Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Tips for the next Master of Arts (MA) students

A big welcome to the incoming class of students! Congratulations on your acceptance to Johns Hopkins SAIS! That's half the battle won. However, the next few years at JHU SAIS are going to be some of the most testing, albeit wonderful years to come. As a parting gift from a recent Master of Arts (MA) graduate, here are a few tips to make the most of your time here.

Tip #1 Prioritize 

  • Learn to manage your time well. Grad school can be intense, and keeping up with classes, readings, problem sets, papers, networking events, speaker series, study/ career trips, club events, happy hours, and many many more things; is bound to be stressful. Organize and prioritize your time well. Know that you can't be in two, three or four places at once. I found making a schedule, allocating hours for readings/ homework and networking events was extremely helpful in keeping me focused. Also, make sure to carve out some time for yourself. You will need it! 

Tip #2 Get to know your classmates

  • My classmates have been some of the most wonderful people I've had the pleasure to meet. Get to know them. JHU SAIS has diversity in its student body, not only due to the countries that students come from, but also diversity in thoughts, ideas, age, and experience. By keeping an open mind, I've come to learn so much from my cohort through classes, discussions in the cafe, social events, etc. Also be sure to make reading/ study/ problem set groups. I cannot express how important they are to survive particularly difficult classes. 

Tip #3 Make the most of your campus

  • No matter if you study in Washington, D.C., Bologna, Nanjing, or any other partnering institution, make the most of your time. Whether it be attending the wonderful speaker series or career events, alumni networking events, happy hours, travel opportunities through study/ career or club trips, I feel like I've gained some memorable experiences and opportunities during my time here. Each campus has its own share of wonderful. Be sure to find it!

Tip #4 Be open to new ideas and opportunities

  • During my time as an MA student, I realized a lot of things I didn't know about myself. Keep yourself open to new ideas, opportunities and experiences. Know that interests and passions change. You might find incredible opportunities in surprising ways. Be sure to embrace the new! 

Tip #5 Connect with alumni 

  • You are entering an incredible community of people that have done, and are still doing incredible work in the arena of international affairs. SAIS alumni hold a special place in their heart for the school and are always willing to speak with current and past students. Be sure to connect with those that are doing work you have a passion for, and aspire to do someday. The Career Services office does several alumni networking sessions and also connects students with alumni who do incredible work. 

Good luck on this incredible journey!

About the Alumni Blogger:                                                                                           
Poorti Sathe 
(MA '18, General International Relations)
Poorti recently graduated from Johns Hopkins SAIS Master of Arts (MA) program with a General International Relations concentration. She hopes to use her JHU SAIS education and skills to work in the non-profit space. She is particularly passionate about work that aids forcibly displaced victims of conflict and disaster.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Tips for the Next MAGP Students

Welcome Master of Arts in Global Policy (MAGP) Cohort IV! If you're reading this, it means you're one-part thirsty for a top quality education and one-part totally stretching yourself to study at Jons Hopkins SAIS while holding a full-time job. But as a current MAGP student and full-time professional myself, I'm here to tell you to fear not, it can be done! You'll come to find that as challenging as the MAGP curriculum is, it is equally rewarding. Here are my tips for getting the most out of your JHU SAIS and MAGP experience:

Tip # 1: Manage your time

  • One of the biggest lessons you’ll learn in the MAGP program is how to balance your professional and personal commitments with school. A model that worked well for me was putting together a daily schedule of readings or to-dos to help disperse the course load during your two-week breaks between classes. This means holding yourself accountable or creating reading groups (seriously, listen to Dr. Markey when he says to create reading groups) to help hold one another accountable. 

Tip #2: Have an open mind

  • There is no better time than during your studies at JHU SAIS to explore your intellectual curiosity. You may think that monetary policy or nuclear proliferation have absolutely nothing to do with your day job, but the beauty of the MAGP program is that you get exposure to a little bit of everything. Having an open mind and eagerness to learn not only makes you a more informed citizen but a more dynamic and thoughtful employee.

Tip #3: Get to know your classmates

  • The cohort-style set-up is an incredible asset to the MAGP program- don’t squander it! Get to know your classmates and explore careers and experiences foreign to your own. The truth is that you’ll learn just as much from your peers, as you will from your professors. Make a concerted effort to tap into both your similarities and differences and I promise that it will greatly enhance your learning experience at JHU SAIS.

Tip #4: Know you can’t do it all

  • You’ll find yourself in a predicament where there are hundreds of pages to read, but only so many hours in the day. You simply can’t do it all, and you simply can’t expect yourself to do it all. It’ll be up to you to find the right balance between work, life, and school. And on occasion, you’ll have to be comfortable saying “no”- whether it’s forgoing that extra glass of wine at the Argentinian embassy or staying in on a sunny day to write a paper.

