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International Development Applicants 2014/15 for SOAS, IHEID, LSE or Sciences Po?


k_angie

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Hey!

 

Okay so here goes my first post!

 

I am applying to Masters in Development Studies at four institutes; SOAS, LSE, IHEID and Sciences Po. I graduated this June with first disticntion in History Hons from Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi. I have done 3 internships, though not directly related to the field of development but along the lines of women empowerment, child rights as well as human rights and stuff.

 

Last year, I got a rejection from IHEID for the same course but given that its my dream school, i am applying again.

 

I am almost done with everything but stuck on my statement of purpose which is sucking the life out of me. Anyway, anyone else suffering from this block?

 

or applying to these schools?  Would love to discuss anything to everything or whatever lies in the middle or just share anxities together!

 

Angel :)
 

Edited by k_angie
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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Angel!

 

I am applying to all 4 schools as well in International Development! Nice to see someone else in the same boat. I've been anxiously reading the forum looking for students in a similar situation.

Let's keep in touch on this thread and compare experiences. Unlike you I graduated a while ago from UCLA in 2007 and I've been working ever since but in a field unrelated to Development I'm trying to change direction and I think that's my weakness. I have volunteered for about a year for a micro lending non profit alongside my full time job and I hope that will help show my interest in the field.

I have already submitted my application for Sciences Po and IHEID. I am now working on my statements for SOAS and UCL but like you IHEID is my top choice. Can you tell me why you think you were rejected from IHEID the first time around? Was it the only school you applied to? Any insight can be helpful to relieve the stress!

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Hey Alchyna,

I did reply on the other topic of mine where you posted regarding great schools for development. Anyway, like you, I too was searching a forum to talk and share experiences and seeing none started this topic. I too have completed my application for IHEID & Sciences Po and I am working on my statements for SOAS and Oxford.

Yeah, I only applied to IHEID last year and became a lil over confident. Apart from that, I got rejected due to one reason only, that is my letter of motivation was not to the point but about everything else in the world. It went more like an essay on development rather than as to why I want to do the course and my inspirations. So yeah, hence the rejection. Though I am keeping my fingers crossed this time and hoping to get through. I started working my butt off on it since July, making drafts and stuff. So let's see. Here's hoping for the best!

Good luck to you too :)

Btw are you targeting American Universities too?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi K_angie,

 

I'm not sure why I wasn't notified of your response even though I'm following this thread along with the Sciences Po one. Sorry about the late reply!

 

It's good that you didn't give up and are trying again to get into the school of your choice. Did you only apply to IHEID last year?

 

As for the letter of motivation trust me I think it's the hardest thing I've ever had to write! I started in August and I was making changes up until I hit the submit button. And for IHEID i had no idea about the 800 words limit so I had to cut so much stuff! My status changed on the online application for IHEID it now says 'under consideration' and I am so nervous! It is like you one of my top choices.I still have doubts about what I should have said in my statement but I tried to be clear and concise and explain what has lead me to apply.

 

I have not applied to Oxford or Cambridge because their program looked too academic and theoretical for me. I did apply to LSE, SOAS and UCL. No US universities for me, I did my undergrad here in the U.S so I'm looking to have a European graduate degree and to be honest money is also a factor. European schools are wayyy cheaper and no GRE is a bonus.

 

I'm trying to stop checking online status everyday and it's impossible! Realistically I know that nothing will change until late Dec or early next year but I check anyway...

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Hi Alchyna,

Yes IHEID was the only school I applied to. Never mind about the late reply. It's okay,

You know I am so freaking scared and anxious cuz I didn't stick to the word limit. Went a lil overboard with 100 words or so. Though, my status has been changed to under consideration and I am being hellishly positive. No more over confindence. As for the statement, I think I gave my best, like the bestest. No more scope of improvement types. So now it's wait and watch.

I am reconsidering applying to oxford cuz it's more research and academic oriented where I am looking for something more career driver or along professional lines like the programme at IHEID. Maybe I will apply to LSE. Idk, let's see. The deadline is still 1 month away.

