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International student - Columbia SIPA or NYU Wagner?


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Hi all, I am a new member to this Forum - have been a silent observer for quite a long time. 

I have received offers from three amazing schools: Chicago Harris (MA in international development), Columbia SIPA, and NYU Wagner. I am now having difficulty making a decision. 

Here is my situation: I am an international student, I have three years' working experiences in international organizations/public sectors - but quite junior positions. 

My husband has relocated in NYC and he is expected to graduate from a STEM program next year. I am applying for a master in the US to join him (as it is quite hard for me to directly find a job in NYC). Since my husband is in NYC, I am deciding between SIPA and Wagner, unless I am advised strongly to go to Harris. 

We plan to work for several years in the US before moving back to our home country. I would like to gain some quant skills with my master program as that may help me with jobs. I am willing to try both NGOs or private sector jobs when I graduate. I haven't had any experiences in private sectors but I guess it would be exciting to work there too. My dream is of course to go to the headquarters of international organizations in NYC but I know that would be really hard. 

I didn't receive funding from the two schools in NYC, and the tuition in Columbia is almost 30k higher than Wagner. It's quite a heavy burden for me.

And I have learnt that SIPA has a very large student size compared to Wagner. I guess I like small groups of students where each individual student might get more attention. 

But it is quite hard to turn down SIPA since it is an ivy league and more popular internationally. 

Please give me some advice! Thanks a lot! 


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