After applying to only one university for postgraduate work, Paticia Mussi says she is very pleased she was accepted to study there. “I ‘m from Vienna, Austria and I came to the U-S because I found a degree program, a post graduate degree program that fit my needs perfectly which is the international relations masters at Johns Hopkins University school of advance international studies and they offer a degree that is a perfect combination of economics, politics and history which is what I wanted.”
So what makes Johns Hopkins University the perfect place for Patricia to go learn? “Well, I don’t know so much about Johns Hopkins University in such because our school is based in Washington, D.C. whereas JHU main campus is in Baltimore,” she says. “But SAIS is what we call it, the School of Advance International Studies is great because to begin with it, is very international so I think the ratio of U-S students is about between a half and two-thirds and the rest of the students are international,” she says.
“They really come to DC from all over the world and as I am a student of international studies I really appreciate the fact that you can get all these different perspectives and different backgrounds of people,” she adds.
“The program is great because it is so diverse. I specialize in European studies which is why I did my first year at the school at the European campus in Italy, but just for any student of international relations SAIS offers not just the political side of things which is what many other programs focus on, but it also gives you the economics and the history which are really indispensable if you want to understand international affairs properly.”
Patricia also says that there is no other place to be if you want to study international relations. “It is such a privilege being able to study international relations in Washington, D.C. you know where this is just where it is act. I couldn’t think of a better place to be studying this subject in because at my school for example because all the time there are really important policy makers from all over the world visiting," she says.
"We had the president of the E-U commission address us and we were able to ask him questions after his presentation. There are constantly panel talks with people from the state department; we had a CIA analyst talk to us about the new polish government. We have people from really important European think tanks visit and you know it is probably like studying Art History in Florence."
Coming to the United States to study can be expensive for an international student, but in Patricia's case, with the help of her mother and her country's government she is able to make it here. “I do have a very very good scholarship from the Austrian government which pays pretty much exactly half of my overall expenses then the school fees or the cost of living and travel. Combined my scholarship pays about half of that and my mum is sponsoring me for the other half.”
Patricia says she will return back home once she graduates, but she isn't going to limit herself as to where she will end of working. “It is a two year program and when I graduate which will be in May hopefully, I hope to return to Europe because like I said I do European studies so that will be my natural habitat as it were, but I will be job hunting all across Europe for a position either in Journalism or in an international organization,” she says. “So at the moment I am applying for jobs with a number of European print media both in Germany and in Britain and I am also looking at the E-U and all of its institutions and agencies and at the U-N’s institutions, at the OSCE, the OECD and it is going to be along those lines.”