Archive for Migration Working Group

Getting Involved in Campus – Inside and Outside SIPA

Of course, you’re thinking of applying to SIPA for all the great classes climate policy and impact investing we have and all the super smart professors butttttt…….you might be forgetting something……


The people at SIPA is one of SIPA’s best attributes. The people here are awesome and one very important way to meet more people is getting involved in campus groups and student life!!!! I myself, am the Communications and Marketing Chair of SIPA Students of Color, aka, I tell people in SIPA about the events and talks we are having as well as spending a lot of time looking up memes for newsletters. Due to this role, I have met some cool people who I am glad to say are very good friends (awwww <33).

There are many great student organizations here, some of which include Digital & Cyber Group, Migration Working Group and SIPA Pan-African Network. Anything you are interested in policy-wise, you can find it at SIPA. And if you can’t find it, you can start a new group. You’ll soon be drowning in events with interesting guests including diplomats, CEOs, managers, policymakers and more!

Now SIPA is lovely and all, but you may need a break from the International Affairs Building – seriously, we spend a lot of time here – and it’s important to get out of the SIPA bubble and meet people from other schools.

Columbia University Life is always throwing events that bring together students from different graduate schools. Last year, I met students from Columbia Business School and Columbia Law School at a Latin Student Mixer. Every now and then, I go to talks/events/panels at Maison Francaise/Journalism School/Law School/[other schools that are not SIPA] to meet students from other fields of study and get a feel of something other than international affairs and economics. There are so many cool things going at SIPA that it is easy to forget how much is happening across Columbia University and at the other schools here. I sign up for a lot of experiments so I have met postdocs at the Zuckerman Institute as well.

This is all to say that class is great, but don’t forget that a big part of your grad school experience will be the people you meet. SIPA and Columbia in general have A LOT of interesting people to meet. Remember to take a break from schoolwork and wander around campus, go to different buildings and explore. The University Life app will keep you up to date about what is going on around campus so pay attention to it!

SIPA Life on a Friday

The following post was written by Andrea Bustard, a second year MIA student concentrating in Urban and Social Policy. Her involvement in the Southeast Asia Student Initiative, SIPA Students of Color and the Migration Working Group has proven to be an enriching experience while at SIPA.


SIPA offers a wealth of avenues to prepare students with the needed skills for their careers after graduation. Courses range from Cost Benefit Analysis to Policy and Practices of Humanitarian Assistance, and this doesn’t include the classes offered through other schools such as Columbia Business School or Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia. And with over 40 student organizations, you’re bound to find at least one that matches an interest. As a second year, while I’ve felt the courses have taught me skills, having an opportunity to get involved in student groups has given me a chance to work with like-minded professionals and expand my network.

Few classes meet on Fridays, so students often take advantage of the time to attend SIPA related events. Here’s a snapshot of my Friday:

8am Arrive at the Localizing Global Justice conference in the International Affairs Building and greet incoming presenters and help with check-in for registered guests as a board member of the Southeast Asian Student Initiative.

10am-4pm Hear from panelists at the conference about law and human rights issues in Southeast Asia. Highlights included the presentation “Keeping it Up and Keeping it Down – Broadcasting Rights at Thai Protests” by Benjamin Tausig.

4pm-530pm Attend a reception for the panelists from the conference. I especially enjoyed a poetry and cello performance by Professor McCargo’s wife.

6pm-9pm Network at the Alumni of Color Reception hosted by SIPA Students of Color attended by graduate students and alumni from various schools. The highlight was hearing from SIPA alum and candidate for Congress in New York, Vince Morgan, but the food catered from a nearby Côte d’Ivoire restaurant was a close second.

11pm-2am Support SIPA Pan-Africa Network by going to their African Diplomatic Forum fundraiser party at the Empire State Building. On the way back, we stopped at a pizza place outside the subway station before catching a train home. It was a great way to end the event-filled night.

"The most global public policy school, where an international community of students and faculty address world challenges."

—Merit E. Janow, Dean, SIPA, Professor of Practice, International and Economic Law and International Affairs

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