Another thing, like you, I too keep on checking follow up page for IHEID and sciences po. I just want to have the news by mid December about my offer with full scholarship. Nothing in the world would pls me more. Anyway I hope I meet you in Geneva next year.

Btw did you get the replace button option in your follow up application? I wonder what's the use of it, given it's not functional anyway.

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The replace button? On the Geneva application? No I don't have that option I just have the option to upload more relevant documents like graduate transcripts (which don't apply to me) or are you talking about another application?


For Sciences Po I have received the 'admissible' email notification last week so I guess that's a bit reassuring. My guess is that it just means that you meet the most basic requirements and they are sending your application to be assessed. I would have been crushed to be rejected so early in the selection process. Did you receive it as well? For scholarships I know we won't find out until much later.

Unlike you it's my first time applying for graduate school and I am not confident AT ALL about my chances mainly because I graduated so long ago (in 2007) I was a good student but I'm afraid that might play against me. And also I've been working in a totally unrelated field. I've done some volunteering to improve my profile and I explain in my statement why I want to go back to school but who knows if that will be enough to explain my career change.


I'm trying to stop checking until the end of the month, now I'm just focusing on trying to find outside financing options and that's stressful too. Without some kind of scholarship I won't be able to go to Geneva or Paris.

You should consider LSE or I've come across another school I'm considering but didn't apply, Sussex Institute of Development Studies but they have a relevant work experience requirement I'm not sure I can meet.

 

About the word limit I'm sure you will be fine since for IHEID we had to scan and upload it as a pdf so it's not like they can count how many words. But the general advice is to never go over the limit and write a little less even. It shows that you can follow basic guidelines that they set. But I'm sure it won't penalize you for IHEID. I fell short of 800 by a couple of words. They said admission decisions would start Dec 20th do you think they will stick to it? Did they last year?

Edited by alchyna
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Okay so I attended IHEID Online Info session last evening. I got to know 3 things;

1. The replace button is only applicable to those people who couldn't get their referees to upload their letter and hence want to change those referees.

2. We can start checking our application status from 15th Dec as the admission committee will start updating it from that date. Last year I know people started getting offers around 10th dec for diff courses.

3. Also this time they will try to give scholarship decisions along with the admission decisions, that is, by 15th you shall know if your scholarship application was successful or not.

Yeah I got the admissible mail from Sciences Po too and talking to their Indian representative I gathered that they shall get back to applicants within 40 days of applying. So well fingers crossed. As for financing, even in am looking for outside funding and anything I can get my hands on as without it, it won't be possible to attend school.

I did apply to Sussex for Gender and Development programme. Let's see what happens I am anyway more interested in getting to IHEID or Sciences Po or SOAS. I shall be applying by 15th to SOAS & LSE too. Oxford still gives me time till 24th Jan.

As for your chances, I don't think so there should be a problem. Like yesterday, their was this prospective applicant who mentioned how he is out of school since 2006 and want to apply for the masters programme. Theses guys said that this is not a problem, as long as that applicant can explain why he wants to return back to school once again. If you have done that clearly, I don't think you should be worried.

As for my application word limit, well I had to explain one para just about what I had done since my last application. Hence the word limit was a bit out. Apart from that it was dot 800 words. Anyway I hope so it doesn't really matter.

Anyway you done with all the other applications? I have still 3 more to go and one fellowship. Sigh.

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Hi Angie,

 

Oh thank you so much for the info about IHEID! I meant to attend one of the info sessions and I did watch an info session replay months ago but the questions asked then were so basic I had done quite a bit of research already so I knew the answers. But this is most helpful!

Starting Dec 10th I will start checking like a maniac! It's good that they are giving financial aid info alongside the admission decision. It's hard to decide without all the facts!

 

Good you already know about Sussex I was thinking of Sussex but like you I am more focused on IHEID, Sciences Po and LSE  more so than SOAS because I've read a lot of threads talking about SOAS in a bad light (except for languages) and since the UK is more expensive I'd like to attend a school with more name recognition.

