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Hello everyone,

I have to applied to international affairs schools and have been admitted to SAIS, Fletcher, Syracuse-Maxwell and GPS at UCSD.

Academically I prefer 1) SAIS 2) Fletcher 3) Maxwell and finally UCSD, since I consider it is too far away from the cities I want to be closed to like Boston, NYC and DC.

However, I am an international student from argentina and my funding options are limited. I have been granted a 54 k scholarship at SAIS, 64k at Fletcher and full tuition at Maxwell and UCSD.

Enrolling in SAIS or Fletcher would imply taking student debt for at least 30 k and maybe even 50 k or 60 k. The problem is that being an international student, I am not sure if I will be able to stay and work in the US to repay my loan. 

What are your thoughts on the matter? which should I take the risk?

 

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3 hours ago, sgprevide1 said:

Hello everyone,

I have to applied to international affairs schools and have been admitted to SAIS, Fletcher, Syracuse-Maxwell and GPS at UCSD.

Academically I prefer 1) SAIS 2) Fletcher 3) Maxwell and finally UCSD, since I consider it is too far away from the cities I want to be closed to like Boston, NYC and DC.

However, I am an international student from argentina and my funding options are limited. I have been granted a 54 k scholarship at SAIS, 64k at Fletcher and full tuition at Maxwell and UCSD.

Enrolling in SAIS or Fletcher would imply taking student debt for at least 30 k and maybe even 50 k or 60 k. The problem is that being an international student, I am not sure if I will be able to stay and work in the US to repay my loan. 

What are your thoughts on the matter? which should I take the risk?

 

I think there are 2 questions.

1. Should you even go to graduate school or not at all???... I can't answer that for you, because I don't know your story or financial situation. However, it is very rare to be granted that much scholarship as an international student... so you must have something really strong going for you.

2. What do you want to do????... by that how do you define International Relations. I say this because this isn't always that obvious to everyone. Some people consider IDEV IR, and some don't. I view your choice really between SAIS and Maxwell. 

Sure if you want to do pure international relations and don't mind math, I recommend SAIS over all of them, especially as an international student, you will be launched to opportunities globally with SAIS (beyond the US). Plus, by virtue of being in DC, you do have a few more opportunities to work on projects on the side than other programs. From a pure opportunity + academic rigor, SAIS is the best hands down. If you don't mind taking some risk, I really do recommend choosing SAIS.

Maxwell makes the most sense financially, but Maxwell leans heavily towards domestic policy as their strong suit. Yes, IR does happen, and I'm sure there are great professors, but its brand value lingers heavily on domestic (and I have been on both domestic and IR side). Also, it is rather isolated from everything else. If you want to get a PhD, Maxwell is a good option to start with. 

Fletcher probably has the best student community and probably the most collaborative environment, but I honestly don't like them for career purposes, especially during a recession. Yes, I know that everyone will be hurting during a recession, but especially with Fletcher being in Boston and having arguably less connections than SAIS + active project opportunities - especially for international students. I remember last recession, my SAIS friends simply did better than my Fletcher friends because of access in DC. 

 

 

Edited by GradSchoolGrad
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