Why International Studies?
Top Five Reasons to Major in International Studies
Here are just a few of the reasons why our international studies program might be right for you.
1. Study Abroad Opportunities
“When you go abroad, you learn about the world from a different perspective,” says Brittany Borden ’08, who graduated with a degree in International Studies after studying abroad in Tanzania, London, and the Middle East.
Students learn valuable information from their IS courses, but because the best way to gain an appreciation for other countries and cultures is to experience them firsthand, international studies majors are required to spend at least one semester at one of WC’s 35 study abroad or tuition exchange programs.
2. Hands-on Learning Experiences
International Studies majors not only visit the places they read about, they also gain practical experience with the Model United Nations in Montreal and the Security Council Simulation at Yale University. Participants act as delegates representing a member state, developing leadership skills and a solid understanding of parliamentary procedure as they discuss policy issues relevant to their state. Students also have opportunities to meet with foreign policy leaders and discuss international affairs issues at a number of student conferences.
3. Regional Concentrations
Students of any major can take advantage of a unique interdisciplinary approach to studies of a particular geographic region. Concentrations are combinations of course work in history, economics, anthropology, political science, and international lit and culture and at least one semester abroad in the region of focus. Students who plan to enter business, government, or international agency service or who are preparing for graduate study of a particular region often elect to fulfill a regional concentration.
4. The Goldstein Program
The Louis B. Goldstein Program in Public Affairs encourages students to enter public service by introducing them to influential, knowledgeable leaders. The program sponsors a lecture series bringing journalists, policy analysts, political activists, diplomats, military commanders, and government officials to campus. It also provides funding for student participation in the Model Programs and International Studies Conferences.
5. The Hansard Scholars Programme
Washington College has an arrangement with the prestigious Hansard Society for Parliamentary Government, which allows students to spend a summer or a semester interning with the House of Lords, the House of Commons, the political parties or a public or social policy research institute, while also courses at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Internships are also available through The Washington Center, which places students in government and international agencies such as the State Department and the United Nations.