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Found 8 results

  1. Hi everyone, I will you like your insights to help me decide which program to attend this fall. I was admitted to several schools however I have narrowed my choice to SAIS MIAR (50K scholarship and first year in Bologna), Pitt GSPIA Master in International Development (Full ride + monthly stipend), and Georgetown SFS Master in Latin American Studies (13K scholarship renewable for second year). I am in my last year of undergrad and my career goal is to join the USAID Foreign Service or the regular Foreign Service. I plan to focus my grad studies in development and human rights with an emphasis in Latin America because that is the region where I would like to work in the future. I also want to become fluent in Portuguese because I already know Spanish and I think that is a helpful language to do work in the region. I like all three programs, however there is some important differences among them. At SAIS I can spend on year in Bologna and the second one in DC, getting a great network at both sides of the Atlantic and having access to tons job/internships opportunities. Besides, SAIS has a great focus on econ and quant skills that would be really helpfu for my future career plans. In addition, is has a great language program where I could improve my Portuguese language skills. SAIS has also a great reputation and practitioners’ professors with many connections which would make easier getting job opportunities. However, of all three schools SAIS has the weakest Latin American program and also the larger class sizes (even though in Bologna classes are smaller than DC). Finally, even though I received a half tuition scholarship, I would be 100K in debt if I end going there because of the cost of living in Bologna and DC. Similarly to SAIS, GSPIA has a good number of econ classes. Moreover, the program is really small 15-20 students which allows for a lot of one-on-one with professors. GSPIA also has a great Latin American program and I am able to take undergraduate Portuguese classes. One of the main issues I have with GSPIA is the location in Pittsburgh which can't compare to the opportunities and networking available at DC (however they offer a semester in DC which could offset the location issue to some extend). They also have the worse ranking of all three schools and is not that well known. Furthermore, most faculty is full-time with limited connection outside academia and the career center is not as strong as the others. However, financially GSPIA would be the best option because considering the cost of living in Pitt and the scholarship they offered, I won't have to take any loans. In the case of Georgetown, its has probably the best Latin American program of all three and also great faculty with many connections. Their program is also really small with only 20-25 students. Moreover, they have an amazing career center and many networking opportunities due to the location in DC and the prestige of SFS. Besides, they also offer free Portuguese classes. The main issue with their program is that is less practical than the other schools and they don't require many econ classes (however, I could do a certificate at the SFS development program where I could improve my econ skills). Financially, Georgetown will be the worse option because I would have to borrow 112K in loans (12K more than SAIS). I would welcome any input to help me in my decision-making. If possible before Tuesday April 20th, because that's my deadline to make a final decision. Thank you!
  2. Hi everyone, I will you like your insights to help me decide which program to attend this fall. I was admitted to several schools however I have narrowed my choice to SAIS MIAR (50K scholarship and first year in Bologna), Pitt GSPIA Master in International Development (Full ride + monthly stipend), and Georgetown SFS Master in Latin American Studies (13K scholarship renewable for second year). I am in my last year of undergrad and my career goal is to join the USAID Foreign Service or the regular Foreign Service. I plan to focus my grad studies in development and human rights with an emphasis in Latin America because that is the region where I would like to work in the future. I also want to become fluent in Portuguese because I already know Spanish and I think that is a helpful language to do work in the region. I like all three programs, however there is some important differences among them. At SAIS I can spend on year in Bologna and the second one in DC, getting a great network at both sides of the Atlantic and having access to tons job/internships opportunities. Besides, SAIS has a great focus on econ and quant skills that would be really helpfu for my future career plans. In addition, is has a great language program where I could improve my Portuguese language skills. SAIS has also a great reputation and practitioners’ professors with many connections which would make easier getting job opportunities. However, of all three schools SAIS has the weakest Latin American program and also the larger class sizes (even though in Bologna classes are smaller than DC). Finally, even though I received a half tuition scholarship, I would be 100K in debt if I end going there because of the cost of living in Bologna and DC. Similarly to SAIS, GSPIA has a good number of econ classes. Moreover, the program is really small 15-20 students which allows for a lot of one-on-one with professors. GSPIA also has a great Latin American program and I am able to take undergraduate Portuguese classes. One of the main issues I have with GSPIA is the location in Pittsburgh which can't compare to the opportunities and networking available at DC (however they offer a semester in DC which could offset the location issue to some extend). They also have the worse ranking of all three schools and is not that well known. Furthermore, most faculty is full-time with limited connection outside academia and the career center is not as strong as the others. However, financially GSPIA would be the best option because considering the cost of living in Pitt and the scholarship they offered, I won't have to take any loans. In the case of Georgetown, its has probably the best Latin American program of all three and also great faculty with many connections. Their program is also really small with only 20-25 students. Moreover, they have an amazing career center and many networking opportunities due to the location in DC and the prestige of SFS. Besides, they also offer free Portuguese classes. The main issue with their program is that is less practical than the other schools and they don't require many econ classes (however, I could do a certificate at the SFS development program where I could improve my econ skills). Financially, Georgetown will be the worse option because I would have to borrow 112K in loans (12K more than SAIS). I would welcome any input to help me in my decision-making. If possible before Tuesday April 20th, because that's my deadline to make a final decision. Thank you!