 

In other news I applied to UCL International Public Policy program and I already received an unconditional offer, just read the offer letter 10 minutes ago I'm so relieved that if all else fails I at least have one school to fall back on even if it isn't my top choice..So you are applying to IHEID, Sciences Po, SOAS, LSE, Oxford and Sussex? We have the first 4 in common. As for me I am done with all of them... unless I throw in Sussex now but I told my professors I was all done so I don't want to impose on them anymore and quite frankly like you Sussex is not a dream school I'd much rather be in London.

 

I'm finding it hard to find outside scholarship for internationals. i went to a grad fair and IHEID reps said that they gives out quite a lot of scholarship to first years. Sciences Po has the Boutmy scholarship and another one you can apply to once you are admitted specifically for International Dev students. British schools however so far in my research only LSE kind of gives out money and not that much in pounds it gets so expensive.

 

Thank you for reassuring me about my IHEID chances it's so hard to tell since it all depends on the caliber of students applying this year. I keep telling myself I should have written this or included that but it is out of my hands now. Like you said it doesn't really matter at this point! I did my best!

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Oh Congratulations for UCL. :) I hope you get through others too.

The info sessions are really helpful. Anyway yes I am applying to the above mentioned schools plus also have applied to Kings college. Though I am more interested in the European schools rather than the others like I said earlier.

Anyway today is 6th and just 11 more days. Shit, I am actually marking days. I guess I have really gone bonkers over this. Let me know if you see any change in your application status or anything. Let me know too. I am trying to not go over board with my anxiety.

Cheers & Good luck!

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Thank you!

 

I will let you know as soon as I find out anything or anything changes on my status.

I didnt apply to Kings College, it was on my list but again it's too security focused and I'm very specific I want to study development issues in Africa. Even UCL to be honest is more about public policies so it''s not exactly what I want to study but it will do if I'm rejected everywhere else. You applied to many more programs sometimes I wonder if 5 was enough....

 

Try not to go crazy and make yourself stop checking for a couple of days it helps to take a step back.

 

Good luck to you too!!

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I applied to more cuz last year I applied to only one school and so I was sorta compensating. Yeah I have stopped checking already. Nothing before 15th now!

Anyway I applied to kings and Manchester as well Sussex and Bristol just for kicks. Even If I get through them I won't be going there.

By the way, aren't you eligible for Fulbright scholarship as well as diff American loans for American students studying abroad?

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Oh wow! That's a lot of schools! I get the compensating because only 1 school was unreasonable but aren't you spending time and ressources applying and researching these programs you know you don't want to attend? To me I didn't see the point of applying to schools I know I won't be going to no matter what. I focused on my top 3 IHEID, Sciences Po and LSE and really combed through the curriculums and professors. There was no way I could do that for every school!

 

I'm curious to ask why you are so set on going to IHEID? What makes it your dream school?

 

Well  the kick is that I am not a U.S citizen I'm just a resident so I'm not eligible for all these grants. I just plan on putting my residency on hold to attend a European program. That puts me in a more difficult position when it comes to access to financial ressources for Americans.

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Oh well, let's just say it's guilt which was the driving force. Though I don't think I have put half an effort in those applications apart from my top 4 schools. So yeah!

Also, I have had seniors and my classmates who are alumni and current students of the school. Their experiences really impressed me. With that geneva is like heaven for people who want the exp for working in international organizations. Also their curricula is amazing. Plus the faculty again is another thing big attraction. What makes it your top school?

Ohkay, so where are you from?

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Hey! 

 

So glad to find someone else also applying for IHEID.  :) I applied for the Master in International Affairs and I'm now so worrying for the decision. I've heard that MIA and Mdev are the most popular programs in the institute. Don't know how competitive it is. Angie, you attended the information session, did they mention anything such as how many people they would admit for the inter-disciplinary programs or the admission rate?  

