Thursday, June 11, 2015

How to learn more about SAIS

SAIS Europe is getting ready to welcome the Class of 2016. We in Admissions look forward to meeting students, with whom we've been in touch over the last few months.

The race has been long, but fun all along. Our Office remains involved with students while they are at SAIS, but our main responsibility is to ensure SAIS continues to attract the best candidates: we now need to turn our eyes to recruiting the next class.

Students interested in learning more about SAIS and SAIS Europe, will have plenty of opportunities to get to know us up close. 

Over the next few months, we will hold several online and in-person information sessions. Below is a list of some the events we've lined up for the summer and beyond. Much more will be available soon.

The online information sessions are a great way to learn more about us. The first session will be in June. We plan to hold one session per month until December. See the dates below:

- June 29 at 6 pm Italian time (1600 GMT or 1200 EST) -
- July 23 at 4 pm Italian time (1400 GMT or 1000 EST)
- August 26 at 6 pm Italian time (1600 GMT or 1200 EST)
- September 23 at 4 pm Italian time (1400 GMT or 1000 EST)
- October 14 at 6 pm Italian time (1600 GMT or 1200 EST)
- November 26 at 12 pm Italian time (1100 GMT)
- December 10 at 6 pm Italian time (1700 GMT or 1200 EST)

The first few sessions will be generic. As we get closer to the deadline for applications, we will focus on one or two topics at each session. These will range from the application components, to Career Services, Academics and Student Life.

To participate to the session on June 29, click on the link above provided and log-in as a guest. We will provide the other links soon.

The Open Day will be on December 7. Attending Open Day is an excellent opportunity to learn first-hand what our program offers. Visitors will be able to speak with faculty, current students and staff. In addition, they will be able to attend classes and seminars held on the day. A registration form and tentative schedule will be available soon.

Amina Abdiuahab

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Some questions we are hearing

Over the last few weeks, we have received questions from incoming students. Today, we'll try to answer some of the most frequent queries.

We hope this post helps. However, in case your questions are not answered here, please feel free to comment on this post to ask your questions. Alternatively, get in touch with us. You can reach us via email at, via Skype (jhubc.admissions) or via the good old telephone +39 051 29 17 811.

Q: In my letter of admission, I was asked to take an introductory economics course. I did not sign up to the SAIS Online Principles of Economics (OPE). What should I do?
A: If you were not able to enroll in the OPE, you should look for a university-level course offered by an accredited institution. The course can be on site or online. Before you enroll, be sure to send us the syllabus so that we can make sure you will be studying the right contents.

Q: Can I take economics courses in pre-term instead of taking an introductory economics class this summer?
A: No. Pre-term courses are taught at the intermediate level. The OPE, or equivalent courses, are at the
introductory level. You will need a solid understanding of the principles of micro and macroeconomics to be able to tackle the intermediate-level courses.

Q: Can I take both micro and macroeconomics during pre-term?
A: Microeconomics is the only economics course that will be offered during pre-term 2015 in Bologna.

Q: How do I qualify to take the waiver exams in economics?
A: The purpose of the waiver exams is to allow those who have already taken the required economics courses to take more advanced courses while at SAIS.

To qualify for the waiver, you must have completed a course equivalent to the SAIS economics course and received a grade equivalent to a B- or higher. Look at this page for information on the economics waiver exams.

Q: If I waive out of all the required economics courses, can I take all non-economics courses during my studies?
A: All students pursuing the MA degree, are required to take four economics classes and a quantitative reasoning course. If you are able to waive out of all the required courses, you will need to substitute these courses with other economics courses. There will be lots of courses for you to choose from.

Q: I heard about a pre-calculus tutorial and test. Am I required to take them?
A: Yes. All students are required to follow the tutorial and take the quiz at the end. The purpose of the tutorial is to help you (and us) understand where you stand with your math skills. If you don't pass the test at the end, it'll be an indication that we need to help you with your math skills and we will ask you to follow an on site tutorial with Prof. Erika Meucci.

The tutorial is available online in Blackboard and all incoming students should have received an email with instructions. If you have not received the email, please get in touch with us.

Q: When should I take the pre-calculus tutorial and quiz by?
A: You should complete the quiz before you start economics coursework at SAIS. If you are taking microeconomics in pre-term, you will need to complete the quiz by August 15. If you are not taking micro, you have until September 15.

Q: Should I also complete the calculus tutorial prior to starting economics courses at SAIS?
A: The calculus review and test are not required prior to starting economics classes. However, you will have to do it during the year. If you can, we recommend you do the calculus tutorial and quiz as well because you may have less time during the year.

Q: I have a strong math background, do I need to take the pre-calculus tutorial and test?
A: If you have a strong maths background, you can probably get through pre-calculus quickly. Once you have taken the quiz, we strongly recommend that you dedicate your time to the calculus review and quiz.

Q: I would like to pursue a different concentration than the one I indicated in my application. Can I change concentration?
A: Yes, you will be able to change concentration once you arrive in Bologna. The only concentration you will not be able to change to is International Development (IDEV), which is the only concentration with capped enrollment.

Q: What kind of visa should I apply for?
A: You should apply for a type D visa for study purposes (visto di tipo D per motivi di studio). This visa, will enable you to stay in Italy for the entire academic year.

Q: How long does it take to obtain a visa?
A: It depends on the workload of the Embassy you will be applying from. You should ensure you complete your application at least four weeks your departure date.

Q: I have been asked by the Italian Embassy to provide proof of health insurance, but I don't have a health insurance plan.
A: All non-European Union citizens are automatically signed up to health insurance plan provided through SAIS.

In the visa request letters you have received, we address health coverage during your stay. However, we know that some Embassies require additional information. If this is the case for you, be sure to get in touch with us.

Q: I have an EU passport, do I need health insurance in Italy?
A: If you are a European Union citizen you should apply for a European health card. Such card, will give you the same access to healthcare as Italians.

Generally, only residents of an EU country are able to apply for a European Health card. If you don't qualify for a European Health card, you will be enrolled in the plan provided by SAIS, unless you have adequate coverage already.

Amina Abdiuahab