New beginnings!

In my humble opinion, this is the BEST time of the year! The temperature begins to soar (but not the humidity here in Colorado), decks/patios are the preferred dining areas, Red Rocks summer concert tickets are confirmed and the grass is vibrantly green…new beginnings! Granted, it’s week 10 so students are maxed out at this point but graduation is next Friday and we will congratulate approximately 200 new alums while the first year MA candidates will venture to exotic locales and partake in amazing internships. New beginnings!

As I was strolling across campus en route to a meeting, I saw the most lovely sign of late spring/early summer – a momma duck with 10 baby ducklings (image below). New beginnings! For those of you joining us this summer/fall, recently graduated from college, decided to quit your job and travel for the next three months before beginning grad school or are moving to Denver this summer – congratulations! Cheers to new beginnings!

new beginnings at the University of Denver
Nicole

Nicole Vilegi-Sandage
Associate Director of Graduate Admissions
Josef Korbel School of International Studies
Nicole.Vilegi@du.edu

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How can I afford graduate school?

There’s been a lot of discussion lately about the cost of graduate school. Rightly so… there’s no way to sugar coat the fact that grad school is expensive, especially at a private institution. While the Office of Graduate Admissions can’t reduce the tuition, we can certainly point you in the direction of resources that make it more affordable on the front and back ends.

For those of you in the early phase of your graduate school search, I encourage you to peruse our list of external scholarships for graduate applicants/students.
While this is by no means an exhaustive list, it is a comprehensive guide to external scholarships, grants and fellowships specifically for those interested in schools/careers in international affairs.

These external scholarships are of course in addition to Josef Korbel School scholarships which range from $10,000 to full tuition.

The thought of taking out $50,000 or more in loans to cover graduate school tuition is daunting to put it lightly. The thought of sleeping in your parent’s basement, inability to cover bills, exchanging your car for a bike and not indulging at your favorite restaurant every few weeks gives rise to sleepless, anxiety filled evenings when considering life after the six-month loan grace period.

There are two, fairly new federal programs that are particularly helpful to prospective and current graduate students interested in careers in international studies/affairs/relations: Income Based Repayment (IBR) and the Public Loan Forgiveness program.

Income Based Repayment
Income-Based Repayment (IBR) is a repayment plan for the major types of federal student loans that caps your required monthly payment at an amount intended to be affordable based on your income and family size.

To qualify for Income-Based Repayment, the following:

  • You must demonstrate partial financial hardship to qualify.
  • Payments are 15% of your discretionary income. (Discretionary income equals your Adjusted Gross Income minus 150% of the Federal Poverty Rate).
  • Payments are adjusted annually based on your Adjusted Gross Income and family size.
  • Payments can be as low  as zero.
  • If, after 25 years of payments, there is still a principal or interest balance on your loan, this remaining amount can be forgiven. For individuals who qualify for Public Service Loan. Forgiveness (see below), the forgiveness can occur after 10 years of payments.
  • Use this IBR Loan Calculator to determine if you qualify for the IBR plan.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness program
Under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, you can qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on your federal student loans after you have made 120 payments while employed full-time by certain public service employers. The 120 required payments need to be made under the Direct Loan (DL) Program (meaning you may need to consolidate your loans into the DL Program upon graduation if your current loans are borrowed through the bank-based FFEL program).

To qualify, you must make payments under one of the following repayment programs:

  • Income Based Repayment.
  • Income Contingent Repayment.
  • Standard Repayment.

I hope this information is helpful as you consider your graduate school options. Be in touch if you have any questions, Nicole.Vilegi@du.edu.

Nicole
Nicole Vilegi-Sandage
Associate Director of Graduate Admissions
Josef Korbel School of International Studies

Casey, Rice and Albright…what do these people have in common?

…their March/April visits to the Josef Korbel School (among a few other things)! It’s been quite an incredible few weeks here at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies. On Monday, March 26th, Josef Korbel School students, faculty and staff were pleased to welcome General George Casey, Jr. back to Denver. General Casey graduated from our MA in International Studies and 22 years later, is teaching a two-week course titled, “Civil/Military Relations after 9/11.”  In addition, the General was a guest lecturer in the following courses; “International Weapons Proliferation,” “A History of American Diplomacy and PeaceKeeping,” “Conflict Resolution,” “Korea,” “Ethics, Education and Change,” Homeland Security Civil Society and Human Rights, “Strategic Intel Data Collection/Analysis,” “U.S. National Security Policy” and “Contemporary U.S. Foreign Policy,” and he participated in a few Q&A sessions with the Middle East Discussion Group and the Organization of Security Students.

