer to tutor, etc... but I wish there's more I could have done than just "volunteer." In that sense I feel like my activities section of the application "lacks" a tad bit.

    Do you think this could be something I could legitimately mention in my secondaries or in an interview or something? I personally feel like this is something I could mention (but then again, biased I'm sure :rolleyes:) but I feel like it's also easy to get passed as someone making up excuses or something.
     
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    LikeClockWork

      Being restricted by the government sounds like a legitimate excuse to me. At least it's not like some people who try to say "I took 16 whole credit hours! I couldn't possibly have done anything else!"
       
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      BluePhoenix

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        The international students at my undergrad had no problem getting research jobs for the summer on campus. I think they had a lot of trouble working for outside companies but the school was able to employ them. I suppose that may depend on how much effort the school is willing to make and what your exact status is...maybe a student visa would have be better...I don't know, not an international student.

        So long as you did something productive with your time and didn't just sit home all summer doing nothing...it's probably ok. You can always explain in your interview that you had trouble finding summer jobs that would hire you due to your status.
         

        justapremed

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          The international students at my undergrad had no problem getting research jobs for the summer on campus.

          With a student visa, people can work within their school: research lab, libraries, bookstore, etc, as long as the school is their employer. However, I came with a dependency visa (from my dad who got a legitimate job here and the rest of our family moved her with that dependency visa) so I literally could not work anywhere :( It would have been illegal... summer job or not.


          didn't just sit home all summer doing nothing...

          Eh, here might be a slight problem. Summer after my second year, fine - research for credit & summer school.

          However, summer after my first year... is more or less blank. Little bit of music activities, but clinically empty (this was also the summer where I was like: ugh, premed, I don't want to do this anymore... I seriously got back to being a premed early in my junior year...). Later in the summer, I was like hm, I really should do something. But then realized the hospital near my house didn't offer orientations for another while and had a minimum hour requirement... you know the complications of last-minute-"I want to volunteer though I'm not trained yet!"-deal.

          And well, that's also the part of the summer where my dad was working, my mom had to go back to our motherland at the last minute because my grandmother was really really ill, and neither of my parents wanted my younger sister home alone, so I had to stay home too anyway.

          Gah, I don't know what I was thinking though - I really wish I had done something - at least volunteering - my first summer. Anyway, this is beyond the topic of interest in this thread :) I just wanted to vent.
           

          dienekes88

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            However, summer after my first year... is more or less blank. Little bit of music activities, but clinically empty (this was also the summer where I was like: ugh, premed, I don't want to do this anymore... I seriously got back to being a premed early in my junior year...). Later in the summer, I was like hm, I really should do something. But then realized the hospital near my house didn't offer orientations for another while and had a minimum hour requirement... you know the complications of last-minute-"I want to volunteer though I'm not trained yet!"-deal.


            I think I can commiserate. I was very "ugh, premed" throughout college, and I wasn't even going to apply. Every now and again, I wonder what would have happened if I cared more about getting into medical school and less about racing bikes/triathlons.

            However, it's just a waste of nervous energy. It's in the past. No point in regret. Just do your best to build a great app now.

            Also, in my interviews, I did talk about questioning my desire to become a doctor early on in the process (first 3.5 years of college). If you were "ugh, premed," you were "ugh, premed."
             

            justapremed

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              Thanks everyone for the comments! do you think it would be appropriate to mention this in the schools' secondary apps ("anything else you think we should know?")? or just something that I should feel okay mentioning if something relevant to this comes up in an interview?


              Every now and again, I wonder what would have happened if I cared more about getting into medical school and less about racing bikes/triathlons.

              Also, in my interviews, I did talk about questioning my desire to become a doctor early on in the process (first 3.5 years of college).

              Good to hear! Haha, at least that there are others like me :laugh: Well, first of all, I feel like my sGPA from sophomore year would have been higher... but as you said, it's all in the past.

              If you don't mind me asking, were you successful with the interviews where you mentioned that? I thought it might have been a bit difficult for me to handle unless I can make up for it really well :D
               

              dienekes88

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                If you don't mind me asking, were you successful with the interviews where you mentioned that? I thought it might have been a bit difficult for me to handle unless I can make up for it really well :D

                I went 2 for 3 in those interviews.

                I have to mention that I was only offered 6 interview (declined 2) out of 20 secondaries (2 pre-secondary rejections). My lack of impressive premed-ish ECs may have contributed to this, but I think applying late was a bigger factor.
                 
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