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Hey guys! 

I'm currently considering these three schools and programs and would love some insight:

Master's in Global Policy Studies at UT Austin

Master of Arts in Arab Studies at Georgetown University

International Policy and Development at Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Just a couple notes: Location isn't super important. I know the argument for a lot of East Coast and big name schools is that they're ideal for networking and opportunities. However, I do have a job lined up post-grad that will be in DC, so the need to network and be in the heart of everything IR isn't as strong. 

My thoughts: While I already know that the LBJ School and Georgetown have fantastic programs, I was more drawn to Middlebury in terms of smaller class sizes, their focus on language and faculty seem to really promote the idea of decolonizing the international policy and development field and diversifying perspectives.

While living in an active city like Austin is a pro for me, the fact that UT Austin is known for being a typical party school for undergrads makes it a little less appealing. While I might've enjoyed that experience as an undergrad, I'm a little less thrilled as a potential grad student -- especially since the undergrad presence is quite large compared to the number of grad students on campus. 

I really like Georgetown as an institution, but my cons are that I've heard from peers that the atmosphere can be super cutthroat and unforgiving. I've managed to escape that toxicity during undergrad and I don't willingly want to waltz right into it. My other con is that that it's in DC. Since my career is set in stone to be in DC, I wanted to take this time to explore a different part of the US. I went to undergrad on the East Coast too and I just wanted a different experience for grad school. 

If any of you know anything about these schools or specifics on these three programs, I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences. To be honest, I am leaning towards Middlebury at the moment but the fact that there isn't too much out there about the school and students' experiences does concern me a bit -- in addition to the city of Monterey being a slow beach town that's insanely expensive. Tuition isn't a factor for these schools, but the cost of living is. 

If y'all were me, which one would you choose and/or which one would you cross off your list immediately?

Edited by yallabye
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  • yallabye changed the title to University of Texas at Austin's LBJ School vs. Georgetown MAAS vs. MIIS?
14 hours ago, yallabye said:

Hey guys! 

I'm currently considering these three schools and programs and would love some insight:

Master's in Global Policy Studies at UT Austin

Master of Arts in Arab Studies at Georgetown University

International Policy and Development at Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Just a couple notes: Location isn't super important. I know the argument for a lot of East Coast and big name schools is that they're ideal for networking and opportunities. However, I do have a job lined up post-grad that will be in DC, so the need to network and be in the heart of everything IR isn't as strong. 

My thoughts: While I already know that the LBJ School and Georgetown have fantastic programs, I was more drawn to Middlebury in terms of smaller class sizes, their focus on language and faculty seem to really promote the idea of decolonizing the international policy and development field and diversifying perspectives.

While living in an active city like Austin is a pro for me, the fact that UT Austin is known for being a typical party school for undergrads makes it a little less appealing. While I might've enjoyed that experience as an undergrad, I'm a little less thrilled as a potential grad student -- especially since the undergrad presence is quite large compared to the number of grad students on campus. 

I really like Georgetown as an institution, but my cons are that I've heard from peers that the atmosphere can be super cutthroat and unforgiving. I've managed to escape that toxicity during undergrad and I don't willingly want to waltz right into it. My other con is that that it's in DC. Since my career is set in stone to be in DC, I wanted to take this time to explore a different part of the US. I went to undergrad on the East Coast too and I just wanted a different experience for grad school. 

If any of you know anything about these schools or specifics on these three programs, I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences. To be honest, I am leaning towards Middlebury at the moment but the fact that there isn't too much out there about the school and students' experiences does concern me a bit -- in addition to the city of Monterey being a slow beach town that's insanely expensive. Tuition isn't a factor for these schools, but the cost of living is. 

If y'all were me, which one would you choose and/or which one would you cross off your list immediately?

I'm finishing my undergraduate school in a DC university. I applied to Georgetown's SFS because of their faculty and network. I would say to go with the school whose faculty is the most interesting to you. If you are interested in languages then maybe Middlebury is the best option. I would try to see if you can attend a virtual event from Middlebury so you get an idea about their program. I highly doubt you will encounter the "party scene" at Austin as a graduate ( just don't be roommates with undergraduate students). I've heard really great things about UTAustin. 

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OP, the LBJ School of Public Affairs is literally on the other side of campus, super far away from buildings that house departments with undergraduate programs, and right next to the law school. 

Additionally, most grad students live in North Campus and Hyde Park (far away from  West Campus where all of the parties are). North Campus is pretty close to the LBJ school and more affordable.

You are not likely to run into many undergraduate students if you are not a TA... Those that you do encounter will likely be honors students and those conducting research with LBJ professors.

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