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    I guess I've bothered you guys with these questions before but I'll repeat them just to be sure - I hope you don't mind

    So, I'm thinking about applying to MPhil in Politics to Oxford and also some universities in the US. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't work experience, or any "real-life" experience count more in the US? Berkeley and Princeton, for example, publish on their sites profiles of some of their grad students, and they all seem to have been working or travelling for quite a bit before entering the PhD (including MA) programs. Is it just my imagination, or is the application process more based on academics in England? I mean, my problem is that my experince (work, travel - any, really) is basically nonexistent, and I wouldn't even dream of doing actual research with my professors.

    That brings me to another question, namely, is there anyone else who's applied/applying to Oxbridge or any other top universities from Scandinavia? What were your major doubts or difficulties in the process? The system here is totally different and I'm having a hard time figuring out where I stand in relation to other applicants - all the other ones applying to Oxbridge or elsewhere. For instance, everyone here (in Finland) is automatically admitted to go all the way to Master's when they enter a university, and basically everyone also finishes it all. A Bachelor here is pretty much worth not atending university at all. So, do you think it'd be better to finish the Master's first and only then apply straightly to the DPhil? (And please don't tell me to just give it a shot at MPhil... )

    Well, that's all this time. Oh no, btw, if you know where I could check out personal statements, a website or something, that'd be great! Like I said, we only get admitted once and even to do that by passing an entrance exam so we're never required write that kind of stuff. What do you put in it?! I'm so lost. Help me! Please?

    All i know is that work experience and extra-curricular are much more important in the US in the process of deciding to accept someone into an institute of education...

    IIRC US universities are more interested in extra-curricular stuff than top UK universities. But that's not to say that academics aren't their top priority.

    If you can, try and do some volunteering between now and sending off your application - and continue it until the interview, so that you can talk about it.

    There are quite a lot of personal statements on the TSR wiki. http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...nal_Statements

    the probability of getting interviewed for an mphil is virtually nil so don't worry about that end

    on the masters/bachelors end, there are certainly a few finns in the department, and plenty of scandinavians generally (including on the fellows' side) so they'll be used to the kind of qualification you're doing; it sounds like you'd be best served going all the way through the masters.

    Of the Berkeley politics grad students that I know, they have all taken time off to do something, ie work for radio stations, etc. It makes for interesting conversation, at least :p: It definitely is more of a long term process in the US, but it is important to keep in mind that at the top universities, you'll probably get quite a bit of funding and teaching experience.

    I was considering applying for the Oxford MPhil in Politics but I am taking time off instead for personal reasons (or to work in the new government!). In the US, not many people really go get the PhD because it really does take 5-7 years, so I think that if you have the opportunity, you should stay on for the MA and then try for the DPhil or whichever program you find interesting.
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