Archive for NYC – Page 2

Role of a SIPA Peer Advisor

Starting graduate school can be a difficult challenge for many of us, especially if we’ve been out of school for a while. Moving to a new city (NYC!), dealing again with school pressure, and juggling personal and professional tasks during your arrival can be overwhelming. Despite all these trials, I remember my first semester at SIPA as a great experience that exceeded all my expectations. Today I am certain that this positive experience started with a smooth transition to my new life: I was fortunate that second-year students gave me their advice, guidance, and support. That is why I decided to participate in the first SIPA Peer Advisor Program that was launched last fall during Orientation Week. Around 15 of my second-year classmates were selected to assist and welcome the incoming class of 2014.

I was a Peer Advisor for 24 students of the most diverse nationalities and backgrounds.  As a second-year student I shared with first-years useful information and insight to SIPA’s demanding academic and vibrant social life. I did my best to help them understand the process of searching for courses and registration; gave them details on the some of the courses they were eager to take; and explained how to get to a room that seemed impossible to find. I also shared with them some of my strategies for academic success and time management in order to take full advantage of SIPA’s and Columbia’s offerings. In the evenings, I joined them in the social events and parties that took place during Orientation Week. My advisees became so close that they still have lunch almost every Tuesday. Personally, being part of Orientation Week as a SIPA Peer Advisor was a great experience because I got to know new people with diverse interests and tons of stories to tell. At the same time, it was a nice opportunity to serve SIPA and its community 🙂

Posted by: Mariana Iturriaga-Cossío, MIA, Degree Candidate 2013 and SIPA Peer Advisor


you can’t come to us, so we’ll come to you… virtually

As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the best parts of our job in Admissions is meeting new and interesting people who want to make a difference in the world.   People make the trip to visit us in New York  or find us on the road when we are touring the country and parts of the world in the fall.  But not everyone can come to New York and we, unfortunately, can’t travel to every city in the world, so let’s meet online.

We are hosting a virtual information session for our two-year full time Master of International Affairs and Master of Public Administration programs on Wednesday, September 26th at 10:00 AM EDT.  Unfortunately, you won’t be able to see us — since we won’t have video capability yet — but you’ll hear us talk about the program, what we look for in an application, and financial aid options.  Of course, we’ll also be available to answer your questions.  So register and join us next week for a one hour session from anywhere around the world.  See you online!



On Tuesday, April 10th we are hosting our Admitted Students Day (gentle reminder to register, if you have not already done so).  If you are coming into town a day early (and before the SSOC Social at Havana Central) and have time to explore the city; two of our students captured their NYC adventure for less than $25…

By Twisha Mehta and Molly Powers

When students list their reasons for wanting to go to SIPA, there’s one that reliably makes it into the top 5 list: living in New York City. The city that never sleeps, the concrete jungle that dreams are made of, home to the UN, to Wall Street, to the Statue of Liberty. There is an infectious energy in New York, and an excitement in knowing that the world is at your fingertips. Some students complain that it’s also one of the most expensive cities to live in. It’s true that dinner and a movie can easily cost more than $50 these days, but, as in any city, there are bargains to be found and plenty of adventure to be had on a student budget. To prove a point, a group of SIPA students headed out one weekend last fall to see how far $25.00 dollars could take us in the Big Apple.

We took the 1 subway from the Columbia University 116th Street station to 14th Street. Our first stop: Chelsea Market to have a cup of coffee and gape at all the expensive baked goods and sundries that our budget would not allow.  Then onto the High Line – a recently constructed urban public space in the meatpacking district. The High Line is an historic elevated railroad that has been repurposed into a pedestrian park decorated with public art and native species of plants and grasses. New York neighborhoods each have their own distinct flavor, and Chelsea is no different. The Highline juxtaposes industrial space with modern architectural elements. The elevated space not only gives a bird’s eye view of the neighborhood, but it also provides stunning views of the Empire State building and the Hudson River away from the bustle from the street below.

After strolling along the High Line, we headed uptown through Times Square, to the Bryant Park Winter Marketplace– a wonderland of winter fun and shopping. We grabbed some fresh kettle corn and mozzarepas and contemplated whether or not to take advantage of the free Bryant Park ice skating- skate rental is just $6! Instead, we opted to make our way towards Museum Mile for a touch of culture.

As we crossed through Central Park towards the Upper East Side, we spontaneously decided to take a rowing excursion in the Lake at 72nd street. Everyone had a chance behind the oars as we followed turtles and took photos of ourselves in the beautiful fall foliage and blue skies. One hour later, we arrived on Museum Mile.

Museum Mile hosts some of the best museums in the world- ranging from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Jewish Museum to the African Art Museum to the GuggenheimTake note here, that a critical companion on our journey today was our Columbia student ID. With the ID, we get free access and discounts to dozens of museums, theaters, movies, and events throughout the city. After our tour of the Guggenheim, we crossed back through Central Park in the evening and took the 1 subway line back up to Columbia.

New York City is definitely one of the greatest perks of SIPA. Living and studying the city not only offers you a spectrum of professional opportunities, but it is a cultural education in itself.

For the breakdown of our frugal budget:

Subway Fare: $9.00

Coffee: $4.00

Lunch/Snacks: $5.87

Boating in Central Park: $15.00 (Cost per person: $5.00).

Total Cost:  $23.87 

A beautiful day out in New York City with good friends- priceless!


APSIA Fairs In NYC and DC

Next week APSIA will hold graduate school fairs in New York and Washington DC.  The fairs provide a great opportunity to speak with representatives of graduate school programs focused on public policy and international affairs.  Free registration links for NYC and DC are below and the rest of the APSIA travel schedule can be found by clicking here.

New York City Free Registration:  Monday, October 3rd from 6:00 – 8:00 PM

Washington D.C. Free Registration:  Wednesday, October 5th from 5:00 – 8:00 PM

Columbia Greenmarket

While SIPA is located in a large city, there are opportunities to connect with farmers and other small business owners that do not reside in the “concrete jungle.”  Each Thursday and Sunday on Broadway between 114th and 116th the sidewalk is filled with vendors selling delicious goods.  The following text comes from the Grow NYC Web site and I took the picture while riding into work last week – it was early so the crowds had yet to arrive.

Open year-round on Thursdays and Sundays, this market located just in front of the Columbia University gates on Broadway at 115th St.,  serves a diverse population including university students, faculty and staff, St Luke’’s Hospital staff, visitors and patients as well as Upper West Side residents. While several of the farmers attend on both Thursday and Sunday, each day has its own distinct character. Thursday’s market thrives on the bustle of the work and school day schedule, while Sundays are more laid back and neighbors come out to do serious shopping.  Shoppers will find milk and yogurt, fruit, cider, baked goods, preserved fruits and vegetables, eggs, cheese, smoked meats, pickled vegetables, maple syrup, honey, fish, and focaccia topped with locally sourced fruit, vegetables, herbs and cheeses, a lunch time favorite.

"The most global public policy school, where an international community of students and faculty address world challenges."

—Merit E. Janow, Dean, SIPA, Professor of Practice, International and Economic Law and International Affairs

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