About the Student Blogger:                                                                                           
Ashley Kennedy (MAGP '18)
Ashley M. Kennedy is a current student at JHU SAIS in the Master of Arts in Global Policy (MAGP) program. She is a trade policy wonk and currently works in international public policy at Nielsen, a global measurement and data analytics company. Prior to that, Ashley spearheaded international IPR policy advocacy in trade agreements and within international organizations at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She is really looking forward to reading fiction again after graduation in December.

Monday, July 2, 2018

July 2018 Events

A special visit from Bill Gates during the month of June 

Virtual Information Sessions:

On-Campus Information Sessions:

Global Coffee Chats:

Office Hours:

Thursday, May 31, 2018

June 2018 Events

Virtual Information Sessions:

On-Campus Information Sessions:

Off-Campus Information Sessions:

Office Hours:

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

School’s out for summer…but not at JHU SAIS!

In less than a week, we will be welcoming hundreds of degree and non-degree students to campus for JHU SAIS Summer Programs.  Taught by full-time faculty and adjuncts, Johns Hopkins SAIS offers 20 different international relations themed courses each summer.  Additionally, students can pursue language studies through the Summer Language Institute in Arabic, Chinese and Russian at the beginner, intermediate and novice level.  If you’re considering applying to Johns Hopkins SAIS but want to first get a feel for the courses, this is a great way to test the waters.  Non-language courses can be transferred to most of JHU SAIS’ degree programs.

Looking to gain a competitive edge but don’t want to spend the time and money on a full degree program? Johns Hopkins SAIS offers three different professional certificates that you can take classes towards year round.  Certificates require just four classes and are eligible for federal financial aid:

·         Certificate in International Studies—Best for students who want to design their own curriculum.
o   Requirements: Theories of International Relations and three electives

·         Certificate in International Development—Best for students who want to improve their general knowledge of international relations.
o   Requirements: Comparative Politics, Introduction to Economic Development, and two electives offered by or cross-listed with the International Development program

·         Certificate in International Economics—Best for students who want to gain specific quantitative and qualitative skills in economic theory and practice.
o   Requirements: Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, International Trade Theory, and International Monetary Theory

Reach out to the Office of Summer (sais.summer@jhu.edu) and Non-Degree Programs (saisnondegree@jhu.edu) so we can hear about your academic and professional goals and help recommend specific courses.  We look forward to welcoming you to Johns Hopkins SAIS!  

About the Staff Blogger:                                                                                           
Kirsten Sardi 
Kirsten is the Director of Continuing Education & Non-Degree programs at Johns Hopkins SAIS. She is originally from North Carolina but moved to Washington, D.C. to pursue a masters in International Education and is still here...seven years later. She is a Francophile, travel fanatic, and firm believer in continuing education as she aspires to learn Spanish. You can reach her at ksardi1@jhu.edu.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Tips for the Next MIPP Students

As an MIPP recent graduate, I wanted to share some tips for the incoming cohort of MIPP students.

Tip #1: You’re not alone

  • Know that everyone is in the same boat as you. MIPPers have been out of school for close to a decade, so getting used to classes, schoolwork, and deadlines can be difficult at first. But, you are not alone and should lean on the cohort for support (especially during the MIPP-only weekly happy hours). The MIPP cohort is one of the best parts of SAIS, so be sure to get to know your fellow MIPPers. They come from diverse backgrounds and bring different perspectives to the classroom. You'll make some great lifelong friends.

Tip #2: Manage your time, the year goes by extremely quickly!

  • Take in every moment, and try not to feel overwhelmed. School can be time-consuming, but be sure to attend events on campus and off. SAIS is located centrally/close to several think tanks. Be present. Use your time effectively. So, if you're studying, just study. Don't get distracted by social media etc. 

Tip #3: Challenge yourself

  • Take the year to take classes out of your comfort zone to broaden your knowledge base. I used the year to take classes I had no background in. Don't be afraid to step outside your comfort zone.

Tip #4: Start early

  • If you are looking to pivot career, or need to job search, start the networking process early. Career services can provide you with alumni contact details in the fields that you are interested in going into. 

Tip #5: Take advantage of the language program

  • SAIS also has a great language department that you should take advantage of. Language classes are a lot of fun and it's nice to take a break from regular classes. Language does not count towards your GPA. 

Tip #6: Reach out to your faculty

  • The professors also realize that MIPPers are unique. They are always willing to meet with you and provide assistance as long as you are proactive and putting in the work. 

Tip #7: Learn to find a balance

  • Also, be proactive in managing your stress. I took yoga classes and meditated regularly. Meditation helped me put things in perspective, manage a large caseload and organize various social activities. While at SAIS, I was the social chair, interned over one semester, and was part of a team that interviewed incoming students and took 10 classes over the course of one year. It's natural to feel bogged down, and that's why it's important to manage priorities and make sure you stay balanced. 

