I am going to start on my MA degree next fall (2003). I have had a few different offers, and I just don’t know which direction to go in. I’m interested in interdisciplinary studies in humanities-related subjects (mostly early modern). and I intend to go on to do a PhD afterwards.
I could go to the University of Durham to study at the Centre for 17th century studies. It’s pricey, but looks beautiful. The Centre has only a few MA students per year, so it’s really invididualized with lots of attention (which is a major plus for me). It’s also in the UK, which would be fun and exciting (I’m in Canada now). The programme sounds perfect for me, but the major drawback for me about Durham is that it is not well-known at all (as far as I can tell) in North America (where I will probably end up again). Durham seems very enthusiastic about having me compared to my other options.
Or…I could go to the Warburg Institute in London. High standards and even more expensive than Durham. I’ve also never lived in a city nearly so big. It probably has a better international reputation, being part of the University of London. It is also a very, very small programme. From the sounds of it, though, it might be harder to find funding there than at Durham.
And the cost of living is outrageous. Also, they don’t sound as friendly as Durham or as eager to recruit me to study there.
Or…the University of Toronto’s Comparative Literature department. This would be the cheapest option for me, but also seems the least exciting. In addition, the prgramme isn’t EXACTLY what I’m looking for, although it would suffice. The department is bigger and the degrees would takes longer to complete than in the UK.
So where should I go? Is it more important to go to the place that really wants you? The place with the best reputation? The place with the most individual attention? The place with the best financial package?
What do you all think?