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riverguide

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riverguide last won the day on March 19 2013

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About riverguide

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    The River...
  • Application Season
    2013 Fall

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  1. Adam, please feel free to PM me about this...happy to share my perspective inasmuch as I have a broader experience than some of the other posters here. Keneisha's point is well taken. Gradytrip's is the usual mantra. Much of your decision should be based on what you ultimately want to do and how much debt you want to incur.
  2. Those who speak Korean or Japanese inform me that the transition to learning the other is very doable. I am simply passing on their experiences.
  3. Thanks for the "insight" DipNote. Hope that always works out for you.
  4. Your stats are good but your language abilities and overseas experiences are lacking. I would recommend the Boren/Fulbright to fill in the gaps. I would also suggest that you attend the Middlebury Summer Intensive Arabic Program at Mills to hone your Arabic skills. You need more study abroad experience and/or overseas internships/work experience. If you have that, you would probably be accepted to most of the programs in which you are interested. Your future professional goals should dictate where you should go. Obviously I'm partial to SAIS where I attend grad school. I was admitted immediate
  5. The placement exam covers the usual topics…education (yours), personal (not too), current events (including international events in countries where the language is spoken), etc. I was a waived exception to the proficiency exam…based on other reasons, Anyone can develop advanced proficiency if you work it and spend time overseas. Korean, btw, is a strategic language. You should stick with it and pick up Japanese, too. Taking the Middlebury Summer Intensive language program (in the states or abroad) is the easiest route to achieving advanced fluency. SAIS encourages its students to learn strateg
  6. The placement exam is a one on one verbal exam with a senior language instructor. It is not challenging. Intermediate mid or high are usually the proficiency levels you need to achieve before you graduate. The proficiency tests are easier than the OPI. If you study in Nanjing, you will need to be at intermediate high to advanced low to be accepted into that program. The graduation proficiency test is not challenging and they waived it for me after the placement test. You will have to take a placement test in whatever language you study. Language classes at SAIS do not count towards your GPA. M
  7. My downfall for the Pickering was not preparing for it several years in advance. I prepared for it several months before the deadline. If there's one consistent trait in the recipients, its that they started during their freshman or sophomore year to prepare for it. If you're starting now, I'd make sure you have back-up plans A, B, C & D prepared and don't hold your breath. I started preparing for the Boren two years before the application deadline and was fortunate to receive it.
  8. Armadillo: There's a few current SAIS students and SAIS grads who have NPRjunkie's attitude and opinion. Every school has them. They carry chronic dissatisfaction with them wherever they go. Some people really don't know what they want to do when they go to Grad School. NPRjunkie is sharing his experiences with you in that regard. When it doesn't work out, most switch to what does work out. You should visit SAIS and check it out. Its easy to do. Don't be dismayed by NPRjunkie's commentary or his attitude. When NPRjunkie started posting, his side bio said he was presently attending SAIS. No
  9. NPRjunkie: I'm sorry that your experiences haven't been as positive and rewarding as mine have been at SAIS. Perhaps you should consider changing horses in mid stream. SAIS by its very name is focused on I/R careers. I turned down "better branded" (sic) names to attend SAIS and in my field, it is the name brand. I interviewed others in my field and visited and spoke with students at other schools. I spoke with professors at SAIS, Harvard and Georgetown BEFORE I made my decision -and I also traveled to DC and attended a day of classes at SAIS. There have been no surprises for me at SAIS. I
  10. SAIS is a two year program. It has a rigorous economic component and quite frankly, that is what separates it from the rest. I had a minimal economics background (Macro and Micro) and I'm doing quite well. Most students take preterm and the calculus refresher course in the summer and hit the ground running in the fall. Economics are an integral part of the tapestry of I/R. The language proficiency exam at SAIS is no where near as difficult as the OPI and your language grades aren't a part of your official GPA. I would suggest that you take a Middlebury summer program and upon the completion of
  11. Pick something you know about. I used an independent research project from my studies abroad. This is an IR school so obviously the focus should be international despite the fact that the prompt says it can be national as well. The Bologna essay is actually a great example. It may be dry to you but SAIS is very economics oriented -and so is that essay. I chose a subject in my field and examined an economic aspect of it. What separates SAIS from Georgetown, Harvard and other IR grad schools is the rigorous economic component of the school's program. The ability to write short and succinct essay
  12. One last suggestion for prospective SAIS admittees; when it comes to renting an apartment in DC, everything is negotiable. Renting a great apartment very near the school is doable if you're patient, polite and prepared to negotiate. Be sure and use Craigslist.
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