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GWU/Elliott vs ETH Zurich???


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So for me it boils down to:

Elliott School of International Affairs at GWU

Master of Arts in International Science and Technology Policy

Half tuition fellowship ($12K) + extra cost of living in DC estimated $18k (no assistantships for the Elliott School)

Hubert H. Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota

Master of Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy

Full fellowship + $8k stipend

The programs are both similar, but I love the theoretical access to internships, job opportunities, etc. in DC. I hear good things about Minneapolis as well and I'll be visiting right before I make my final decision, but I can't imagine that the opportunities for internships year long are as great as at GWU. I'm worried that Minnesota will be limiting if I'm trying to find work out on the east coast. But I'm still wary about coming out of grad school with $40k debt or more. Thoughts anyone?

Edit: Well, I just got blindsided by a really, really late acceptance. I've been accepted into ETH Zurich's (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) Master in Energy Science & Technology Program. The price will come out to be the same considering the low cost of tuition and the high cost of living. The programs, however, are radically different. This one will be more focused on Energy (although I would have pursued that any way at GWU) and certainly more technical with a different focus. I imagine the opportunities following graduation would be vastly different as well. Any thoughts on ETH Zurich, or in general on attending graduate school abroad, especially with a school you cannot visit?

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If you get decent loan terms, $40k in student debt will come out to $400-500 month in payments under a standard (10-year) repayment plan, or $200-300 under an extended (20 or 30-year) repayment plan. Will the jobs you're looking at allow you to repay that?

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George Washington has no prestige advantage over Minnesota. HHH is a respected program, and the University of Minnesota is a better institution overall than GW. If I were in your shoes, I would be headed to Minneapolis, no question.

Students from all sorts of good schools - including Minnesota - get jobs in Washington all the time. They sometimes have to work a little harder at it, but an absence of significant debt gives you the time and flexibility to do so. Few things are more constraining of choice than a hefty debt repayment schedule. Just my $0.02. Good luck with your decision.

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I completely disagree with the previous poster, the Elliott School is far ahead of Minnesota for all of the international affairs programs, there are three different rankings that place GW in the top five programs in the country, and good luck trying to find Minnesota on any of these lists. The important thing to understand is that you get the Elliott School's connections with your degree, and they have perhaps the strongest career services office of any of the schools in DC. The bottom line is that, if your goal is to work in DC after graduation, go to GW, get an internship while your in school that will get you a security clearance, and you will be golden.

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Arg. Thanks for the advice. I think you guys are looking at two different things. The Elliott School program is International Affairs and the Minnesota program is Public Policy, so they are on different rankings and have a different focus. I'm leaning to GWU, but we'll see after my visit to Minnesota.

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Hello,

I am an innocent bystander, also looking at program decisions with a critical eye. So here are my facts on the ISTP program that you might consider. I do have an information bias towards GWU.

Maybe helpful:

1) look at institutions or job posts that you would want and search for alumni of your programs by keyword. You might see what they are doing and be able to envision yourself in on arena over another more easily.

For myself, I emailed some people in international science policy whose jobs I liked, my interest area, asking for suggested strong programs for science policy, and while maybe not "science"specific, GWU popped up as a suggested place to apply in most of the replies. Minnesota not so much, maybe because of the focus. I also got a job offer from SRI should I get into GWU, since its in the area, so the international internships are better, no getting around that.

2) This sounds counterintuitive, but the money in that amount should not matter, simply because both of your offers are so good. I am in the $ difference boat too, as GWU did not offer a fellowship for me (!), and the scholarship at my other top (CMU) would put me at 12-13K a year. Just to put things in perspective. The advice on looking at your future pay was really helpful. I am thinking of that myself.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I just got blindsided by a really, really late acceptance. I've been accepted into ETH Zurich's (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) Master in Energy Science & Technology Program. The price will come out to be the same considering the low cost of tuition and the high cost of living. The programs, however, are radically different. This one will be more focused on Energy (although I would have pursued that any way at GWU) and certainly more technical with a different focus. I imagine the opportunities following graduation would be vastly different as well. Any thoughts on ETH Zurich, or in general on attending graduate school abroad, especially with a school you cannot visit?

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  • 1 month later...

Hi All

I have admits in MSc, Computer Science from the following universities --

1. ETH Zurich

2. University of Helsinki

3. TKK

4. Uppsala

I'm going to go with ETH Zurich, but I need to keep a backup option in case I don't get Swiss visa. Could you guys pl. tell me which is the better university among Helsinki, TKK and Uppsala for Computer Science? Or (surprise, surprise) is ETH Zurich not the no. 1 option anyway? Is there one among the other three that is better than ETH for CS?

Thanks!

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