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VISIT SIPA AND EAT WELL ON A BUDGET!

food

It is highly recommended to visit the programs that you’re interested in applying to. When I was applying, I took  two weeks off of work and visited eight MPA programs. While I researched these programs, I instinctively ranked them in my mind from the one that I wanted to attend the most to the least. Surprisingly, after visiting the programs, my ranking of programs changed drastically! Programs on the top of my list were crossed off entirely, while schools I were on the fence,  jumped up high on the list. Factors for the rearrangement of my list include; approachability of professors, friendliness of students, sitting in on classes, as well as the ambiance of the city where the school was located.

In regards to SIPA, it was the one school that did not shift position. It was on the top of my list and remained there after my visit. The professors took the time out of their schedules to meet with me, the students took me out for some drinks at the end of the day and offered me candid answers to my questions, the classes were extremely stimulating, and New York City is amazing!

That being said, visit SIPA! See if it is a good fit, as well as NYC. While here explore the City. It can be quite daunting if you don’t know where to start. One of my passions before coming to SIPA was splurging on food. My desire for quality food has not diminished, although my wallet has since I am now a full time student. So, I have created a list of AMAZING restaurants to try when you’re here, while on a graduate student budget. This is clutch. These restaurants are scattered throughout Manhattan which will allow you to explore your new home if you decide to enroll. Good luck on your application and bon appetit!

restaurants 

 

The Visit

It’s not mandatory to visit our school but it can be helpful in your search when you are trying to identify the right school for you. It also gives the admissions office an opportunity to get to know you as a person, beyond what they see in your application.

Plan your visit ahead of time.  It allows you to schedule your time strategically and plan your travel to and from the school so you can maximize your visit.  Contact the admissions office to make an appointment to meet with a counselor, arrange a class visit so you can observe a class and professor in action, join a campus tour and meet with current students.  You can also schedule an appointment to sit down with other staff and faculty in the department of your academic interest.

Read and research the school and program before you visit.  You’ll want to make the most of your time with the people you meet so ask intelligent questions; don’t waste the time asking questions you can easily find on the school’s website and program brochure.  The website and brochure are designed to answer the most common questions from prospective students, and you’ll make a much stronger first impression if you have done your homework.

If you have time, I would also recommend visiting the Financial Aid Office. You should begin your search for financial aid while you’re researching schools; even if you don’t know if you will apply and attend if admitted.  It’s a good idea to think seriously about how you’ll finance your degree if you do eventually come to SIPA.

At the Financial Aid office, you can ask about scholarships, assistantships, and grants offered through the school, as well as external funding sources (such as student loans and special funding specific to your field of study).  Find out what the eligibility requirements are, whether you need to supplement your application with additional documentation or materials, and what the deadlines are to be considered for school funding.  Keep in mind that external scholarship application deadlines vary so make sure you submit by the specified deadlines.  Start your search for financial aid early and don’t miss opportunities to get funding.

If you have time in your schedule, you should explore the city or town — If you decide on a school (hopefully it’s SIPA), you’ll have to live in that city for two years so it’s important to know if it offers the quality of life you expect and want for yourself (and your family – if you have one coming with you).

Hopefully, during your visit, you’ll get a sense of the school, the culture of the students and faculty, the facilities, and the community.  If you are planning to visit SIPA, let us know or just swing by the office (We’re open: Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm).  See you on campus.

Office Communication Top Ten List – Entry #9

This is the ninth entry in our “Top 10″ list for you to consider when communicating with our office and applying.

Number 9 – Attend an information session or recruitment event.

While I realize not everyone can make it to New York, if you can the best way to obtain information is to attend an information session.  If you live nearby or are visiting New York this is probably the best way to learn about our programs and how to put together a competitive application.  Due to the large number of visitors and our small staff we are unable to arrange walk in appointments.  You are always welcome to visit and someone will assist you, however we are rarely able to provide extensive individual counseling appointments.

If you would like to schedule an information session, which are held every Monday at 6pm and every Friday at 12pm excluding holidays, it is best to send an email to sipa_admission@columbia.edu and then we can confirm the session with you.

We also attend recruitment events across the country and internationally as I mentioned in this blog post here. However, you are always welcome to come to the office during business hours and ask a few questions or obtain information.

"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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