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Hi!

 

Glad to see a new person join this thread for a whle there I thought it would be just Angie and I worrying about our chances. Sanfan yes Mdev and MIA are the 2 biggest programs and I went to a fair but I dont remember the class size tfor each interdisciplinary masters but I do know that the acceptance rate is about 30%. MIA is the most popular masters program if I'm not mistakem. Angie can probably give more details since I did not attend an info session. It's much better than LSE which is around 10% for their Dev programs.

 

I am originally from West Africa but I've been living in the US for over 10 years now but my goal is to eventually move back and work for an NGO. And I like to travel and live in different places so working in an international capacity was always something I wanted to do.

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Hi Alchyna,

 

Thanks so much for your information. It do helps a lot. I thought it's more difficult to get into IHEID than LSE since many students in my uni went to LSE in the past few years. I registered for the online information session in tomorrow night. Hope can get more useful information. :) And really hope our results can come out soon. 

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Hi Sanfan,

Glad to see you here. Well yes like Alchyna mentioned MIA and MDEV is quite popular. Last year they had some 450 applications for MDev and 80 people were admitted. This year I think they mentioned increasing the number to 100.

Though anyway there is this whole info on student programme sizes and the continents they belong to on the website. That should help. Apart from that, I am sure tomorrow's session would help you a lot. It certainly did help me.

And good luck with your application :)

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I am originally from West Africa but I've been living in the US for over 10 years now but my goal is to eventually move back and work for an NGO. And I like to travel and live in different places so working in an international capacity was always something I wanted to do.

Oh good to know. I too want to come back to my country as well as work in the field in Latin America and Africa. My interest are basically human rights, children and women empowerment along with environment. I hope I can really do something in these fields and create an impact.

Also I would like to add one more thing, IHEID programme has an avg age of 26 years old which they mentioned in their session. So Alchyna I hope it clears some of your worries regarding the whole you being out of school for so long thing. :)

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I haven't submit my application for LSE yet because if I'm admitted to IHEID, I will not apply for LSE. Besides IHEID, I also applied for the Master of International Relations and Diplomacy in Leiden University, in the Netherlands. 

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Oh!

Well I am waiting for the same. I mean if I get my results for IHEID I won't apply to lse and oxford. *fingers crossed*

You didn't consider Hertie? Anyway how's the reputation of Leiden? I have heard about the univeristy but don't know much!

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We're in a pretty similar situation. I have heard about Hertie and I was preparing for apply it. But my professor told me don't risk cause the school was not reputed outside Europe. If I choose a career outside EU, it is better to go to a "famous" university. 

 

I have traveled most European countries. Netherlands is a very nice country and almost all the people there speak perfect English. Leiden University is the oldest and most reputed university in the Netherlands, especially in the Humanities and Social Science area I think. In spring the scenery there is extremely beautiful. But compared with Geneva, Leiden is just a small university city and it is probably hard to find internships. So I prefer IHEID more than Leiden University. 

 

Angie, did you ask the waiting list thing? I'm wondering  what should I do if I'm put on the waiting list or my application decision be postponed to the second cycle.

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Oh, Netherlands seems pretty wonderful.

Yeah I thought so too about Hertie. Hence even though their programme is good, I didn't consider applying.

And yes I did ask about the waiting list and the decision to be pushed back to the second pool of applicants. That will be a huge disappoint if that happens, cuz IHEID will define the fate of my other applications. The waiting list comes out by 30th April and you get to know about it by March. Between the period of March to April they are very cryptic about the waiting list.

Also if you are pushed back to the second pool of applicants, you get your results by March. So yeah, if that happens with me, I am going to apply to lse and oxford. Can't afford to risk it.

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Yeah, me too. Hopefully we can all get definite results before Christmas. I even checked that 15th is Sunday, so I think the earliest day we can know our results should be in the 16th of December. 

 

Since IHEID also is an unpopular institute, no idea how hard to get into compared with LSE. So quite nervous right now. 

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