About the Alumni Blogger:                                                                                           
Deepti Nagaraja (MIPP '17, Energy, Resource and Environment)
Deepti Nagaraja recently graduated from the SAIS MIPP program with a concentration in Energy, Resources and Environment. She is interested in global healthcare and international development building on her decade of private sector experience. She would like to combine her project management experience in healthcare and finance with the policy issues she is passionate about: namely healthcare and its various economic and political drivers.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Open House 2018 Highlights

Each year, we welcome newly admitted students to the Johns Hopkins SAIS community by way of the Admitted Student Open House. This year, on April 11, 2018, we held our Open House event on our very own DC campus where students were able to attend various panels and lectures, speak with current students and alumni, mingle with faculty, and ask various questions about our different concentrations and degrees.

Here are some highlights from the event:
Greg Asbed and Dean Vali Nasr
A Q&A discussion with Dean Vali Nasr and alumnus Greg Asbed to kick off the Open House
Johns Hopkins SAIS Faculty Panel
Remarks and Q&A session with members of the Johns Hopkins SAIS faculty
Johns Hopkins SAIS Breakout session
Presentations from various staffs and departments ranging from academic affairs to financial aid
Johns Hopkins SAIS Student Life Panel
Breakout sessions with current students to talk about student life at Johns Hopkins SAIS
Johns Hopkins SAIS Open House 2018
Alumni panel to share about life after graduating from Johns Hopkins SAIS

Johns Hopkins SAIS Academic Fair
Academic fairs and opportunities to speak with program coordinators
Johns Hopkins SAIS Open House Evening Reception
Evening reception at Brookings Institution
Johns Hopkins Student Fair
Student Clubs Fair where representatives from various student clubs were available to provide information and answer questions about the different activities and opportunities on campus

After a full day at the Open House, I feel confident to say that our staff, faculty, current students, and alumni are excited to welcome the new class of JHU SAISers to our campus this fall. It's been a pleasure being able to meet most of you during the event and I look forward to meeting all of you when the new school year starts.

About the Staff Blogger:                                                                                           
Rebecca Chun 
Rebecca Chun is one of the Admissions Coordinator at the Washington, DC Admissions Office. She is a California native who decided to transition over to the east coast after living abroad in Asia for the past 4 years to pursue a career in higher education. If you have any questions, you can always reach her by email at rchun5@jhu.edu.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Student Life: Housing in Washington, DC

searching for housing in Washington, DC
Trying to find housing in DC, especially if it is your first time here, could be daunting. The housing market in DC is ruthless as it is highly competitive and moves very quickly. However, that does not mean that it is impossible. 

Here are some resources and tips to help you get a head start on your house hunting in DC. 

Firstly, start looking for places around 2 to 1.5 months before when you plan to move in. Too early would mean that nothing would be available but you also want to make sure that you are not searching at the very last-minute.  

Before starting your search, there are a few questions that you have to ask yourself to help you narrow down your search: 
  1. How much are you willing to spend per month?  
  2. Would you like to have roommates or do you plan on living on your own? 
  3. How would you be planning to get to school? By foot, bike or public transportation?  
  4. What are some things that you consider essential in your place? Eg. laundry facilities, pets allowed? 
Reflecting upon these questions would allow you to determine which neighborhood you should be looking at while keeping your budget in mind. Rental prices in DC vary according to location and the condition of the house while sharing a group house with others generally would be cheaper. As SAIS is located in Dupont Circle, majority of SAIS students live in neighborhoods such as Dupont Circle, Foggy Bottom, Logan Circle, Adams Morgan, and Columbia Heights. SAIS is also conveniently located by the red-line Dupont Circle Metro stop so you may want to consider other neighborhoods outside the District such as Rosslyn or Arlington, VA that are metro-accessible and possibly cheaper. 

Check out some of the neighborhood guides such as Compass and Urban Igloo so that you could have a better feel of each neighborhood. Also, check out the safety of a neighborhood by using CrimeDC.com and Crime Map 

Some housing resources to assist your search:

While these resources are helpful, remember to be cautious of fraudulent postings. Especially if it seems too good to be true, take extra steps in making sure that the agent or landlord you are communicating is genuine. Be extra cautious with places that require you to submit a security deposit before seeing the place or before the lease agreement has been signed. 

Documents you may need to apply for a lease:
  • Copy of identification eg. valid driver’s license, passport, I-20, student visa  
  • Proof of income 
    • Most recent pay statements, most recent W-2 tax statement if self-employed, financial aid/sponsorship documents 
  • Acceptance letter from SAIS 
  • Application form and fee  
When you do a viewing, it is best if you come with all the necessary materials required to apply for a leasing application. The housing market in DC moves fast, so if you see a place that you are sure about, just go for it.  

Good luck! 

About the Student Blogger:                                                                                           
Nadia Esham (MA, South East Asia Studies)

Nadia Esham is currently a first-year MA student at SAIS concentrating in Southeast Asia Studies. Originally from Malaysia, she is currently pursuing a specialization in Quantitative Methods and Economic Theory at SAIS and is interested in socio-economic development in Southeast Asia