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Graduate School Planning — February 23, 2009

February 23, 2009

Since my past post on January 27, I have continued to research graduate schools. I’ve broadened the list of schools that I should consider to some that I didn’t intially think I would consider, such as Iowa State, University of Iowa, and Arizona State. It seems that those schools have strong city planning programs, but may not be as difficult to get into as schools like University of North Carolina, MIT, and others.

Then, one day while I was thinking through the possibilities that lay before me, it hit me: Why couldn’t I combine my grad school experience with a little overseas travel by going to school in another country as an international student? I began thinking through that possibility and all the ramifications. Unless I went to school in one of the handful of English-speaking countries, then I’d have to learn a new language. Although I really enjoyed my foriegn language classes in high school and college, I wasn’t sure I wanted to have to learn a language and rely on that to succeed in graduate school. So, with that decision, I decided to focus only on English-speaking countries. After a little more research, I decided that Australia would be the one I’d focus on. I did a little digging and found a list of accredited planning schools in Australia. I found a few interesting things about post-graduate studies in Australia. First, Australian universities offer two types of master’s degrees: one by coursework and another by research. Second, the academic year matches the calendar year, unlike here. If I already had training in city planning, I could obtain a master’s degree by research, but since I don’t, I would need to do the master’s degree by coursework. There are several Australian universities that I could apply to, but the one that looks the best is the University of South Australia in Adelaide, South Australia. From what I’ve seen online (Google Street View is awesome!), Adelaide looks like a great city. Also, everyone says the Australians are very friendly and welcoming to foreigners. The only thing that I think would take some getting used to is the opposite seasons: Summer here is Winter there and vice versa. Oh, and driving on the wrong side of the road. 

So, that’s where I am now. I am registered to take the GRE this May and will begin pulling all my admissions materials together this Fall. I am still going to apply to several American universities but may tack on some Australian universities also. If I end up going to an American university, I would enter school Fall of 2010, but if I end up going to an Australian university, I would enter March of 2011.

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