Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Pre-term, or no pre-term?

That is the question.

We are often asked whether or not one should come to pre-term.

Just what is pre-term? It is a four-week period before the start of the academic year during which students can take classes in intermediate micro and macroeconomics, Italian and English.

In general, pre-term helps students, who come from very divergent backgrounds, get on track, grow comfortable with the challenging academic curriculum and strike up friendships with classmates.

Economics is an important component of the curriculum at SAIS, and all students are required to pass exams in at least four economics courses. Students who take an economics class in pre-term begin ticking off the economics requirements early on.

Note that we don't recommend that you take more than one of the economics courses. This is because they are intensive -- a semester's worth of work is compressed into four weeks -- and you risk being worn out before the start of the academic year.

Italian language courses are very popular. After all, Italy will be your home for the next nine months, and learning how to communicate in Italian will help you make the most of your year.

Some students take the intensive Italian course. Others combine an economics course with the "survival" Italian course. The latter can only be taken along with an economics course.

The intensive English course is taken by non-native English speakers who are keen to strengthen their English language skills. The courses are at the advanced level and tailored to what one studies at SAIS.

For those who've been away from school for a while, pre-term is a great way to ease back into studying. It is also a time when many students travel on weekends. You will be busy, but you will have time for one or more weekend trips.

We feel there are many reasons why one should at least consider coming to pre-term. Our alumni agree: each year about two thirds of the class enrolls in pre-term.

This year pre-term will run from August 20 through September 16. Registrations will be open from May 19 through June 30. More information on the courses and the registration procedure is available here.

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