  3. Hello All! I have read many insightful posts on the topic of IR grad programs and was hoping we could revisit for 2021? My options: -SAIS ($2k/year scholarship) -GW - Security Policy Studies Program ($14k/year scholarship) -Fletcher ($15k/year scholarship) (Shoutouts: American ($15k/year sch) and Texas A&M (significantly the cheapest option) I want to study Gender, Peace, and Security with a regional focus in the Middle East. I’m interested in working for the State Department or an international agency. Everyone is pushing me towards Johns Hopkins (despite the hefty bill) because of the name recognition/connections in DC. Does anyone have a say either way? As a female POC, I’m excited to study this topic but want to make sure I’m embarking in a program that has a supportive community, not just a luxe school name.
  4. Hi everyone! I was recently admitted to Johns Hopkins SAIS (MA) and The Fletcher School (MALD), and while after countless hours of comparing I’ve gained a pretty good understanding of each program, I still feel very stuck on which to choose. Within the IR framework, I’ll be concentrating in security/conflict resolution with a further focus on the Middle East. I want to use grad school as a way to open myself up to career opportunities, but want to focus on the diplomatic track, research for think tanks/UN, or even the possibility of journalism which has always been a passion. Right now, SAIS is in the lead for me because they’ve offered a very generous scholarship of $80k ($40k each year), while Fletcher has offered $50k ($25k each year). However, a serious concern with SAIS is their emphasis on economics/quant (I would have to take 4 Econ courses, a stats course, as well as a pre term math course) and I’m one of those very math-averse IR people. Fletcher on the other hand has a much more appealing curriculum, just enough Econ to give me what I need, and several professors I would really like to work with. Also, the possibility of cross registering at Harvard is another plus. However, I worry that Fletcher’s location would not be as conducive to networking, as opposed to being in DC close to think tanks, non profits, and gov agencies. Additionally, from what I’ve garnered, SAIS is slightly higher ranked/possibly a bit better name recognition. at the end of the day, I’m not sure what to choose: SAIS with more funding and better location, but less appealing curriculum or Fletcher with better/more flexible curriculum and more directly relevant faculty, but less central location for networking/internships/jobs would love to hear any and all thoughts!
  5. Hi everyone! I was recently admitted to Johns Hopkins SAIS (MA) and The Fletcher School (MALD), and while after countless hours of comparing I’ve gained a pretty good understanding of each program, I still feel very stuck on which to choose. Within the IR framework, I’ll be concentrating in security/conflict resolution with a further focus on the Middle East. I want to use grad school as a way to open myself up to career opportunities, but want to focus on the diplomatic track, research for think tanks/UN, or even the possibility of journalism which has always been a passion. Right now, SAIS is in the lead for me because they’ve offered a very generous scholarship of $80k ($40k each year), while Fletcher has offered $50k ($25k each year). However, a serious concern with SAIS is their emphasis on economics/quant (I would have to take 4 Econ courses, a stats course, as well as a pre term math course) and I’m one of those very math-averse IR people. Fletcher on the other hand has a much more appealing curriculum, just enough Econ to give me what I need, and several professors I would really like to work with. Also, the possibility of cross registering at Harvard is another plus. However, I worry that Fletcher’s location would not be as conducive to networking, as opposed to being in DC close to think tanks, non profits, and gov agencies. Additionally, from what I’ve garnered, SAIS is slightly higher ranked/possibly a bit better name recognition. at the end of the day, I’m not sure what to choose: SAIS with more funding and better location, but less appealing curriculum or Fletcher with better/more flexible curriculum and more directly relevant faculty, but less central location for networking/internships/jobs would love to hear any and all thoughts!
