Prof. Ulrich Kraehmer with the Institute for Geometry – TU Dresden, Germany, and Prof. Daniel Wohns with the Perimeter Institute, Canada, gave our weekly seminar on the topic “Time after AIMS” (March 4, 2020). They spoke about some of the challenges and opportunities AIMS students might face studying outside of Africa, more specifically in Europe and in North America.
“You will have certain gaps. Don’t be ashamed about being different, there’s nothing to hide. Most places will be happy to accept you and see your strength. When it comes to motivation and talent you’re as good as them,” said Prof. Kraehmer.
Although application requirements differ from each institution, most of them ask for english proficiency exams such as TOEFL and IELTS depending on the country, letter of recommendation and statement of purpose. In addition, in the US and in Canada, part of the Ph.D fund comes in the format of teaching assistant activities.
According to Prof. Wohns, students should answer the following questions when writing their statement of purpose:
- Why are you applying for a graduate degree in this subject?
- Why are you interested in this particular program?
- Are you committed enough and well prepared to process this degree?
Once accepted, the lecturers believe that the key point to succeed is by choosing a good supervisor, someone who you’re able to communicate, connect and create a channel between you two.
“Doing a Ph.D comes with a lot of frustration. It’s like writing an assignment, but for 4 years. It’s all about patience and perseverance. It’s less about knowledge because I can teach you everything you don’t know; it’s more about talking and understanding each other”, said Prof. Kraehmer.