Have you been looking for graduate opportunities to study in the USA?
Issue is, scholarship is a very popular option for international students. As in, tens of thousands apply to only hundreds of scholarships every year. So it follows that your chances of competing and winning a full scholarship to study in the USA are quite slim, even more so if you have plans to work while / after schooling.
So then, why restrict your options applying only for scholarships? Apart from scholarships, universities, polytechnics and colleges offer international students ”graduate assistantships” What a graduate assistantship, I hear?
I would’ve simply listed out top Graduate Assistantship opportunities to plan and / or apply for but you see, while you might know something and then think it is general knowledge, plenty of learners do not know what you know. Infact, the lack of information is so overwhelming that in my experience evaluating scholarship applications, many do not know what or why they have applied. Imagine walking into a blindfolded room. Shocking, right?
So education begins from ground level up. In future articles, we will tackle how to apply successfully for a graduate assistantship, cold calling a professor, writing a great SOP etc (Other strategies are listed in this interview).
For this article though, we define Graduate assistantship and list some of them from the United States (US) that you should apply for.
What then is a Graduate Assistantship?
A Graduate Assistantship is walking the talk. A GA enables you to get your education fully-funded in exchange for professional contribution to your major. So while your t`uition is fully paid off, sometimes along with your housing and maintenance, it comes with working in your faculty. Like having a job while studying, only that for a GA, it usually entails academic / administrative work not bartending or housekeeping. GA advances your development more than a scholarship.
In the US of A, Graduate Assistantship is of 3 types:
- A Graduate Assistant (GA): Although a Graduate Assistant works with and assists students on a daily basis. they are not required to teach the students. The GA primarily works in administrative capacity with a member of the faculty or school coach, yet the work of the graduate assistant should not be to do filing and clerical duty. Keyword is “should not”. It’ll however depend on the faculty’s pressing needs at the time
- A Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA): The GTA is required to teach undergraduate students and mentor them. In some cases, the GTA is assigned to masters and doctoral candidates in rare circumstances where exceptional expertise or experience is shown. The teaching assignment is an opportunity to gain depth of knowledge within the academic discipline.
- A Graduate Research Assistant (GRA): The GRA is employed in conjunction with the research of a faculty member in a capacity that enhances the student’s career and educational development. For the GRA, the research project may ideally result in a professional paper, thesis, or dissertation. Duties vary depending on the type of research project and may include laboratory experiments, library searches, data entry, preparation of reports, and other relevant assignments.
All graduate assistantships are professional positions that allow you to build the skills that employers are looking for. For master’s students applying to doctoral programs, an assistantship demonstrates that you are well-prepared to contribute to the department. Indeed, for many research fields, not having an assistantship during your master’s could count against you when applying to PhD programs.
How to Apply for a Graduate Assistantship (GA)?
GAs are typically awarded by a specific Graduate Course or Department or College. So you would most likely not be aware of a call for applications if you do not contact the department or college.
You would most likely not be aware of a GA call for applications if you do not contact the department or college.
Let’s point you in the direction of 30 schools in the USA that open their graduate assistantships to African / international students
So what do you say? Wanna apply to some GA positions? Let’s get cracking!