Archive for Travel

A Quick Guide to New York City Airports

New York is famous for many things; however, having great airports is not one of them. As some of you consider traveling to New York for Admitted Students Day, or are planning your own vacation to the city, here’s are some things to keep in mind before stepping on the plane.

1. John F. Kennedy International Airport
New York City is serviced by three main airports, two of which are located in the city itself. For international travelers, you will likely fly into John F. Kennedy International Airport, which is located in one of Queens most industrial (and distant) neighborhoods.

JFK is about an hour by car into Manhattan and depending on your arrival time, it may take up to an hour and a half with traffic. Expect to pay anywhere between $70-100 for a taxi or Uber one-way.

For the more economical traveler, JFK is serviced by the AirTrain and the A/E trains. The AirTrain is a local line that connects travelers to NYC’s subway system. You will find signs in the JFK baggage area directing you to the AirTrain.

I personally suggest taking the JFK Airtrain Green Line to Howard Beach station. There, you can transfer to the A-Train and take it straight into Manhattan. Depending on where you are staying it will take a little over an hour, but there are no transfers and service is reliable.

2. Newark Liberty International Airport
For international travelers that are not routed to JFK, it is almost a guarantee that you will be flying into Newark. Located just across the Hudson River in New Jersey, Newark is actually a pretty modern and easy airport to navigate.

From my experience, a lot of flights arriving late at night or from East/South Asia tend to head straight to Newark.

Taxis/Ubers from Newark airport into Manhattan are relatively comparable to JFK prices, although at times it may be a bit cheaper.

Travelers that wish to use public transit can take the AirTrain to the Newark Liberty Airport station on the New Jersey Coast line.

You can take the line into Penn Station in Manhattan, which is on 34th St. It is one of New York’s busiest subway/transit stations and you can find connecting subways to pretty much anywhere in the city.

3. LaGuardia Airport
LaGuardia is the most conveniently located of New York’s three airports, as it is located right across the Queens Bridge in the sleepy neighborhood of Astoria. I have almost exclusively flown American carriers (cough, Southwest) into LaGuardia and it’s essentially the airport for domestic travel.

For international travelers flying American airlines or connecting through a major US city (Miami for Caribbean/Central/South American travelers, Houston/Dallas for Mexican and Central American travelers or Los Angeles for travelers from Asia) may have a connecting flight that ends up stopping in LaGuardia.

Depending on where you’re staying, taxis will likely be significantly cheaper and somewhere in the $30-60 range.

That being said, LaGuardia has the absolute best bus line in the city. For those that don’t mind lugging their carry-ons onto a bus, the M60-SBS picks up passengers from the airport and goes right across the Queens Bridge into Harlem.

You can hop off on the stop by the Apollo Theater to take any of the ABCD trains to most places in Manhattan or you can continue riding until Columbia University! The whole trip takes about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic conditions.

While trains do run from LaGuardia, I cannot recommend the bus route enough. Particularly because it costs like 2 dollars.

 

For those that have more general questions about travel, airport conditions or navigating taxis/Ubers/trains in New York from the airport, feel free to reach out! Safe travels!

SKIPA: Fulfilling promises to myself as a soon-to-be graduate

Julia Chung is born and raised in New Jersey, but hopes to be considered an honorary New Yorker. She is a second year MPA student concentrating in Urban and Social Policy and specializing in Technology, Media, and Communications. After graduating from Vassar College with a BA in Sociology and a minor in Asian Studies, Julia worked at various nonprofits in New York City on issues including housing, immigration, education, and civic engagement.

As I enter my final semester, I promised myself that I would make the most of my last five months at SIPA. This semester is going to be the one when I take the classes in topics I haven’t explored before like impact investing, energy policy, and negotiations. I will go to all the talks that seem interesting (There’s an exciting one on the Green New Deal next week!). And I will take advantage of the resources that the Office of Career Services can provide (I signed up for a resume workshop and the public service networking event!).

But, SIPA is not only about academia and the job search. It’s also about living in NYC with some of my closest friends with the flexibility in our student schedules to truly enjoy the time we have together. And so I will go to all the restaurants and museums I haven’t been to yet. I will go to all my favorite SIPA events like the Publique parties and formal Gala thrown by our student government. And, not to sound corny, I will say yes to new experiences.

One of the new experiences I signed up for was this past weekend. I went to SKIPA, our student-run, three-day ski trip. I haven’t skied in over twenty years and all I remember is falling a lot and being cold. But, I knew it was going to be a great way to see my friends before the semester gets busy and a good memory before I graduate. Also, some of my classmates from warmer climates have never skied before, so I knew I’d have some company on the bunny slopes!

We drove up to Killington, Vermont, on Thursday night and us sixty Seeples stayed in condos just at the foot of the mountain. On Friday morning, my friend, who has been skiing since she was 2 years old, gave me with a much-needed lesson on how to pizza and control the skis. I stayed on that bunny slope the whole day but met up with everybody for lunch at the top of the mountain for some chili and mac ‘n cheese. The evenings were just good fun with classmates packing the hot tub with 20+ Seeples, hanging out around the fire and drinking hot chocolate, and going out to eat at local restaurants. We repeated the same Saturday — ski, hot tub, and food. I must say that I was quite proud that by the end of trip, I was able to go to on something other than the bunny slopes.

We drove back on Sunday morning, in time to do some reading for my Monday class before the Superbowl! I must say that SKIPA trip, unexpectedly, has been MVP of the semester thus far.

To see the calendar of events at SIPA, visit the calendar here!

Meeting Africa’s funding gap to meet the SDGs and how an MDP student is part of this ambitious objective

Africa faces an annual funding gap of $1.3 trillion if it is to meet the SDGs by 2030. MPA-DP student Ji Qi traveled to Kigali, Rwanda, as part of the program’s summer placement, to work at The Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa and look at how development banks can improve their performance against international best practices and benchmarks to contribute to the achievement of the #SDGs in the continent. In his own words “I’m really glad to be part of this ambitious continent-wide initiative which can help turn the development banks into the true driving force behind Africa’s sustainable development.”

 

Commuting to Columbia University’s campus

We often discuss the wonderful diversity of students at SIPA on this blog. That diversity means students are moving to New York from all over the country and the world so inevitably one of the first questions admitted students have is about where they should live. Read More →

Finding altruism in others in Tanzania

For students in the Master of Public Administration in Development Practice program, things may progress a little differently than for our other MPA and Master of International Affairs students. For example, while MPA and MIA students may elect to spend their summer between their first and second year however they wish, MPA-DP students are required to participate in a three-month summer field placement. And I use the term required loosely, as our students always enjoy their assignments. They work in one of 30 different countries to develop practical work experience in sustainable development practice and to gain first-hand understanding of how education, agriculture, health, nutrition, energy, water and community are interconnected. It’s both a challenging and rewarding experience that’s an essential part of the MPA-DP curriculum.

To see what it’s like for our MPA-DP students, today I’m sharing with you an experience Ana Carolina Diaz, MPA-DP ’16, had this summer while she’s working in Tanzania.

Read More →

"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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