Friday, December 16, 2016

Open Day at SAIS Europe: questions and answers

Last week, dozens of visitors attended the Open Day at SAIS Europe.

Participants had a full day's schedule and got the chance to learn more about SAIS.

Below are some of the questions that came up during the day. The questions touched on a number of topics: Academics, Student Life, and Career Services.

We know the Q&A below is not exhaustive. If you have more questions, please know we stand ready to answer your questions over the phone (+39 051 29 17 811), via Skype (jhubc.admissions) or over email (

Q: What's the class size and is there room for discussion in class?
A: Most classes are small and leave a lot of room for debate and exchange of ideas. Prof. Cohen, director of the Strategic Studies program, noted that at SAIS students come from different walks of life and that diversity adds to the discussion in class.

Prof. Erik Jones, director of the European and Eurasian Studies program, mentioned that he changed
the structure of one of his classes, by making the lectures available to students as a podcast, to use the time in class for discussion.

Q: How many courses in economics do students take?
A: It depends on the program they pursue. Those in the Master of Arts (MA) program, the most popular program at SAIS, are required to take four economics courses and a quantitative reasoning course. Students in the Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA) take four and Students in the Master of Arts in Global Risk take

Q: Can students take another concentration in addition to International Economics and the second concentration?
A: Yes, this is done in the form of a minor.

Q: Do the students in the Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA) travel to do their research for the thesis?
A: Students in the past have traveled. Whether or not one is able to do so depends on they plan their research.

Q: Is there diversity from a teaching standpoint?
A: Yes. Our professors bring to the classroom perspectives from Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East.

Q: How many language courses can students take?
A: Students can take one language course per semester.

Q: How does one set up a student club?
A: Anyone can start a students club. At the beginning of the academic year, we host a Club Fair which introduces students to all the clubs that will be set up for the year. Some clubs have been in place for a long time, but almost every year at least one new club is formed.

Q: What kinds of events does the Student Government Association (SAG) host?
A: Several events a year. The first one is the Halloween Party in late October. In addition, the SGA organizes a Thanksgiving dinner where students, faculty and staff get together to celebrate Thanksgiving. For many of the non-U.S. students it's their first Thanksgiving celebration while for many of the U.S. students it's the first time they do not celebrate Thanksgiving with their families. The event is very special.

Q: Do you recommend that one takes courses in pre-term?
A: Yes. It's a great way to start your studies at SAIS.

Q: What is the work-life balance?
A: The course load is quite heavy. However, with good organizational and time-management skills, students find sometime to travel and enjoy life in Italy.

Q: How does Career Services help students?
A: Students do a professional development course at the beginning of the academic year. The Office of Career Service provides career coaching and advising and organizes career treks.

Q: What kind of careers do SAIS graduates pursue?
A: SAIS graduates can work in virtually any sector. As you can see from the report here, SAIS students enter the public, private, multilateral, not-for-profit, and non-governmental sectors.

Amina Abdiuahab

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