What goes on outside of the classroom at the Josef Korbel School?

My apologies for the delay in posting this week’s blog…with a record number of applications; our office is a bustling place these days.

I would like to take some time to help round out your understanding of what the Josef Korbel School offers outside of the classroom. However, before delving into that subject I want to touch briefly on our course structure. Each course meet once a week for three hours which is appealing to most- no more 8:00am classes M, W, F! You can peruse our course schedules by clicking here. A full time student generally enrolls in 15-18 quarter credit hours each term. That breaks down to 3 five credit courses or 3 five credit courses and 1 three credit course respectively. The majority of the courses here are 5 credits, some are 3 and some can be taken for 5 or 3. To maximize the flat rate per quarter (currently $11,532) many students enroll in 18 credits and as a result, graduate a quarter early and save $11,532 plus the cost of living for that quarter. If you join us this autumn, that means you can graduate after the winter quarter 2011 (which ends in mid March). This is advantageous for a couple reasons – 1. You save some bills 2. You are available for employment at the end of the first quarter; new budgets are set and few grad students are graduating at this time so you beat the June rush. We do offer courses during the summer quarter however most students are burnt out by then, there are limited course offerings (generally only the international studies core classes), students prefer to do an internship during that time, scholarships do not disburse (so loans are a must) and it’s summer people – do something fun!

With all that free time, what do you do? Depending on your time management skills and how much sleep deprivation you can handle, you can pack in a lot of extracurricular activities. Generally speaking, each course requires approximately 10-12 hours of out of class time per week. Of course this various from class to class – the more skills based class may require less time, whereas the theory class may require much more. Approximately 40% of our students take on a work study position or a part time job. The University of Denver offers a variety of opportunities to work on campus and recently established a few articulated agreements with local community organizations and NGOs. Being a work study student not only saves money (averaging around $5,000/year for 15-20 hours/week) but also enhances your professional skills and rapport with faculty and staff at DU. If you want to be considered for a work study position, you MUST fill out a FAFSA as soon as possible and ideally before the priority deadline of March 1st for incoming students. You must also check the box (I believe its #26) that specifically asks, “Are you interested in a work study position?” The greater your unmet need, as determined by your estimated family contribution (EFC) and the sooner you submit your FAFSA, the better your chances of receiving funding. To learn more about student employment, click here. Part time positions are also available both on campus (library, café, etc) and off so if you don’t receive funding but would like to work. For off campus opportunities, click here.

1. Student groups
Are you interesting in organizing a panel discussing Tribunals as Restorative Justice or helping to coordinate the 2010 symposium focused on Human Rights, Globalization, and Migration? Then as a Korbel student, you may want to work with our Center on Rights and Development (CORD) . The Sustainable International Development Institute is a popular one among our Development students with its dedication to the improvement of the human condition through the creation of a more sustainable world by participating in grass-roots activism, region specific research, and the exchange of ideas and information. Are you pursuing our International Security degree? Then the Organization of Security Students, Denver Women in International Security and International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) may be of interest. Check out the 18 current student run Korbel organizations that are active in the local community and abroad. Don’t see one you want to be a part of? Then start your own! If you can rally enough students that share your interests, the office of student affairs accepts proposals.

2. Lectures, forums, conferences, discussion groups, workshops…
Nearly every day there is one of the aforementioned activities going on here at Korbel or across the campus. As an example, this month our Human Trafficking Clinic recognized Human Trafficking Day on January 11th by bringing awareness to the “People Are Not Products” campaign by wearing and handling out barcode stickers and talking with students about human trafficking. Dr. Hassan Abbes, Quad-e-As am Chair Professor of Columbia University and best-selling author joined approximately 150 students on the 12th to discuss Pakistan’s Drift towards Extremism: Allah, the Army, and America’s War on Terror. On the 20th a panel of Korbel students, professors, and a member of the Colorado Haiti Project addressed the political history of Haiti, provided a Haitian native’s view of the country and current situation, as well as the perspective of an American who has done a lot of “on-the-ground” service in the country. Other activities to get involved with this month: Middle East discussion group, how to write a policy brief, int’l politics reading group, Students for Africa meeting, etc. Rarely will you be bored or unstimulated if you take advantage of what is available outside of the classroom. Check out our calendar of events here.

3. Volunteering, Internships, Field Practicums
I bet you didn’t realize that Denver has the most nonprofits per capita in the country. Check out www.c oloradononprofits.org to check out the organizations that work with both domestic and international communities. To name a few: the 1010 project (created by one of our very own alums), The Lambi Fund for Haiti (run by one of our current students), Water for People, Project Angel Heart, etc. While many students chose to fulfill their internship abroad, there are many opportunities to get involved with the local community, gain more professional experience and network in the field of your career and personal intere sts.

4. Out of door activities
You do realize this is Colorado. Two words: EPIC PASS. For those skiers and snowboarders, you know what this means…unlimited days at Vail and Beaver Creek Resorts, A basin, Keystone and Breckenridge, need I say more? Ok, we also happen to be among the fittest cities in the country with 300+ days of sunshine (= no excuses to not take advantage of being outside). This is land of the adult jungle gym – rock climbing the flat irons in Boulder or the table mountain in Golden, nearly endless biking trails (Denver boasts the largest city park system in the country and 650 miles of paved trails), hiking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing in Rocky Mnt National Park. If you are an outdoor enthusiast you know why you would rather be in CO, for the education at Korbel of course. But, I will say, a unique advantage of our school and location is our students find a nice balance between work and play.

5. Indoor activities
For those who need hand warmers in 40 degree weather, cringe at the idea of walking to class in the winter, and/ or prefer a more urban setting, Denver has that covered too. This city is home to the second largest performing arts complex in the nation with 10 theatres seating 10,000 people for theatre, symphony, opera and ballet and an amazing Art Museum designed by none other than Daniel Libeskind. Downtown Denver while smaller than some other U.S. is chock full of highlights: the pedestrian friendly 16th St. Mall, the trendy LoDo area which is home of the Contemporary Art Museum (and the REI flagship=an outdoor junkies heaven), superb restaurants throughout Larimer Square, the list can go on and on. All this and minimal traffic along with a timely light rail train that zips back and forth from the DU campus to downtown (free bus and light rail passes for our students). Denver is also one of only two cities to have eight professional sports teams: NFL Denver Broncos; NBA Denver Nuggets; NHL Colorado Avalanche; MLB Colorado Rockies; MLS Colorado Rapids; AFL Denver Crush; MLL Colorado Outlaws; and NLL Colorado Mammoth. Beer lovers listen up – Colorado has more microbreweries per capita than any other state.

Now that I feel like a salesperson for the State of CO, I will wrap up. But after living here nearly four years now, I can honestly say, the city of Denver and state of Colorado are incredible. I’ve travelled and lived around the world and the only place I’ve found to be comparable to Denver is Wellington, NZ with its the good natured people, outdoorsy lifestyle, easily navigable downtown and long list of public service organizations. If you want to do your studies in Denver where you can be a part of an academically rigorous program (that ranks #12 in the country for grad programs in int’l affairs according to FP magazine), that provides opportunities to intern, live and network with our alums in DC (approximately 40% of our alums are located there) and around the world, if you want to balance your studies with all that CO has to offer, then apply to Korbel.

Next week’s blog: Our Director of Admissions, Brad Miller will be guest blogging. I will leave you in suspense as to the topic of his entry…


Nicole Vilegi
Associate Director of Graduate Admissions

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