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can-bra

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  1. I don't know what prompted me to revisit this site, but given the interest in the Graduate Institute (where I'm now studying), I'd make the following observations: (1) Be cautious regarding financial calculations - it was only after arriving and speaking to second years that it became clear that the majority of scholarships are not renewed (grades seem to be the critical factor - ie, placing top 10-20% in class). Apparently this is a relatively new development, but I'm sure the financial criss will also have some effect. Having said that, I was really surprised by how many students were on a full ride for the first year, and there are plenty of opportunities to pick up career-relevant part-time work in your second year. (2) French ability is not really an issue unless you want to take Development courses (most are in French). At the same time, this means that if you want to make the most of the opportunity to learn French you'll need to take the initiative. Re working at the UN (or any int org/major NGO), I would say that a good knowledge of French (or one of the other official UN languages) is pretty critical. After awhile it seems like everyone in this town speaks at least 3 languages (or more), so that's the level of competition. I would also keep in mind though that if you're interested in the humanitarian sector, international law or multilateral trade, then Geneva is a pretty incomparable place to be (just work on your language skills). (3) Choose your programme carefully (it's not too late to switch even after being accepted). The MIS programmes are far more intellectually challenging (though more theoretical), have smaller classes (meaning you develop a closer relationship with professors) and allow you priority entry to courses in your field. The MIA is more career-focused (and the largest programme), but also lacks a departmental 'home', meaning students often miss out on the most popular elective subjects because they don't have priority. All in all, I'm happy with my choice (Geneva over SAIS, LSE, IR/PS). I can only imagine now how the mountain of debt would have affected me - certainly it would have ruled out the option of considering unpaid internships (most int orgs) and travel.
  2. Hey - just thought I'd weigh quickly into this. Having spent 6 years studying at Uni Melb and the last 2.5 working for govt in Canberra, I would definitely recommend from a professional perspective that you go to ANU. I love Melbourne, and Canberra was certainly an 'interesting' transition. But if you want to work in foreign policy/international affairs, ANU has the best faculty and international connections, and the opportunities in Canberra for work experience, internships, etc are unparalleled in Australia. I have met plenty of ANU alumni who had access to extra-curricular experiences while studying that just weren't available in Melbourne. If lifestyle is your priority though, no question, Melbourne.
  3. Previous Schools (Name, type, or tier): International, globally ranked Previous Degrees and GPA's: BA (Hons), Political Science (First Class), LLB (Hons) GRE Scores (Verbal/Quantitative/Analytical Writing): V 690 Q 720 AW 5.5 Previous Work Experience (Years, Type): 2.5 years govt foreign policy, 2 years pol sci TA, internships Math/Econ Background: nada Foreign Language Background: Spanish (basic), Portuguese (basic) Intended Field of Study in Grad School: international affairs (conflict/humanitarian) Long Term Professional Goals: work in an international organization on conflict prevention/political analysis/peacebuilding Schools Applied to & Results: WWS (rejected); SAIS (accepted, $0); UCSD (accepted, $12.5k/year); LSE (accepted, $0); IHEID, Geneva (accepted, full scholarship + stipend) Ultimate Decision & Why: IHEID. Why? Ultimately it came down to finances. I love the course at SAIS, but without financial aid was not prepared to incur that level of debt (esp against IHEID full ride). Given my professional background, am not looking for a career-changing experience, but rather an opportunity to make the shift from strategic 'national interest' foreign policy at the government level to humanitarian operations/negotiation in a multilateral context. Course-specific benefits: MIA allows for almost as many int eco courses as SAIS - a field I see as my biggest professional weakness; opportunity to learn French in-country; access to world-leading NGOs and int orgs in my desired field (for both internships and guest professors); opportunity to write a thesis; exchange opportunities in US (Fletcher, GWU, Yale).
  4. aaronayoung, what decision did you end up making? I'm close to d-day and leaning towards Geneva (largely to avoid the SAIS mountain of debt). If Geneva is my final choice I would apply for an exchange to Fletcher in my second year. Have managed to speak to a former MIA student at Geneva who said the faculty is very strong in some areas (int law, pol sci, eco) but weaker in others (dev, hist). As the school is relatively small, there's plenty of opportunity to establish close relationships with professors. It appears as well that you can get around some of the curriculum rigidity by waiving out of one of the core classes as well as going on exchange. Apparently the connections in to the int orgs and NGOs in Geneva are first rate. The course also sets you up well for a PhD later down the line (stats, research methods, thesis) should that interest you.
  5. Anyone still yet to decide over SAIS out there? Anyone who was able to attend come away from the open house with any new insights?
  6. aaronayoung If I can ask you a question, what are your thoughts on the course offerings in the International Affairs track at the Graduate Institute in comparison to SAIS? And what concentration at SAIS did you apply to? A clear difference to me in Geneva is the small selection of international economics courses. How important a factor that is, however, depends on what kind of work you would like to pursue after graduating.
  7. I'm in a similar situation. No money from SAIS v (at least in 1st year) full tuition + stipend in Geneva. Stark financial difference, but I'm still deciding. If you're interested in int orgs, particularly in the humanitarian field, Geneva is obviously a great place to be, and I have no doubt the Graduate Institute has a very good reputation in Europe. I'm not American, but have an interest in working in the US at some point. In that respect, the exchange options (Fletcher, Elliott, Yale) are a bonus.
  8. Thanks for your reply younglions. At HEI I applied for the Masters in International Affairs (MIA), which is interdisciplinary - I didn't want to focus solely on international law or economics. If you don't mind me asking, why do you think it would be easier to find work with an int org in Geneva over NYC/DC? And what about other jobs in DC outside of the US govt?
  9. Yes, another post prompted by indecisiveness. I have been accepted into SAIS (no $), LSE MSc Development Studies (potentially full ride), Geneva HEI (full ride) and UCSD IR/PS (12.5k/year) - all as an international student. Of these, I believe the SAIS MA is the most rigorous and would offer the best education (esp as I have no econ experience). Is SAIS worth taking out 80k in loans though, particularly as I'm interested in 'international' jobs in Washington/NYC, rather than trying to tap into the US govt/foreign service? I already have govt experience and would ultimately like to work for int orgs in a political analyst/humanitarian coordination type role, including in the field. Any insights/advice on post-MA Washington career prospects for non-US citizens more broadly (outside key employers like the World Bank) would be great too. Thanks!
  10. globalsun, what's your take on UCSD IR/PS in comparison to these other programs?
  11. As an international student who has been accepted into the MPIA program at UCSD (with funding), just wanted to get a better sense for its reputation in policy circles in the US (inc career prospects in the public - non-govt - sector). I've read many of the threads here and not many posters seem to have applied/expressed an opinion, despite its relatively high ranking amongst IR programs. I have also been accepted at LSE and am waiting on SAIS and UHEID in Geneva. Given I already have high-level govt foreign policy experience in my own country, I'm more concerned about employer recognition in the US (partner studying there) and Latin America (inc international orgs). Would greatly appreciate any local knowledge.
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