In addition, General Casey also shared his Korbel experience with a room full of recently admitted students. It was an incredible discussion – watch the full discussion/Q&A below. My favorite moment was when General Casey joined us at last Thursday’s wine and cheese reception for admitted students. He was chatting it up with current and admitted students alike and everyone was so excitedly nervous to meet him (including myself), even though he’s incredibly approachable.

Watch the full video of General Casey speaking with recently admitted Josef Korbel School graduate students
Photos of General Casey teaching classes at the Josef Korbel School
Photos of General Casey speaking with recently admitted students in the Josef Korbel School cafe

This past Monday, the Josef Korbel School welcomed another prestigious alum, 66th Secretary of State, Dr. Condoleezza Rice! Dr. Rice graduated from our doctoral program in 1974 under the guidance of the school’s first dean, Josef Korbel (Secretary Madeleine Albright’s father). During her two day visit, in addition to joining Dean Hill in a Q&A with over 700 attendees,

Dr. Rice was also very involved with our students. She served as a guest lecturer in a course titled; “Democratization of the Middle East,” and participated in Q&A sessions with student groups such as the Future International Administration, Denver Women in International Security and the CENEX Simulation student ex board while also serving as one of our “Professionals in Residence” events, hosted by our Office of Career and Professional Development.

Dr Rice in Josef Korbel School class

Watch the full video of the conversation with Dr. Condoleezza Rice and Josef Korbel School Dean, Christopher Hill
Take a look at some photos from Dr. Rice’s visit and more here.
Read a recent article about Dr. Rice’s visit
Podcast with Dr. Rice and current MA student and Marketing Assistant, Daniel Green (COMING SOON)

On April 13, 64th Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, will return to her old stomping grounds, joining Josef Korbel School Dean, Christopher Hill, for a conversation about public diplomacy and Foreign Service.  As previously mentioned, in 2008, our school was honored to change our name from, “Graduate School of International Studies,” to “Josef Korbel School of International Studies,” After Secretary Albright’s father who became our first dean in 1964.
For more about the history of the Josef Korbel School, click here.

But it doesn’t stop there! There are tons of events, including Linda Poteat, Exec Director of Emergency Capacity Building Project (hosted by our Global Health Student Group, Santé), panel discussions such as: Who Owns Water: The Move Towards Privatization and Corporate Responsibility and Water in the West: Scarcity and Management Issues in our own Backyard , both of which are part of the 2012 Center on Rights Development Symposium:  Dying of Thirst. Take a look at the Josef Korbel School calendar.

Just another day at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies!

Nicole

Nicole Vilegi-Sandage
Associate Director of Graduate Admissions
Josef Korbel School of International Studies

Nicole.Vilegi@du.edu

 

 

Why choose the Josef Korbel School?

Tis the season for admission decisions! Our graduate  admissions committee was delighted with the quality of our applicant pool this year and are confident we will have a stellar incoming class joining us in September. The tables have  turned and the now the ball is in the admitted students court. So what’s an admissions office to do? Well, in addition to bite our nails, incessantly check the admission deposit numbers and plan our Discover Korbel event for admitted students, we want to provide admitted students with as much information as possible so they (you) can make an informed decision when deciding which graduate school to attend. Rather than toot our own horn, I think it’s more impactful to share with you a few reasons why our current students chose the Josef Korbel School.

“Korbel is unique in having an International Security degree. That itself was hard to find in other institutions. But the deciding factor for me was the flexibility of the programs. Korbel stood out from other schools in that it allowed students the opportunity to personalize their education. At Korbel, two students in the same program may have very distinct experiences based on the concentrations they choose, the internships they complete, and the focus of their research.”
Molly Stolpman – MA International Security, 2012

“I wanted a more qualitative, traditional academic degree rather than one that’s more policy focused. I wanted a degree that is amenable to different paths – one I would be able to use in the Department of State or outside of it. The alumni also played a role. Also, as a Studies student I have more flexibility to choose my courses so I get to study with renowned professors.”
Erica King – MA, International Studies,  2012

“The Korbel School is a part of the Peace Corps’ Paul D. Coverdell Fellows program which offers Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) graduate education benefits after completing Peace Corps service. Also, the GFTEI program at Korbel attracted me because I felt it combined my undergrad and professional experience with my international interests. I believe that the program will help direct my future career in a way that is more aligned with my interests. Finally, the Denver location combines the fun and serenity that the Rocky Mountains have to offer with the hip urban culture that I missed while in Peace Corps.”
Kyle Horton – MA Global Finance, Trade and Economic Integration, Peace Corps Fellow, 2013

