Thursday, May 25, 2017

Office Closure Alert: May 26-May 29

In observance of Commencement and Memorial Day, the Office of Admissions will be closed Friday, May 26 through Monday, May 29. Normal operations will resume Tuesday, May 30.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

On Delivering Official Transcripts...

I want to begin by noting that this blog entry pertains to students whose applications are managed by the Washington, D.C. Office of Admissions. As you should know, all incoming students must eventually provide final, official transcripts to the Office of Admissions. Some of you may have done so already as part of the application process, while some of you may have been unable to do so for a variety of valid reasons. If you fall into the latter category, here's what you need to know about submitting your final, official transcripts.

In order to be accepted as official, physical transcripts must be sent to us in an envelope sealed by the school or university

1. Not All Transcripts Are Created Delivered Equal

Again, all incoming students must provide final, official transcripts to the Office of Admissions. The key words here are "final" and "official." A common mistake we see incoming students make is that they send us their transcripts in a way that automatically renders them unofficial. To avoid having to request the transcript a second time (and paying the subsequent fee), make sure to deliver it to us correctly the first time around. 

What will our office accept as official?
  • Physical transcripts delivered in an envelope sealed by the school or university
  • Electronic transcripts delivered directly via an official online transcript provider 
  • Electronic transcripts delivered directly from the school on your behalf

What will we not accept as official?
  • Physical transcripts that have been opened and/or unsealed 
  • Downloaded or scanned copies of transcripts that you, the student, email to us

2. Electronic Delivery Is Quick Delivery

We prefer to receive electronic transcripts, whenever possible—they arrive faster, and are less likely to get lost in the mail, but physical transcripts are acceptable as well.

3. Final Means Final

If you submitted any in-progress transcripts to us during the application process, you will need to send the final official version, demonstrating your studies have been completed successfully and a degree was conferred. This applies to those graduating in Spring 2017. Additionally, if you were admitted with an economics condition, you will need to send the official transcript which verifies that you've met the economics condition.

4. You Should Check Your Email Periodically

If we are missing any required transcripts from you, you will be notified via email in the coming weeks, so please check your inbox periodically. In the meantime, review the enrollment To-Do List available in the matriculated student portal -- you'll find that this answers a lot of your questions about the next steps.

Friday, May 19, 2017

2016-2017 International Human Rights Clinic Students Present Findings on Peru, Kenya, and Sri Lanka Forest Defenders

On May 16, International Human Rights Clinic students hosted a roundtable discussion on their forthcoming report, "They Protect the Forests. Who Protects Them? The Intersection of Conservation, Development, and Human Rights of Forest Defenders." The team discussed lessons from Kenya, Peru, and Sri Lanka.

The International Human Rights Clinic is a course offered by the International Law and Organizations program designed to teach students skills for careers in international human rights advocacy and protection. These skills will be taught through the use of simulations, discussions, case studies and clinical work. Each student taking the course has the opportunity to gain practical experience in international human rights through clinical work with The Protection Project. Such work may include, writing a human rights report, drafting a model law or fact-finding mission, developing human rights education materials and programming, conducting research, etc. While engaged in clinical work, students in the course will have an opportunity to collaborate with other students in clinics at universities both domestic and abroad. Moreover, students in the course may have the opportunity to participate in conferences and panels on international human rights issues.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Doing All the To-Do’s

Fall classes will begin before you know it. So you're prepared, student blogger Daphne P. shares her method for managing time during the semester.

I am the Queen of To-Do Lists! Every week, I type up a long list of the assignments I have to get through for all of my classes. Then, I break that list down into daily lists that populate a monthly calendar. This allows me to look ahead at what’s coming (am I going away for a weekend? Do I have a special event one night?) and smartly pace myself that week. At the same time, I keep a slip of paper posted on the wall above my desk where I jot down tasks unrelated to school: doctor’s appointments, special errands, applications, volunteer meetings, etc. These are things that don’t need to be done immediately, but at some point in the mid- to long-term. I usually have a general timeline in mind but just tackle them as I can, trying to cross a couple off each week. Finally, on especially busy days, when I have more than the usual errand, in addition to my assignments, I sometimes create yet another list for that day. I combine all the things I have to do loosely in the order I expect to do them, making it easy to track my progress throughout the day.

In several ways, the simple act of writing things down provides a huge stress relief for me. Sure, putting something onto a list doesn’t mean that I’ve actually finished the reading or run the errand! However, it does ensure that I won’t forget to do it, and thereby allows me to expend my energy on whatever task I’m currently working on, rather than on trying to remember everything I have to do! Second, separating my school- and non-school-related responsibilities helps me to prioritize and balance; I can see that I should put off a trip to the dry cleaner to finish the problem set due the next day, or plan to pay some bills between readings to give my brain a break. Finally, writing everything down somehow makes it all seem less overwhelming. By first laying out the “big picture” and then breaking it up into daily goals, it makes the amount of work seem, actually, manageable! Indeed, I credit this approach to staying organized with my ability to manage grad school without neglecting the other important things in my life.

I’m sure you’ve all mastered your own time-management strategies by now! For anyone considering adopting mine, I have two final thoughts: first, keep the calendar view of your assignments on your computer (for easy editing!) and allow yourself the flexibility to rearrange things throughout the week. Your statistics problem set might end up taking twice as long as you thought it would or you might find out about an amazing speaker coming to campus; if some of Tuesday’s tasks have to be shifted to Wednesday, so be it. Consider these lists to be (ambitious?) statements of your intentions, not rigid rules. Second, get yourself a good, bright highlighter. Crossing things off those to-do lists is the best, most satisfying part!


Monday, May 8, 2017

5 Tips For New Students, From Current SAISers And Alumni

It's been one week since the reply deadline, and the admissions team is still giddy about seeing the offer acceptance letters pour in. We're honored to be able to welcome such a intellectually talented and driven group to the Johns Hopkins family. Since you're officially soon-to-SAISers, we thought you might be interested in reading a few tips from the people who were once in your shoes.

1. Take Advantage of Social Activities

Denise (MA'18) says: "Although it is undeniable that academics are important, it is also important to note that networking and making connections is very valuable to your graduate school experience. Take advantage of of the social activities (networking sessions and happy hours for example) that Johns Hopkins SAIShad to offer."

2. Come With An Open Mind

Daphne (MA'18) says: "Come to Johns Hopkins SAIS with confidence and an open mind. Remember that you were admitted not just because the selection committee thought you could get something out of this program, but because they believed you could contribute something meaningful to it. So think about what it is that you can bring to SAIS, as well as what you want to learn from your peers and professors, and come ready to shape your education." 

3. Don't Be Afraid Of Faculty

Zach (MA'17) says: "Every professor has been very willing to meet with me to discuss topics related and unrelated to their area of expertise. I have even found professors whom I am not taking classes with receptive to meeting."

4. Share Your Diverse Perspective

Taina (GPP'16) says: "One of the most rewarding aspects about SAIS is the opportunity to study in a diverse environment. So international students should know that their participation is one of the things that makes SAIS great."

5. Use The Classroom As A Platform For Discussion

Julian (MA'14) says: "You will benefit so much if you are open to new ideas, conversations and friendships. Johns Hopkins SAIS is hard work but set aside time to form your personal and professional connections from the start. One thing I learned—the hard way—is that being direct about your career and professional goals will get you a long way. Finally, don’t believe everything you read and use the classroom as a platform to engage in meaningful debates and express your personal opinion. You will be discussing them with the brightest young minds in international affairs."