The Overall Process

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I don't have much to say about the overall application process. I needed to get a handle on the logistics, but that's obvious. Again, start early. Specifically, for international applicants, applying in the first round seems advisable. At least that's what I did.

Getting a transcript from a non-U.S. school may be a drag, in particular if your university doesn't know what you are talking about. So be inventive, and show the admissions committee that you didn't take it light-heartedly.

As a German, I followed the DAAD recommendations, and created a "Student Reported Summary of Academic Record", which is a self-made transcript. I was fortunate in that I had presented my "transcript" to my first university, the University of Hamburg, while I was still studying in Hamburg. Six years and two countries later, I finally exercised this option. Talk about long-term planning...

I sent my former university a letter that explained the situation, the usual transcript request forms, and copies of my transcript. I asked my university to confirm that there is no official transcript and that to the best of their knowledge my self-made transcript is correct. My former university was kind enough to cooperate and to sign this letter, which turned out to be sufficient for the admissions committee.

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