“I was initially attracted to the International Human Rights degree offering. As I looked into the syllabi of various classes, I was particularly drawn towards the class on Contemporary Slavery & Human Trafficking (INTS 4987), as well as Nationalism, Communism, Liberalism & China’s Rise (INTS 4460). I was also drawn to the Human Trafficking Clinic (HTC).”
Colin Lawrence – MA International Human Rights, 2013

“I had been trying for some time to transition from what was a volunteer experience into a career. I was finding that it is difficult to get your foot in the door, especially if you want to work globally and not just domestically. I also recognized I had certain skill deficiencies and wanted to rectify that situation. I wanted to expand my abilities in terms of monitoring and evaluation, specifically, and more generally really deepen my knowledge of global humanitarian policy and practice. Eventually I see myself in operations management and in organizational management. I was attracted to the Administration program because of its focus on practical training in quantitative analysis and management skills and because of the freedom it allowed me in terms of selecting electives. I saw the opportunity to position my specific M&E focus within a broader framework.”
Maureen Mersmann – MA International Administration, Peace Corps Master’s International, 2014 

“It has an amazing reputation and it’s not in D.C., New York or Boston. I was really impressed by some of the professors. Also, all the people I hired from Korbel were great. I got into some of the D.C. schools but ultimately opted to come here. I came to Denver to make time to breathe and not feel the beltway pressure that exists. I wanted to spend some time somewhere else while I’m still growing.”
Greg Maly – MA International Studies, 2012

“At Korbel, there is an openness and obvious willingness of the staff to help the students. You are not just a face; you are not just a number. It’s a small enough school that you can get to know the faculty and the staff members if you want to. At Korbel, it really feels like it is a collaborative effort to help students succeed and get into the field. Not because it ups the school’s prestige, which it does, but because they genuinely care. Also, I was drawn to the flexibility of the program itself. I didn’t want to be trapped into taking courses that I have no interest in. I feel that at this level of education, we should be able to tailor our own degree programs so that was a big draw for me too.”
Kiela Parks – MA International Human Rights, 2012

I wanted a unique perspective on international issues and the Korbel School offers that. At the same time, the Korbel School has a solid APSIA reputation and stays connected with active policymaking centers like New York and Washington, D.C. I also have to mention the faculty here; they’re not the reason I came to Korbel, per se, but they’re easily the best part of the program.
Michael Marcous – MA Global Finance, Trade and Economic Integration, 2013

“I was working for 15 years in the Pacific. Eight years in Fiji, where my wife is from. The project we were working on was coming to and end and I had to figure out what to do next. When you’re in your 40s you don’t have much leeway or the grace of time. I was interested in teaching and it became clear that an MA was a minimum. Another reason was that I was out of school for so long that I felt I exhausted my own theoretical perspective. I wanted to get back into the academic world and think.”
James Mockovciak – MA International Development,  2012

“I wanted a professional school with a strong reputation in international security. I was accepted to other prestigious APSIA institutions in D.C. and on the East Coast, but I ultimately decided on Korbel because of its location outside of the Beltway and the flexibility of its program.”
Amy Wong – MA International Security, 2012

I also chose the Josef Korbel School for my graduate studies. I’m originally from upstate NY and after serving in the Peace Corps, backpacking/volunteering internationally for 10 months and acquiring six years of random work experience, I decided I wanted to return to school to earn a degree in International Studies. I applied to two other east coast schools but ultimately decided to pursue my degree at Korbel for three main reasons. 1.) I am a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) and wanted to attend an international affairs/relations/studies school that participated in the Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows program. 2.) I wanted a program that was extremely flexible and interdisciplinary (I managed to incorporate a certificate in Finance, a certificate in Sustainability Implementation and Leadership, and concentrations in communications and international administration into my program). 3.) I’m an outdoorsy kinda girl – Colorado was an obvious choice. I couldn’t be more pleased with my coursework, interactions with faculty and fellow students and the skills/knowledge/experiences I’ve gained.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about why our students chose the Josef Korbel School. Please don’t hesitate to contact our office if you have questions or would like to chat with a current student.

Happy weekend,
Nicole

Nicole Vilegi-Sandage
Associate Director of Graduate Admissions
Josef Korbel School of International Studies
Nicole.Vilegi@du.edu