  6. Hi all, I've been reading through the threads to get more insights into the programs I've applied to, but figured I'd ask here, in order to get people's opinions on some of the schools I've applied to/heard back from. Thank you so much in advance for your help! Some background: I'm an immigrant, have my undergrad from a top-20 uni in the U.S. Not entirely sure what career I'd pursue, but I've applied to international development as my concentration & hoping to work either in the i-dev sector or in the World Bank/UN. What are the general reputation of the following programs (both in the U.S. and abroad)? I'm aware they're all generally well-ranked, but curious to hear about some of the advantages or disadvantages of these schools (things I won't be able to find out from their brochures or by talking to admission). I've gotten accepted to the first four on this list, and waiting to hear from the last three still so thought I'd start this discussion to get some insights - thanks again! Johns Hopkins SAIS MA (IDEV), UChicago Harris MPP, Tufts Fletcher MALD, Georgetown McCourt MPP, Columbia SIPA MIA, Harvard HKS MPP, Princeton WWS MPA.
  7. Hi there! So I'm in a bit of a conundrum, and would like to hear your ideas for solutions. I'm aiming to apply to JHU's SAIS MA by Nov. 1st for a fall 2017 entrance (I know-- I want that early deadline advantage!) I need two letters of rec, and at least one from a professor. In February of this year, a professor who I was a research assistant for as an undergrad, reached out to me to help her edit her trade dispute assessment paper to make it more agreeable and clarify complex ideas in preparation for publication at an American law journal. My job was basically to provide an educated layman's perspective on her paper. Having been her research assistant in the past, I assume she believed me credible enough to help her edit her paper. I was stoked, to say the least. Due to some complications on her end, the research assistantship was put on hold for a few months. In July--after those issues were resolved-- we reconnected to start the work again. The work went fine. Or so I thought. I prepped for each Skype date (I'm living abroad and she's stateside), we discussed and made changes levelheadedly, and it continued this way for the length of the assistantship--which was to my disbelief only a few days. In exchange for helping her, she agreed to write my letter of rec, and pay $10/hour-- above the going rate for RA compensation. In the end, she asked me for a quote on the amount she owed me. I gave her the quote--which was based on my preparation time, Skype time, and brief work done in February. I ended with a humble call to action for the letter of rec. My quote drew a sour response from her-- to the point where, out of left field, she expressed harbored frustration with the work I did, refused to acknowledge any work done in February, and discussion ultimately ended with me apologizing for misunderstanding the time I would be compensated for, and laconic, single-noted responses from her. However, in her final email, she was confusingly cordial. Short, but cordial. But no mention of the letter of rec. As an alternative recommender, I've thought to contact my French professor-- who I took a majority of my upper-division French classes with, and who has written a letter of rec for me in the past-- but it's been about 3 years since I last contacted her, and 7 years since I studied under her... and honestly my Korean is probably better than my French at this point. My questions: Is it worth trying to repair the relationship with Professor A (either for a letter of rec or just for the sake of not burning bridges)? Can a recommendation from a professor from so long ago really strengthen my application? If so, how? Thanks in advance for your insight!
  8. Wondering if anyone out there has taken the waiver examination to get out of the micro/macro intermediate economic requirement prior to starting at SAIS? I was accepted to the IDEV program and told I could take the test, but should I fail, I would be kicked out of the IDEV program and have to choose another path. Don't want to take this risk, but also was an economics major as an undergrad and took several econ classes. Just not sure what level the test is at.... Assuming I will play it safe and take the econ class in the pre-term, but wondering if anyone had any feedback? Likewise - looking for feedback on the language examination as well. What level of fluency is required?
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