When I speak with alumni and ask them about their fondest memories of SIPA there is one unanimous first response – fellow students. Hands down the response is something like the following:
“My fellow students were the best part of my SIPA experience. I met so many people from all over the world and was able to debate issues, socialize, and learn alongside an incredibly diverse group of people. And now whenever I go somewhere in the world, I can count on a couch to crash on.”
This is not an exact quote, but basically summarizes most of the conversations I have had. If you want to get a glimpse into life at SIPA there is no better way than to get an insider perspective. Last year a group of students conducted a survey of student life at SIPA and posted an entry to the SIPA student blog, The Morningside Post. Even though the article was written last year, I think it is great fodder for both incoming and prospective students. Below is the intro to the blog entry written by Stig Pettersen, followed by the link to the full post.
One year ago, my feelings about getting on the plane from Norway to New York were very different from today. While today, I am returning to a reasonably familiar life at SIPA, heading off to live in the Big Apple and attend an Ivy League graduate school for the first time in my life was a very different experience. To be quite honest, I had no idea what to expect when it came to what my life would look like for the next two years.
How much of a workoholic would I need to be? Would I ever have time to socialize and explore the many bars and bustling nightlife of the metropolis? Would I manage to find scholarships to fund the sky high tuition fees, or would my graduation debt ricochet past any previously expected amount? Would I get the precious sleep needed to function normally? Would I make friends, or would I spend a lot of time alone? Would I find time to communicate with the loved ones I was about to part from? And what kind of people would I share my days at SIPA with?
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