A Review of Inside Study Abroad’s Grad School Guide

Considering grad school? It’s a common next step (and a great way to relaunch yourself in re-entry) after spending time abroad after college.

The problem? Choosing a program! Even just narrowing down your options can be overwhelming (I’ve been there!).

Enter…Inside Study Abroad’s Grad School Guide for a Career in International Education and Youth Travel. This 124-page downloadable PDF provides insight into 14 grad school programs in the US and beyond that will prepare you for one of those international education or youth travel jobs you’ve been eyeing.

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I get grad school questions all the time (keep ’em coming!), so when Brooke at Inside Study Abroad launched her Grad School Guide, I immediately thought it could be a fantastic resource for the SPS community. The Guide is well written, well organized, and beautifully designed. Definitely a helpful resource for the grad school bound!

Here are three ways the Grad School Guide will help you…

1. You’ll know what questions to ask.

The Grad School Guide starts with questions to ask yourself that will help you determine what you’re really looking for in a grad school experience. These questions will also help you weigh your options once you’ve identified potential programs.

These questions are helpful because once you’ve determined your program criteria it’s much easier to choose a program that’s truly right for you. The Grad School Guide also includes suggestions for what to look for and ask about when you start investigating individual programs more in-depth.

2. You’ll save time.

If you’re overwhelmed by the sheer number of programs available in the US, not to mention the rest of the world, the Grad School Guide is a great place to start. Brooke and her team evaluated over 50 grad school programs and chose the 14 they deemed the best options.

Even if one of their top picks doesn’t end up being yours, it’s still a great place to start because the Guide gives you a bird’s eye view of the shapes a grad school experience can take.

After reading about the programs in the Guide you’ll either confirm that you know exactly what kind of program you want (e.g., traditional campus vs. low-residence program) or you’ll find an option that you didn’t even know existed (e.g., how the program that sends you abroad to two different countries during your second and third semesters)!

3. You’ll get the coveted inside scoop.

For each program featured, alumni share their honest experiences, which is oh so helpful when choosing a program. No program is perfect, and the alumni reviews are a peek into what’s working and what could be improved for each one.

Use the pros and cons mentioned by alumni as a basis for questions when reaching out to alumni or program faculty. Having specific questions (e.g., Alumni have mentioned having a difficult time securing a practicum on campus. What steps have been taken to alleviate this problem?) always yield more helpful answers than generic ones (Can students get practicums on campus?).

Knowing the less-than-attractive aspects of several programs also helps you maintain realistic expectations and start grad school with your eyes open. In a 1-2 program, it’s much better to know in advance where you’re going to need to light a fire than lose a semester to floundering.

Is there anything I wish the Guide had included?

Yes, two things:

1) A short statement from the program chair or a faculty member regarding what they consider their program’s strengths. It would be interesting to then compare that with what alumni experienced.

2) Information about alumni job placements for each program. It would be interesting to see how many alumni are working in the international education or youth travel job they went to grad school for.

That said, I don’t feel the Guide is lacking in any substantial way for not including these two things.

Is there anything in addition to program reviews?

Yes! There are some great “extras” in the Guide, such as:

  • an article by Dr. Kate Moore that will help you create your grad school roadmap
  • a handy at-a-glance overview of the programs highlighted in the guide plus additional runners-up
  • a list of helpful online resources. (I was touched to see SPS on that list! I didn’t know we were in there until I read the ebook. Thanks, Brooke!)

Who won’t benefit from this Guide?

1. If you’ve already done extensive research and have a solid idea of the program(s) you plan to apply to, you may not get as much out of this Guide.

(Although, if you want to be extra sure you’re applying to the program that’s the best fit for you, the Guide could help alleviate “buyer’s remorse” – you know, once you’re a semester into your program you read the Guide and find the program…)

2. If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide through the grad school application process, this isn’t the Guide for you.

3. If you want to earn a PhD. This Guide is geared towards Master’s programs.

Final Thought…

Overall, the Grad School Guide for a Career in International Education and Youth Travel is a fantastic resource for those of you who are starting your grad school journey. It’s also super affordable at only $14.99 – and Brooke is donating 10% of each purchase to the Fund for Education Abroad!

Ready to get your copy? Get it here!


A Review of Inside Study Abroad’s Grad School

Note: The links in this post are affiliate links, which means that, at no extra cost to you, if you purchase your Guide through the links in this post, I earn a small commission on your purchase. Not only do you get your Guide, you also directly support all of the free content on SPS. Thank you for your support!