I found some almost similar questions but the answers didn't help me much. I appreciate if you guide me.
I am 31 years old. I have applied for a PhD position (as an international student) in one of the top Australian universities and I’ll have interview (by Skype) next week. Now, there is three years gap between my Master's and this PhD position. During these three years, I applied for many universities and all of my applications failed. My both GPA are above 3.8/4.0, I don’t like to work on something related to my master project and I don't have any article yet. I wrote it three years ago but my supervisor who is the correspond submitted it this April. Because I need her recommendation I couldn’t do anything but polite request in order to put time for its submission.
In these three years, I participated in GRE and IELTS exam which the latter was expired two weeks ago, I wrote a review article which I think my supervisor won’t try to submit it ever. I tried to learn Python and R programming although I can’t say I am good at any of them, I participated in translation of a book related to my major. I am also a high school teacher for 11 years.
Now, Australian universities care so much about article and research background which I don’t have. There is these three years gap and I don’t know what should I say about that. I love research but I live in a small town in a deprived area of my developing country and I didn’t have any chance to participate in any research. I also had commitment to educational office to work at my home town that’s why I didn’t leave here. (During my studies I traveled around 2000 km every week to attend the university at the capital city of my country). However, now that I think about it I at least could learn some bioinformatics tools and write an article. I mean it was my fault too.
Please, tell me how to explain my situation, about the gap and no research during these years. I don't want they think that I make handy-dandy excuses. I love the project and I don’t want to lose this opportunity.