Archive for summer – Page 3

what’s on your mind?

New York City is experiencing a small heat wave this week.  Luckily only a few [PESP & EMPA] students are on campus.  Most of us are hiding in air conditioned (fan blowing) spaces and keeping out of the heat.  This leaves a lot of time to think…   and wonder…  So what’s on your mind?  What would you like to know about SIPA?  About New York City?  Or about the admissions process?  Let us know what you would like to read about this summer on our Blog.

First Day of Summer 2013: The Summer Solstice

The summer solstice marks the beginning of summer.  This year the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere falls on Friday, June 21 at 1:04 AM Eastern Daylight time.  The timing of the solstice depends on when the sun reaches its farthest point north of the equator (so it may fall at a different time for other parts of the Northern Hemisphere).  The summer solstice is the day with the most hours of sunlight during the whole year.  Hope you’re maximizing your time in the daylight.


Seven things you should do before moving to NYC

If you are preparing to embark on the SIPA adventure this fall to spend the next two years of your life in New York City, here is some advice on what you should definitely try and do before boarding that plane.

Pack Light

I know, you are permanently moving to New York for at least the next two years, and might feel tempted to bring along those pants that you may someday want to wear, or that old lamp you love. But New York is crowded, and space is not precisely a surplus commodity. Whether you live in Columbia housing or on your own, most likely you will have a small room, and an even smaller closet.

Read a novel

For those of you who like reading novels; this will probably be one of the first pleasures cruelly swiped away from your life by grad school. There is so much to read for every class, that reading a novel simply becomes a luxury that a SIPA student cannot afford. So use this summer to indulge in those fictitious adventures, as they will be deeply missed.


New York is an amazing city, but it can also be amazingly expensive. If you want to have an occasional dinner at a nice restaurant, go to a concert, or take a taxi to avoid a 2-hour ride back from Brooklyn on a Saturday night, you should try and save some money to help you enjoy the city more.

Go see nature

You’ve heard the song. New York is indeed a unique concrete jungle where dreams are made of. But as fascinating as skyscrapers can be, they can also be overwhelming.  So make sure you get a good dose of wild mountains and blue oceans before you head this way.

Get some rest

SIPA will be lots of fun, but also lots of work. You will have endless nights in our basement library, for which you will need plenty of energy to help you cope. So get some serious sleep and rest before going back to school.

Let go of your prejudices

If you are coming to SIPA, you are probably already on track, but it doesn’t hurt to think about this once in a while. New York is a truly diverse place, and that is a central part of its magic. So open your mind and be ready to learn from other worldviews, cultures, careers and human beings. The more prepared you are to learning new things, the better your experience will be.

Be ready to be merry

Grad school, for most of us, happens once. Chances are this will be the last time in your life to be a student at a formal academic institution. Be consciously grateful for the endless opportunities, experiences and freedom the next two years will give you.



Kick start the summer with a virtual session

Happy Friday!

If you are thinking about going back to school for your Master’s, specifically in international affairs or public policy/ public administration but can’t get to the Columbia campus.  Join us for a one-hour online information session about the SIPA MIA & MPA programs on Wednesday, June 5th at 10:00 am EDT (New York).

To register, click here.  You may also find out about future information sessions (both on campus and off campus) on our website under VISIT SIPA.



Summer preparation

I hope you are enjoying the photo submissions from our new first year students.   Maybe next year your photos will appear in our blog as an incoming student.  However, first you need to apply and be admitted… and also take some great photos for submission.

Don’t start the application just yet since the 2013 application will not go live until August.  So in the meantime, I suggest you use the summer to learn more about the programs by visiting fairs (we’ll be in DC on July 19 & July 20), scouring school websites, and attending campus information sessions.  You should also prep for the GRE (and TOEFL/IELTS), reconnect with a professor and/or a professional associate who can write you a glowing recommendation and of course think about why you want to pursue a Master’s degree – specifically in international affairs or public administration. This will help you formulate your thoughts and explain to the various Admissions Committees why you are ready for graduate school.  Most importantly, you should explore and experience life — so your discussions in the classroom will be richer.

If you missed it, check out Megan’s post on the July 10th about how she used her summer prior to applying to SIPA.



"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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