International Relations Major?

My junior is interested in International Relations and we are starting the college search now. I am wondering how much it matters where he ends up? The DC schools he has looked at seem to have an advantage with available internships, etc., but we are worried the cost might be tough. Is it worth incurring (possibly) more debt for that location vs a school that is closer to home (new england) that could possibly be less expensive?

Depends on the New England schools. The top private schools there (Yale, Harvard, Williams, Amherst, etc.) have career services with superb connections that place students in government and international internships with results entirely on par to those you’d find at the DC area schools like Georgetown or JHU.

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For opportunities equivalent to those that the D.C. schools offer, you may want to research colleges that offer terms in either D.C. or New York. These semester programs will tend to offer internships as an essential component of the experience.

Thanks! He would definitely be a tier down from the top schools. More BU than Harvard. In DC more American and GWU than Georgetown (although he does want to apply there). My husband is all about UMass Amherst but I feel like it is so far removed from possible internships. The one lucky thing is we have family in the DC area that he could stay with if he gets summer internships, but again, it feels like the DC schools have such a leg up helping kids out obtaining all of this.

@mtemmd The advantage to going to a DC university would be that your son could do internships during the school year because they’re already located there. And then your son could avoid the summer internship in DC rat race. There was an article I read somewhere about this very thing… talked about a kid at GW. I’ll try to find it for you. Most likely it was in WaPo.

@mtmmed my daughter is in the exact same situation and we are in Massachusetts, which it seems you are as well. Tops on her list are BU, JHU, and GWU right now. She’s an athlete so that adds to the complexity.

I would consider JHU with its excellent international relations program, proximity to DC, and generous, loan-free financial aid.

Yes@whidbeyite2002 that is definitely a consideration for us. Especially given that they just bought the Newseum right on the Avenue. They have a five year BA/MA program as well. A girl from my daughter’s school couldn’t go there last year and needed the division I cash, but everything’s changed because of the Bloomberg money!

@MAandMEmom, it broke my heart that my daughter couldn’t choose both JHU and Columbia; she is attending the latter for IR and Classics this fall. Both give generous aid.

Thanks for the responses, nice to chat with people who understand. He hasn’t looked at JHU at all, just GWU, American, and Georgetown. Georgetown is a bit of a reach for him I think. He does want to look at BU up here, along with a few others. I wish his interest wasn’t so specific that an area of the country really does make the most sense, but who know what will shake out.