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Penn v. Columbia v. BC for Global Social Work- please help!


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I have to get back to both Penn and Columbia with an answer tomorrow for an MSW and I'm absolutely freaking out about it. I don't know how many more pro/con charts I can make! I am looking to do an MSW with a macro focus (program and community organization) that incorporates international/global social work. I have a strong interest in migration and human rights (did a summer course at York Univ Toronto on refugee issues and might go back there after MSW for Grad Diploma) and would like to try to incorporate this into my coursework. At Columbia, an International Social Welfare minor would allow me to take ~ 9 credits at SIPA. At Penn, there is an interdisciplinary Global Human Rights Certificate that allows courses from the law, business, and social policy schools- it sounds very intriguing but it doesn't seem so well known. was in Philly last week and love that city and found Penn so friendly and wonderful but don't know if they have enough for international social work and work with refugees that Columbia is more known for. I could take advantage of some of their fledgling global opportunities to craft my own program though. But Columbia has all the connections that come with being part of that institution and being in New York. Columbia SW has no global study opportunities because to them, New York is the center of the universe and they feel they can give you everything you need right there. I like New York, I'd be happy there but I know living in Philly might be less stressful (saw some of my Philly friends' apartments and was blown away by the size!) and I'd have a little more leeway with budgeting. Columbia would be ~$12,000-$15,000 more and while that doesn't need to be the deciding factor, it does stick out.


To compound to the problem, I begged Boston College to tell me if I was admitted and they graciously told me over the phone that I am but have no idea of any $ yet. I don't have to give BC an answer tomorrow so I still have time to consider it along with either Columbia or Penn (which I hate to do to another program but oh well). BC has a great focus on immigrant integration which I'm very interested in but their global practice program is something I would have to apply for and not know if I was accepted into until winter of next year. It's a highly competitive program because they allow you flexibility with where to your global field placement.  I didn't get into it, I suppose I would be happy picking something else but it wouldn't be ideal. I basically grew up and currently live next to Boston College, but would not be living be at home if I went there, I have spent enough time living at home. I like Boston and everything here is familiar and there would be little to change but I wonder if I should try a new city, even with a great program in line with my interests right in my backyard.


Any advice at all would be so appreciated. I have never met anyone as indecisive as I am- for undergrad I sent in deposits to three different schools and mostly picked the one I ended up at because it gave me a Facebook before any of the others (back when Facebook was college kids only!). I mean, it turned out fine, but I can't do that this time around. Thanks!

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