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Hi everyone!

This is my first post, and I am an international student, so bear with me if my English is a bit strange... (I posted the same content in the global affairs forum as well)

Anyways, I am hoping to get some thoughts on the two grad programs I was luckily admitted to!

I am a Japanese undergraduate student graduating March 2022, who studied liberal arts (not sure if I can call this a field haha) in Japan. 

My career plan is to become a practitioner in the field of conflict resolution, countering violent extremism, and peacebuilding, thus decided to pursue a graduate degree that enables me to gain the necessary knowledge and experience (e.g., project design, management, m&e, and a preferably third language too) for such a profession.

Much to my luck, I got offers from GW Elliott IDS (have to self-fund 10k/year), and Fletcher MALD (self-fund 16k/year), and am currently leaning towards going to Elliott, for its location in DC as well as its lower cost compared to Fletcher.

However, looking into the Gradcafe forum, I see lots of positive posts (negatives posts equally) about the MALD, and not so much on Elliott IDS, so I am reconsidering once again...

If I summarize my thoughts, it would be like this:

Elliott: DC location (thus better connection?), cheaper option, wider varieties of fields I can study

Fletcher: Better recognition and reputation? (not sure about this...),  Fletcher Mafia, more rigorous? (again, I'm not sure about this too), prestige in the IR community?

Are my image of both schools correct?

Could anyone give me more insight on the two programs??

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